I received an email from a concerned parent in the Glenwood School District. I am sharing it with her permission, her name is removed to protect privacy:
I am a mother of four children in Glenwood, IA. My school district has adopted the Common Core this year and I am wholly dismayed by what I am seeing. My 4th grade son has always struggled with reading, but has always liked math and been fairly strong in it. This year however, he qualifies for Title 1 math, and is struggling. He brings home homework which is hopelessly muddled with the most convoluted method of solving I have ever seen. The reading requirements are equally dismaying. The more I read about this particular curriculum, the more troubled I become.
I am seriously concerned about the direction my school system is heading and I would like to know what I can do to get the ball rolling in the direction of ridding our school of this garbage. I would appreciate getting in contact with anyone in my area who is already involved in this fight.
I thank you in advance for any information you may be able to share.
First, educate yourself. A video primer from Jane Robbins of American Principles Project is a good place to start. Secondly, inform your school board of your dissatisfaction, use the opt-out form to demonstrate how serious you are. While there is little they can do about it, they need to hear from you. Third, contact your state representative and state senator. Ask them why there is not a bill addressing the Common Core. Also, there is a provision in the House education reform bill that passed in the Iowa House that allows the Iowa Department of Education to mandate the Smarter Balanced Assessments for Iowa public and accredited non-public schools implement the Smarter Balanced Assessments (these are the Common Core assessments). Ask your legislator to encourage that wording to be stripped out of the conference bill during their conference session with the Iowa Senate. Also encourage them to do what they can to address the problem this year. It may be too late to file a new bill, but they can certainly add amendments. Fourth, educate your friends, family and neighbors. Spread the word.