My 11 year daughter informed me of a Common Core website that her class has to get on to read an article and take a quiz on afterwards. The assigned articles are harmless however the teacher allowed them to read other articles when they were done testing. She happened upon an article about a transgender boy winning homecoming queen. It explained that he was taking medicine to change his hormones without his parents knowing. I am in the process of talking to the school about this. My fear is that this will become mandatory and the articles tested on will be up to the teachers or worse the government. I try to keep my kids "kids" as long as possible. I am outraged at the whole idea of Common Core. It seems to take our children's childhood away. So much time frustration, testing, and stress. Not to mention the material they see that we as parents don't get the opportunity to read. Is this a slow indoctrination? The website is called: www.newsela.com and, by the way, this article that she read was under the kids section. Crazy huh?
Newsela is a website that has news articles for students grades 3-12. Students can change the Lexile score of each article for different reading level. It is all Common Core aligned, of course. There are even quizzes for students to take about each article after they read it, and the score is sent to their teacher. Students must create a username and password, or students may use their Google Apps for Education login information. You don't have to register to view the articles (the first 4 are free), just to take the quizzes.
Sure enough, that article is right there in the KIDS section if you scroll to the bottom:
- Read closely.
- Think critically.
- Be worldly.
How does Newsela choose the articles?
Their website says: "Our editorial team chooses articles that are timely (often breaking news), worldly (we balance domestic US stories with international coverage), and substantial (you won’t find Justin Beiber and his pet monkey in Newsela). We are very deliberate in distributing alignment of articles across a range of Common Core standards."
Did you catch that last sentence??? They are "VERY DELIBERATE in DISTRIBUTING alignment of articles across a range of COMMON CORE standards." Gee, ya think???
And if distributing isn't enough, they QUIZ the kids after they've read it to reinforce the biased, inappropriate material they just read.
Go ahead, we'll give you 1 guess...
Newela "won" a $100,000 Literary Coursework Challenge grant. "The Bill & Melinda Gates Foundation is investing $6 million in web-based courseware to support students in mastering the Common Core State Standards for literacy at the 4th–8th grade levels."
(Click HERE to visit the Bill & Melinda Gates website that proudly shows how they're throwing their money at common core, including this company.) Bill Gates isn't the only source of revenue, there are lots of sugar-daddy foundations wanting a piece of this profitable pie.
Newsela's founder, Matthew Gross, "led the development of EngageNY.org, a web application providing teachers and administrators with resources for implementation of Common Core state standards and teacher and principal evaluations." Congratulations, Matthew Gross, for the worst and most perverted implementation of Common Core in the entire nation! Parents are furious to learn that the www.engageny.org website (a website you developed for the NY Education Department with tax dollars, and which your commissioner John King bragged about for all the high traffic it was getting) contained horribly inappropriate links for students to "quizzes" to find out if they are a "slut," "a se*y b***h," "a freak," or "losers." Who knows how many children innocently clicked on those links and were asked questions we won't even print here. You'll have to click on the link to read them yourself. (That would explain the insanely high website traffic on the State of NY's website.)
WHO IS PROTECTING OUR KIDS???
Certainly not these profit-seeking creeps.
NOTE: Please don't write Momma Bears about gay bashing, global warming, or Obama. We actually are quite open-minded people with friends who are gay. We respect that. As parents, our choice is how we shelter our kids and introduce adult concepts. We don't want our young children exposed to those topics about sexuality at school, especially not in elementary school. These internet-based educational websites are circumventing parents, and THAT is what we have the biggest issue with.
What can you do about it, Momma Bears & Daddy Bears?
- Ask your children's teachers if they use the Newsela website. If so, send a polite note to them saying your child is not permitted to use it.
- Talk to your school board members to tell them of this inappropriate "educational tool" and make sure it isn't being used in your district.
- Contact your legislators. Forward them this blog if you want. Tell them you sure don't like this common core crap. But don't use the word "crap" (even though it is the truth).
- Ask your kids what they are doing in school. We're sure this isn't the only biased "educational tool" out there. School districts are pinching pennies to make ends meet, so free or cheap "tools" like Newsela are awfully tempting, especially when everything is required to be aligned with the common core corporate standards.
- Be vigilant. Always watching. Pay attention to what your kids are being exposed to. Don't trust that they're safe just because they are at school or that a teacher is monitoring these online websites.
Call and/or email legislators as soon as possible and let them know that you support these bills:
- Testing Opt-Out (HB1841/SB2221): “This bill permits parents to opt their children out of participation in high-stakes testing.”
- Repeal Common Core (HB 2332/SB 2405) This bill would Repeal Common Core Standards in TN!!!
- Postpone Common Core (HB 1825 /SB 1985) requires the state board of education and the department of education to postpone any further implementation of Common Core State Standards beyond those standards implemented as of June 30, 2013, until further implementation is approved by the general assembly.
We will even put their email addresses here to make it easy for you if you live in Tennessee:
HOUSE EDUCATION SUBCOMMITTEE PHONE & EMAIL:
Harry Brooks 615-741-6879 email@example.com
John DeBerry 615-741-2239 firstname.lastname@example.org
John Forgety 615-741-1725 email@example.com
Roger Kane 615-741-4110 firstname.lastname@example.org
Harold Love 615-741-3831 email@example.com
Debra Moody 615-741-3774 firstname.lastname@example.org
Joe Pitts 615-741-4575 email@example.com
Dawn White 615-741-6849 firstname.lastname@example.org
FULL HOUSE EDUCATION COMMITTEE EMAIL:
SENATE EDUCATION COMMITTEE EMAIL:
Contacting your elected officials from your own District is a SUPERHERO power, too! Click here to find YOUR Legislators: http://www.capitol.tn.gov/legislators/
Not sure you have the guts to contact legislators?
They won't bite, we promise. The TN Parent website has some great tips on how to do it effectively. Click HERE to visit the TN Parents Take Action website