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The Education Invasion: How Common Core Fights Parents for Control of American Kids

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Most Americans had no idea what Common Core was in 2013, according to polls. But it had been creeping into schools nationwide over the previous three years, and children were feeling its effects. They cried over math homework so mystifying their parents could not help them, even in elementary school. They read motley assortments of “informational text” instead of classic l Most Americans had no idea what Common Core was in 2013, according to polls. But it had been creeping into schools nationwide over the previous three years, and children were feeling its effects. They cried over math homework so mystifying their parents could not help them, even in elementary school. They read motley assortments of “informational text” instead of classic literature. They dreaded the high-stakes tests, in unfamiliar formats, that were increasingly controlling their classrooms. How did this latest and most sweeping “reform” of American education come in mostly under the radar? Joy Pullmann started tugging on a thread of reports from worried parents and frustrated teachers, and it led to a big tangle of history and politics, intrigue and arrogance. She unwound it to discover how a cabal of private foundation honchos and unelected public officials cooked up a set of rules for what American children must learn in core K–12 classes, and how the Obama administration pressured states to adopt them. Thus a federalized education scheme took root, despite legal prohibitions against federal involvement in curriculum. Common Core and its testing regime were touted as “an absolute game-changer in public education,” yet the evidence so far suggests that kids are actually learning less under it. Why, then, was such a costly and disruptive agenda imposed on the nation’s schools? Who benefits? And how can citizens regain local self-governance in education, so their children’s minds will be fed a more nourishing intellectual diet and be protected from the experiments of emboldened bureaucrats? The Education Invasion offers answers and remedies.


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Most Americans had no idea what Common Core was in 2013, according to polls. But it had been creeping into schools nationwide over the previous three years, and children were feeling its effects. They cried over math homework so mystifying their parents could not help them, even in elementary school. They read motley assortments of “informational text” instead of classic l Most Americans had no idea what Common Core was in 2013, according to polls. But it had been creeping into schools nationwide over the previous three years, and children were feeling its effects. They cried over math homework so mystifying their parents could not help them, even in elementary school. They read motley assortments of “informational text” instead of classic literature. They dreaded the high-stakes tests, in unfamiliar formats, that were increasingly controlling their classrooms. How did this latest and most sweeping “reform” of American education come in mostly under the radar? Joy Pullmann started tugging on a thread of reports from worried parents and frustrated teachers, and it led to a big tangle of history and politics, intrigue and arrogance. She unwound it to discover how a cabal of private foundation honchos and unelected public officials cooked up a set of rules for what American children must learn in core K–12 classes, and how the Obama administration pressured states to adopt them. Thus a federalized education scheme took root, despite legal prohibitions against federal involvement in curriculum. Common Core and its testing regime were touted as “an absolute game-changer in public education,” yet the evidence so far suggests that kids are actually learning less under it. Why, then, was such a costly and disruptive agenda imposed on the nation’s schools? Who benefits? And how can citizens regain local self-governance in education, so their children’s minds will be fed a more nourishing intellectual diet and be protected from the experiments of emboldened bureaucrats? The Education Invasion offers answers and remedies.

41 review for The Education Invasion: How Common Core Fights Parents for Control of American Kids

  1. 5 out of 5

    Shane Vander Hart

    Joy Pullmann does an excellent job educating readers about how Common Core infiltrated American classrooms. More than that she laid out a compelling case for how this top-down, one-size-fits-all education reform has negatively impacted students, parents, and teachers. The public education landscape looks bleak, but she gives readers hope. We do not have to accept the academic carnage Common Core has left in its wake. We have the power as paren​ts and citizens to demand change and, if necessary, f Joy Pullmann does an excellent job educating readers about how Common Core infiltrated American classrooms. More than that she laid out a compelling case for how this top-down, one-size-fits-all education reform has negatively impacted students, parents, and teachers. The public education landscape looks bleak, but she gives readers hope. We do not have to accept the academic carnage Common Core has left in its wake. We have the power as paren​ts and citizens to demand change and, if necessary, find ways to offer an alternative education to our children as well. Shane Vander Hart Editor Truth In American Education

  2. 5 out of 5

    Melissa Hua

    Great investigational journalism that clearly spells out how the new national standards for education came into place and what states have to go through to get their piece of it. When real experts in the fields of mathematics and language arts refuse to sign off on Common Core standards, the red flags are raised. Sadly, it's all about the money and states jumping through hoops to get it. It's not all doom and gloom, however, as the author does a great job illustrating the silver lining through t Great investigational journalism that clearly spells out how the new national standards for education came into place and what states have to go through to get their piece of it. When real experts in the fields of mathematics and language arts refuse to sign off on Common Core standards, the red flags are raised. Sadly, it's all about the money and states jumping through hoops to get it. It's not all doom and gloom, however, as the author does a great job illustrating the silver lining through the opportunities this national debacle creates in getting parents and educators to think outside the box and come up with new and innovative ways to educate the nation's children.

  3. 4 out of 5

    Nancy

    This was not an easy read, but the author makes a confusing topic understandable to the layman. I almost quit because of the 'Origins' chapter, but after that, the content became more readable and interesting. The author references a documentary called "Building the Machine" which might be a more approachable way to get similar info.

  4. 5 out of 5

    Emily

    I was not prepared for the level of detail that Pullmann offers, but an interesting read nonetheless. Remember, the federal government does nothing efficiently, or well, and that is especially true of education.

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