NORRISTOWN, Penn. – Attendees at Monday night’s meeting of the Norristown Area school board were treated to a crash course about the dangers of new Common Core learning standards, courtesy of two top-performing students.
The Times Herald reports that Norristown High School seniors Craig Madrak and Miranda Cravetz used the public comment portion of the board meeting to sound the alarm over the Common Core standards, which are taking effect throughout Pennsylvania and some 40 other states.
“The standards set are not of education and academics, but of indoctrination and conformity,” Madrak told board members, according to The Times Herald.
He charged that “teachers are instructed to force students to regurgitate information rather than to assimilate concepts.”
Madrak, who ranks at the top of his senior class, wasn’t finished: “I have successfully shown that I was the best slave. … Our education system is based on outcomes; students must meet this outcome or they are viewed as failing.”
Cravetz, a 2014 National Merit Scholarship semifinalist, agreed with the view that students are indoctrinated through the educational system, and cited a social studies essay assignment as proof, according to The Times Herald.
These are interesting conclusions from a pair of bright, Common Core-trained students.
The students’ conclusions contradict what defenders of the new, experimental standards have repeatedly told Americans, namely that the revamped math and English standards force students to “go deeper” into the material and to develop critical thinking skills.
Madrak and Cravetz are sending a warning from the trenches that the standards aren’t working as advertised. Common Core defenders – as well as parents, lawmakers and taxpayers – would be well-advised to listen to such criticisms while there’s still time.