Curriculum and the PA Common Core
Our community knows that of all the school districts in both Berks and Montgomery Counties, we are ranked smack-dab in the middle. Although we are not going down in a ball of fire, we haven’t had any measurable academic improvements in our rankings over the last several years now.
Going forward now with a new Superintendent:
The Conservatives will look to have all of our Curriculum Presentations not simply be a list of course offerings (which is how it has been done in the past, with this current Board majority).
This Board Room is not a vacuum and we are not all breathing magical air with pixie dust.
Skepticism should be at the heart of all elected official. We should not be taking things at face value all the time from Administration.
This is the whole point of a healthy dialog and rooting out the good, the bad, and the ugly. We should never be so agreeable that we don’t ask the pointed questions.
We need to understand the processes and procedures that are in place. We must never uncritically accept information. We must run from the mindlessness that many elected officials fall into. Our quest for being agreeable, does not preclude pointed questions.
It is not out of bounds to ask honest questions. It is not political sparring or mean spirited attacks to point out ideological differences. It is necessary to identify what we have done; to get historical. This way we can avoid a reoccurrence of avoidable mistakes. As we had one Board Director accurately describe the 2 philosophical and ideological differences with Board Directors at a PTA meeting. We have board directors that want to do everything, and we have board directors that want to watch every dollar we spend.
The fox wanted some grapes and couldn’t reach them. So the fox then, called them sour. This is what some would say Life is when they can’t quite grab hold of success.
We need to know:
* What are the key concepts that we want our students to understand from each listed course? What Key Academic Result (KAR) needle are we trying to move?
* What are our expectations of thinking skills and what Key Performance Indicators (KPIs) are used to measure results?
* What is being emphasized in the courses listed?
* What sources and evidence will our students have a proficient understanding of?
Our students must be taught to know how:
* Constitutionalism compares to Collectivism
* Private Property rights compares to Conformity
* Prosperity compares to Redistribution,
* Separation of powers compares to Authoritarianism
* Liberty compares to the Nanny state,
* Moral absolutes compares to Situational ethics,
* Eternal truths compares to Ideological Social Engineering
* Stability compares to Constant transformation,
* Real science compares to Social science,
* Rights of man compares to the Rights of government,
* Education compares to Indoctrination.
American History: Rediscovering Americanism
Our history teaching in Boyertown needs to be a salute to Americanism: It needs to go back to what the founding fathers were building off of when they built this country. A new poll from yougov.com shows that 35% of millennials are not patriotic. Only when we correctly understand our history, can we know how to build our future.
* What pivotal moments of U.S. History will our students have an understanding of? They must be able to make historical connections and possess chronological reasoning…
* What people, ideas, and events that shaped our nation will our students have an insight into?
* How do these courses explain our Republic? How do these courses explain the differences between a Republic and a Democracy? How do these courses explain our political institutions and our American identity?
* How are our founding documents presented? (the Declaration of Independence, The Constitution, the Bill of Rights, The Federalist Papers)
* How do these courses teach the U.S. Constitution? How do these courses teach how our Constitution protects our rights, our liberties, and defines citizenship, and how do these courses ingrain in our students that our Constitution effects our values and society?
* How are the differences between the American Revolution and the French Revolution explained and presented?
* How are the different forms of Government explained (Communism, Socialism, Democracy, Dictatorship, Republic)?
* How are the methods and strategies of how history’s most notorious dictators have seized and held on to power explained: Mau, Stalin, Hitler, Pol Pot, Hugo Chavez, Kim Jon un (all of which by the way, are communist/socialists)?
How are these people presented and their evil revealed?
We need to enthusiastically endorse Americanism.
1) We must not ignore what our Country’s founders were driving for,
2) We must not ignore what went into the foundation of the country,
3) We must not ignore what went into the drawing up of the Declaration of Independence,
4) We must not ignore what makes America and Americans unique,
There are three things that our community will like to see discussed and flushed out during our Curriculum Committee meetings going forward.
- Our community would like to see demonstrations from 2nd and 3rd grade teachers on how math is being taught to our young people; and from 5th and 6th grade teachers on how English, reading and writing are being taught. These demonstrations will be invaluable to our community and our School Board Directors.
- We know that our School District is ranked smack-dab in the middle with regard to all the school districts in Berks and Montgomery Counties. After all, every school district is effected by the same state requirements.
Our Community would like this Curriculum committee to flush out what we can do to improve our academic rankings.
- Our Community would like to know that their elected Directors on this school board;
- Have goals for our district.
- See our academic opportunity and want to improve our rankings. They understand that to shore up any academic opportunities, the School District Leaders must first recognize that we have opportunity to improve.
We need to be about the business of educating our children into innovative, competent, ethical adults. Let’s spend money that actually educates our children and improves academics. Investments add value, poorly planned indulgences, always exclusively add cost.
We must have effective oversight of everything from Financial Management and Facilities Management to Curriculum and our School District Administration. I will look to be an efficient and effective steward of a School Board Director’s responsibilities.
The folks in our community want the best schools in the state. Our children have one chance at a great education. We are not satisfied to be less than the best. When our children graduate with honors and have to take remedial courses, the parents have to pay for that, and valuable months of our children’s lives are wasted learning what they should have learned in high school!
We can better support our parents, students and teachers!
Common Core (www.parestoringeducation.org) is a top-down, lock-step, one-size-fits-all disruption of our education system. It teaches math inefficiently and dumbs down the English curriculum. Good and seasoned teachers know what a good curriculum looks like. Local districts don’t need an unaccountable bureaucratic solution like Common Core.
- The School Board should stand against this and issue an official statement to Harrisburg on our opposition to it.
- We must review our curriculum against the Common Core requirements to see what we need to supplement to ensure our children don’t lose out on valuable learning that Common Core does not provide.
- We can use the BASH website to tell parents how to opt their children out of the Common Core tests.