AUSTIN, Texas – Anti-Common Core activist Alice Linahan can’t say for sure how much time remains for Americans to remove the nationalized learning standards from their schools before they are permanently cemented into place.
What Linahan knows for certain is that children only get one shot at a decent K-12 education, and that every year they’re taught with the confusing math standards and the subpar English standards is a year of wasted opportunity.
“I don’t know where we’re at on the timeline, but for my three (school-age) children, the time is now” for stopping Common Core, Linahan tells EAGnews.
That’s why Linahan’s advocacy organization, “Women On The Wall,” is partnering with the Heritage Foundation, Family Research Council and Eagle Forum to host a two-day conference in Austin beginning on Friday.
It’s being dubbed the “Can I See the Solutions Conference,” and its goal is to train parents, grandparents, and other concerned citizens about how to undo the Common Core experiment in their states and local communities.
Attendees will be encouraged to ask their state and local education leaders questions like, “Can I see what and how you’re teaching my child?” and “Can I see who is benefitting financially from the curriculum on which my child’s teacher is being evaluated?”
It’s an important conference, as evidenced by the speaker roster which features accomplished grassroots leaders and an array of education experts – including Drs. Sandra Stotsky and James Milgram – who have concluded the nationalized learning standards aren’t anywhere close to being as “rigorous” and “world class” as supporters claim.
Day One of the conference will be spent examining the Common Core battles that have already been fought, and what “the reality is on the ground” right now, Linahan says.
Day Two will be dedicated to equipping attendees with practical solutions for stopping Common Core. For instance, conference goers will be shown how to set up a local communications team that can interact successfully with other parents, but also with school officials, policy makers and media workers.
Perhaps most importantly, that interconnectivity will help the concerned moms and dads support one another as they make their case to school board members, administrators and other education leaders.
“We’re building a network so people who ask ‘Can I see?’ questions won’t be marginalized,” Linahan says. “The idea is that no one stands alone.”
She fully believes that if Common Core is going to be defeated, it will be because concerned moms and dads – not politicians– led the way.
Such a movement requires an army of activists, many more than can possibly gather this Friday and Saturday at the Downtown Courtyard Marriott Hotel in Austin. (Registration is still open.)
“Can I See Solutions” conference organizers have addressed this problem by arranging for Vault Media to record all of the talks and workshops, which interested individuals can watch later on DVD or by streaming them online.
“The idea is to bring all this back to the local communities,” Linahan says. “It’s what happens after the conference when people take the content and share it that’s most exciting.”
The stakes couldn’t be any higher. Linahan believes Common Core is part of a larger effort to turn America’s K-12 system into a workforce development system that’s primarily focused on producing laborers instead of thinkers and informed citizens who understand the principles of freedom and self-governance that made the United States an exceptional nation.
“This is about protecting the next generation,” Linahan says. “We’re going to be educating and training people to step up and protect them.”