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coming to your collegePosted September 19, 2014, by Mary Grabar: College professors, for the most part, have been unconcerned about Common Core and other ways the federal government is beginning to interfere with their ability to determine academic standards and teach their subject matter.  But this summer sessions were held across the country to train faculty in adjusting their teaching to the Common Core State Standards.  So, we don't have "college and career ready" standards, but "Common Core ready college standards"!   Read about it in my article, "Common Core is coming to your college (yes, college)," at the Pope Center today. This is one of the ways the federal government is exercising its control over education from pre-pre K to college.

Federal college ratings are set to roll out next fall that will measure colleges for access to low-income and first-generation students, affordability, and student outcomes.  Both these efforts are pressures to dumb down standards.  Not only are professors being asked to change their syllabi and teaching methods to conform to Common Core, but they will be evaluated on "student outcomes."  That means how many students graduate.  Given the feds' added pressure of access to low-income students that likely means more unprepared students, so the standards will necessarily have to come down. 

U.S. Department of EducationWhy. It will look very bad to have a large percentage of students earning low grades or dropping out.  As someone who has taught at public colleges and universities and has heard many teaching orientation speeches on "retention," I know this has been a concern with administrators who do not want to lose students who trail oodles of financial aid.  I have attended many workshops on retaining student interest through tweeting, group work, and incorporating dance moves into lectures, so I know this is not an entirely new development.  But the pressure will be coming directly now in even more force from the Department of Education, as colleges are ranked next to others.

Common Core advocacy from the mouths of babes. It will be even more difficult for professors to maintain standards and integrity when they face students who have been indoctrinated at a young age about the wonders of Common Core, as children in Auburn, New York, were.  Elementary school students Anna Montgomery and Shannon Casper recently participated in a Common Core "roundtable" with teachers.  These children agreed that Common Core requires a lot of "brain power" and that the "group-based learning system helps them not only to reach the right answer, but to fully understand how they solved the problem."  

Accuracy in Academia reviews the recent Pioneer Institute Report that reveals that those writing the Common Core standards were not qualified in terms of academic training.  They also had ties to the Gates Foundation. Nevertheless, babes are chanting Common Core's praises in roundtables with teachers, and professors are adjusting their syllabi.

Finally, be sure to catch former history professor Timothy Furnish's upcoming appearance this Friday, Saturday, and Sunday discussng ISIS, on Greta Van Susteren's program on Fox News.  Too bad students in Georgia universities (such as Kennesaw State) aren't getting the benefit of Professor Furnish's expertise on Middle Eastern history (not hired there because he was deemed too conservative), but Dissident Prof is happy that he is having his spot on the top-rated news network.

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