Tag Archives: Common Core Curriculum

Is the Common Core a Runaway Train? Is it Unstoppable? Let’s Ask Stephen Krashen

The Common Core train has left the station.  Is it a runaway train?  Is it unstoppable?  

Americans, get ready.  Common Core State Standards have already left the station, according to Stephen Krashen, who was featured in  NABE Weekly eNews, (2012), and the National Association for Bilingual Education,  see S. Krashen, “Poverty is the problem that must be solved: Our schools are not broken” NABE NEWS, 33 (4): 5-8. July/August 2011. 

But who is this Stephen Krashen?  Why should we ask him?  Why not ask Bill Gates?  Or Pearson?  Or David Coleman?

You can read about Krashen here on his website.  He’s an expert in education, unlike Gates, Pearson, or Coleman.  The problem is, Krashen isn’t driving the train.

Gates, Pearson, and Coleman are driving the train, and that’s like having no one at the wheel.  No one that knows what they are doing.  

Is the train unstoppable?  

Are schools really so broken across  America that 45 states have to adopt these untested standards?

What do we do when every American child is put on board a train without a driver?  Do we let that runaway train go until it crashes with all of them on board?  

These are serious questions that someone needs to answer.

Let’s  get a feel for what might be at risk, then pay attention closely as we ask Stephen Krashen, an education expert.

Krashen wrote:  

“It is not too late.  We are frequently told that “the train has already left the station.” It has not, however, arrived at its destination.”

He and NABE have given their permission to print Krashen’s work here.  My photos and comments are added.

Stephen Krashen:

Do Those Who Like the Common Core Know the Facts?   

Posted on NABE Weekly eNews  (National Association for Bilingual Education)

  “According to an Achieve poll, 68% of teachers and 74% of all voters approve of the common core state (sic) standards (either “very favorable” or “favorable”)

[http://www.achieve.org/GrowingAwarenessCCSS].  A poll of Education Next readers showed less enthusiasm, but 40% supported the common core at the time of this writing (either “completely” or “somewhat” supportive) [ http://educationnext.org/ednext-readers-poll-common-core/ ].” ~ Stephen Krashen, NABE Weekly eNews, (2012)

My update, as taken directly from Education Next Poll on Common Core below, includes  the week’s previous poll results, giving US Secretary of Education Arne Duncan a strong  “F”  in job performance.  Here are the results for both polls from their site:   

“Last week we asked:

“What grade would you give Secretary of Education Arne Duncan’s job performance?”

The results were as follows:

A – 3%
B – 3%
C – 6%
D – 16 %
F – 72%

This week we want to know your thoughts on the following question:

As you may know, all states are currently deciding whether or not to adopt the Common Core standards in reading and math.  If adopted, these standards would be used to hold the state’s schools accountable for their performance.  Do you support or oppose the adoption of the Common Core standards in your state?

Do you support or oppose the adoption of the Common Core standards in your state? (Poll Closed)

Completely support 17.29%  

Somewhat support 12.62%  

Neither support nor oppose 3.97%  

Somewhat oppose 12.38%  

Completely oppose 53.74%  ”  ~  Education Next Reader’s Poll: Common Core(2012)

Yes, you read that right!  53.74% completely oppose the Common Core State Standards!  Interesting, since implementation of Common Core State Standards is getting started already in 45 states across America!

Stephen Krashen took the time to comment on the Education Next poll.  He said:

 Stephen Krashen says:

07/08/2012 at 12:57 am

“I wonder how the poll results would turn out if all those taking the poll realized that the common core state (sic) standards entails a massive increase in testing (about 20 times NCLB levels) and will be very expensive, at a time when money is very tight. I wonder how the results would be if respondees realized that there is no justification for the common core in the first place: the problem is poverty.” ~ Stephen Krashen, commentsEducation Next Poll: Common Core (2012)

Yes, I wonder how America will feel about the BILLIONS being spent, according to the Pioneer Institute on implementation of the Common Core State Standards?   What if we invested those billions in wrap-around services to directly counter the impacts of poverty instead?

Krashen warns us of a MASSIVE increase in testing, 20 times the testing that NCLB requires as he continues in NABE Weekly eNews:

“I wonder how the poll results would turn out if those taking the poll realized that the common core state (sic) standards mean a massive increase in testing and will be very expensive, at a time when money is very tight. My estimate is that the common core will require about 20 times the amount of testing that NCLB requires, with more subjects and grade levels tested, interim tests, and maybe even pretests in the fall.”  ~ Stephen Krashen, NABE Weekly eNews, (2012)

Just what does all this testing do for children’s learning?  Remember, “testing is not teaching”.  How much time will teachers be spending on teaching with Common Core?  How much excessive testing time goes on before the implementation?  Sounds like a train wreck right around the corner to me.

Are we nuts?  Who is driving this train?   What could communities spend that $16 billion on instead of implementation and testing costs?

Are we assuming that by 20 x MORE testing, we are going to achieve better results?  Who says?  How do we know?

What else does Stephen say this evidence in NABE?  What does he say about the REASON we need Common Core.  Is there a justifiable reason?  What are the real factors devastating some student achievement?  What would  the people of America think if they knew the answers?


“I wonder how the results would be if those polled realized that there is no evidence that increased testing will boost achievement, and that there is no justification for the common core in the first place: There is strong evidence that the major reason for low school achievement is poverty.  According to UNICEF (Innocenti Report 10), the US child poverty rate is now 23%, the second highest among 35 “economically advanced” countries.  Poverty has a devastating impact on school performance.”  ~ Stephen KrashenNABE Weekly eNews, (2012)

Obama wants America to “race to the top”.  There’s a “Race to the Top” medal for America.  We have achieved, alright.  We’ve achieved the second highest poverty rating among 35 “economically advanced” countries.  

We get second place and after we spend these billions on implementing Common Core State Standards instead of dealing with the problem of poverty in the first place, maybe we’ll win next year!  First prize!   Maybe it is better for us to start becoming un-advanced economically?

I suppose we should trust Pearson, Gates, and David Coleman and just implement the Common Core without any field testing, huh?  Does America know these standards have not had any field testing?  Will 20 x the testing help children in poverty achieve?

Oh, wait.  There’s more from Krashen.  

 “I wonder how those polled would respond if they knew that the billions to be spent on unnecessary and excessive testing could be used to protect children against the effects of poverty.” ~ Stephen KrashenNABE Weekly eNews, (2012)

 But is it too late?  Is the train of Common Core unstoppable?

He wonders too, what the pollers would have said if they KNEW these billions were being spent on UNNECCESSARY excessive testing.  Is it unnecessary?    Do you know, American parents?  Start asking questions.  Stop the train.

Do these standards really make a difference when in the end, we all group up with different passions, talents, and interests that lead us to different vocations, professions, and lifestyles?  Why try to standardize everyone?  Does it make sense, really?  What if we embraced everyone’s diversity instead?

When was the last time you heard of ANYONE solving any of the world’s REAL problems by taking one of these bubble tests?  

  • Has anyone attributed these bubble tests to saving a life?  
  • Inventing something important for society?  
  • Adding to their success?  
  • Creating happiness?  
  • Establishing credibility in their future?  
  • What happened after you got your diploma?  
  • Did you EVER refer back to those bubble tests in your resume?

But more importantly:  What would happen if we spent these billions on stemming the bleeding on poverty instead?  What kinds of things might REALLY help?  


Krashen has more questions too, and points out — when it comes to Common Core, it may not be too late.  Could we stop the train?  Is it unstoppable? 

 “It is not too late.  We are frequently told that “the train has already left the station.” It has not, however, arrived at its destination.

 If the public knew the details about the Common Core, the astonishing amount of testing, the cost, and the lack of evidence that it will work, the train would stop immediately.”

Note: NABE passed a strong resolution opposing the common core standards and tests at the 2012 annual meeting.

For sources, see S. Krashen, “Poverty is the problem that must be solved: Our schools are not broken” NABE NEWS, 33 (4): 5-8. July/August 2011.


Krashen inspires us, encourages us, and directs us to stop this train.  

We don’t need Common Core Standards.  

Our schools are not broken.  

We don’t need 20 x the high stakes testing.  

Our schools are not broken.  

We don’t need Value Added Measures [VAM].  

Our schools are not broken.  

We don’t need charter schools to make the rich guys richer.  

Our schools are not broken. 

It’s not too late.  

Stop Common Core.

Stop the poverty train. 

Poverty is a weapon of mass destruction.

I agree with Stephen Krashen.  

Schools are not broken.  

Society is broken.  

Common Core State Standards won’t help poverty.   In fact, it’s $16 billion price tag will likely make it a whole lot worse.  

America, we need to put people like Stephen Krashen behind the wheel.  

Don’t be deceived by their propaganda:  Take the wheel away from the corporations.    Why would we trust them with anything?  $16 Billion?  Our children?  Our schools?  Our teachers?   Why?

Let’s stop this train — the poverty train — before it’s too late.  


Because these children —- these children in poverty —- these children in our public schools  — they’re real human beings —-  they aren’t numbers.


Common Core: BEWARE: The BLOB! Scream Now While You Can Still Breathe!


Henry Martin:  “Well then, young lady, do you mind telling me where you’ve been spending the evening?”
Jane Martin:  “Daddy, it’s all right.”
Henry Martin: [sarcastically] “Oh, yes, everything’s fine, I always stop by the police station in the middle of the night to pick up my daughter. Don’t you realize that by morning this will be all over town?”
Jane Martin:  “Well we were just trying to warn people.”
Henry Martin:   “After all, I am the principal at the high school.”

Common Core Curriculum is spreading like “The Blob”  across America’s public schools and is little more than another way for Bill Gates to control education, profit from it, and manage his ‘hidden agenda.

Should we have Common Core Standards at All?

“The question that first needs to be asked is whether we should have common core standards at all. The idea of standards seems to be innocent and common-sense, but the current movement, from the beginning, has been a means to establish national tests, which are unnecessary (we already have plenty of tests that do the job very well; in fact, we have far more than we need), and expensive (MUCH more expensive than we originally thought).

Susan Ohanian has made this analogy: ‘Proposing standards is like giving out menus to the starving. To extend the analogy, instead of providing food, we are debating what should be on the menu.’  ~ Stephen Krashen, Schools Matter

Is Common Core Curriculum taking hold of professional organizations, becoming a systemic infection?

As ‘online learning’ becomes more prevalent in Common Core teaching and testing, professionalism gets eaten alive by this systemic infection.

“In the curriculum race, the Gates Foundation has made the professional organizations irrelevant. NCTE and IRA should have done the right thing and opposed the Common Core Standards from the get-go. Instead, assuming a Johnny-come-lately role, NCTE now holds a virtual conference telling teachers how to get in line with the Common Core. You can sign right up and join the lemmings for just $175 for four interactive, 60-minute online sessions. ”

~ Susan Ohanian, Substance News

Where does Randi Weingarten, President of AFT stand on the  Common Core?

“When Randi Weingarten, President of the American Federation of Teachers, chose to make billionaire teacher basher and union buster Bill Gates a featured speaker during the national convention of the AFT in Seattle in July 2010, she not only insulted every unionist and the militant history of the union movement in the Pacific Northwest, but she signaled that she would continue to betray the nation’s public schools and her own members in the coming years, and as long as she holds office.”

~ Susan Ohanian, Substance News

If we allow Gates and Pearson’s laboratory of horrors to spread this infection, to monopolize all curricula across America, this MEGA-MONOPOLY BLOB will be “Indescribable, Indestructible, and Nothing will be able to STOP it!

As Stephen Krashen said 8-24-11 on blogradio with TFT “Common Core sounds good, like common sense, but it turns out it is the absolute wrong thing to do for several reasons!  What this version of Common Core really means is tests! Arne Duncan says the heavy lifting is going to come when we turn all this into tests…. We already have more than enough tests.  No unnecessary testing!  Keep and improve the NAEP.  When you go to the doctor, they don’t take all your blood.  They just take a little sample…  “

Bill Gates’ partnership with Pearson to create Common Core Curricula is leading us to additional standardized testing.

Is our government protecting us from “The Blob”? 

Diane Ravitch wrote recently in Bridging Differences, Education Week:

“The scariest thought is that the Obama administration welcomes the corporatization of public education. Not only welcomes the rise of educational entrepreneurialism, but encourages it. U.S. Education Secretary Arne Duncan’s chief of staff Joanne Weiss, who has experience as an education entrepreneur, wrote the following in a blog for the Harvard Business Review:

“The development of common standards and shared assessments radically alters the market for innovation in curriculum development, professional development, and formative assessments. Previously, these markets operated on a state-by-state basis, and often on a district-by-district basis. But the adoption of common standards and shared assessments means that education entrepreneurs will enjoy national markets where the best products can be taken to scale.” ~ Joanne Weiss

How will this systemic infection become indescribable, indestructible, and one that nothing can stop?

Just imagine the idea to create text books for EVERY child in America’s public schools by this partnership mega-monopoly!  This action will lead to its  ability to produce and sell a series of white-washed textbooks and standardized tests to go with them for every single public school for every single child.  There are 52 million school age children in America: imagine the profits of this mega-monopoly!

Launching an Invasion:  An Invasion of Privacy

Bill Gates has recently  partnered with News Corp  Rupert Murdoch.  Murdoch may still face charges in the US over  wire-tapping private citizens to publish and profit from information collected illegally. 

NYC recently dumped Murdoch due to his phone-tapping scandal.

“The controversy proved too much for the state to stomach…

In light of the significant ongoing investigations and continuing revelations with respect to News Corp., we are returning the contract with Wireless Generation unapproved,” DiNapoli’s office wrote to the Education Department.”

~ BY Kenneth Lovett

August 27th 2011, 11:19 AM

Bill Gates and Pearson will administer, score, and manage post-testing  results of all of our schools – of EVERY single public school child in America then subsequently RATING them in the largest study every done by private corporations!

In doing so, they will be gathering private data about every single public school age child in America. 

Do you want Bill Gates to have all of this data? 

How will he use this data in the future?

Already Bill Gates controls all NCLB and Race to the Top Earmark dollars through the Office of Innovation and Improvements Director James Shelton who worked for the Gates Foundation for 5 years prior to his position.

The adoption of Common Core Curricula and testing through this mega-monopoly will exponentially give Bill Gates and Pearson control over all public education!

Is Common Core a credible and research based curricula?

The CCSS represents a massive unevaluated experiment with our students for which they and their parents have been ill informed and have had no opportunity for input. The CCSS are untested and unevaluated in the classroom. The proposed CCSS should undergo rigorous testing in a limited number of districts before adoption and implementation statewide or nationwide.

Some Validation Committee members would not sign off on the CCSS. Don’t you wonder why, especially when these standards have been promoted as being so wonderful?”

~ The Underground Parent

Neither of these partners are education leaders.  Neither of these partners have the best interest of children in mind, nor do they KNOW what is best for ALL children.  Nor has this program that is all about TESTING be assessed, nor is it ‘research based’!

How else will Gates/Pearson Common Core

marginalize our students in public schools?


Learning needs to be relevant to our individual students.  Learning needs to be relevant to individual and group cultures!  Common Core removes ALL such relevancy to individual learners providing only a whitewashed narrowed perspective throwing all authentic learning out the window while giving these Philanthro-Pirates access to private information about every single child in America!   Think about it folks!

WARNING!!!  Scream NOW while you can still breathe! 

Do NOT give Bill Gates  and Pearson this much control

over our country,

our children,

and our personal data!

Why don’t we ALL dump Bill Gates and Pearson in the same way NY dumped Murdoch?