Common Core Controversy Continued
Opposition to the Common Core State Standards is growing
Four states — Texas, Virginia, Alaska, and Nebraska — have not adopted the Common Core State Standards for public school curricula and testing. Minnesota chose to adopt only the English standards and declined the Mathematics standards.
Nine states which had previously adopted the Standards — Missouri, Kansas, Michigan, Georgia, Indiana, Pennsylvania, Alabama, South Carolina, Utah — are having second thoughts about it in one form or another. For example, in Missouri:
- HB 616 “Prohibits the State Board of Education from adopting and implementing the standards for public schools developed by the Common Core Standards Initiative” was introduced by Representative Kurt Bahr (R-102) although it did not come to a vote during the legislative session just ended.
- SB 210 “Requires the Department of Elementary and Secondary Education to hold public meetings in each congressional district on the Common Core State Standards” was introduced by Senator John Lamping (R-24) although it did not come to a final vote during the legislative session just ended.
In May, the Texas House of Representatives voted 140-2 to pass language prohibiting Texas from participating in the standards. Texas, however, has never adopted the standards and likely will not.
One flaw of Common Core seems to be around the assessment tests, and the maxim that “what gets tested gets taught.”
Critics also say that the whole Common Core effort is a backdoor way of establishing a national school curriculum, taking educational decisions away from the states. Amendment X to the Constitution of the United States, states that, “The powers not delegated to the United States by the Constitution, nor prohibited by it to the States, are reserved to the States respectively, or to the people.” This is taken to mean, in this context, that a national educational curriculum mandate is in violation of the Constitution. Of course, proponents of Common Core point out that these Standards are developed and run by the states, not by the federal government. On the other hand, opponents of Common Core consider it as an end-run around having a federally mandated curriculum; in other words, while it is not officially a federal mandate, there are most certainly federal incentives (read “federal dollars”) for those states who implement it.
Without going any further into the pros and cons of the Common Core Standards themselves, we do want to watch out, however, for the first step down a fast slide toward the federal government telling teachers what should go on in their classrooms, and the conversion of schools and classrooms into the mental health clinics that the White House seems to desperately desire.
The President’s Fiscal Year 2014 Budget includes $205 million for programs to help identify children’s mental health concerns, improve access to mental health services and “support safer school environments,” including $55 million for Project AWARE (Advancing Wellness and Resilience in Education) to provide Mental Health “First Aid” training in schools and communities and to help school districts and their communities work together to ensure that students with mental health issues are referred to the services they need; $50 million to train 5,000 new mental health professionals to serve students and young adults, including social workers, counselors, psychologists, and other mental health professionals; and $25 million for Healthy Transitions, a new competitive grant to help support transitioning youth (ages 16-25) and their families access and navigate behavioral health treatment systems.
The federal government is even now working out how existing group health plans that offer mental health services must cover them at parity under the Mental Health Parity and Addiction Equity Act of 2008. In addition, the Affordable Care Act requires all new small group and individual plans to cover mental health.
For more information about the dangers of mandated mental health insurance coverage, download and read the CCHR report “The Vital Case Against Mandated Mental Health Parity.”
For more information about harmful psychiatric influences in education, download the CCHR report “Harming Youth — Psychiatry Destroys Young Minds — Report and recommendations on harmful mental health assessments, evaluations, and programs within our schools.”
As a result of psychiatric and psychological intervention in schools, harmful behaviorist programs and psychotropic (mind-altering) drugs now decimate our schools. These programs have trampled on the rights and roles of parents and have provided society with rising crime, drug abuse and suicide rates.
Contact your local, state and federal representatives and let them know what you think about turning our schools into mental health clinics and turning our children into mental health patients.
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