Don’t listen to the propaganda
This is an open letter to the Honorable Senators on the S.C. Senate Education Committee:
Thank you for your service on the Education Committee, and your commitment to your responsibility to the best interests of the students in our state, and your diligence in learning about the issues which come before you.
It is a heavy responsibility that you bear, and the deliberations and decisions that you will be a part of this week, on the Common Core State Standards, will have an unprecedented impact on our students in South Carolina and their education, regardless of which side of the issue you end up on.
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I hope that this week you will carry this mantle of responsibility with the gravity and commitment which it demands. I respectfully request that you put in the time and effort to educate yourself and conduct your own research. I ask that you closely examine Common Core, and all the aspects of it that are in debate, independently and apart from your political affiliations or hastily formed opinions. Please look into and decide for yourself if you feel these standards are benefiting the students in our state.
We ask our students to learn to be critical thinkers; to be able to look at an issue and form their own opinion, rather than to accept whatever propaganda is spouted at them from either side. We ask them to learn to look for primary sources, to dig through the opinions to get to the facts, in order to become independent thinkers.
Today I ask the same of you. You have heard, and I’m sure will continue to hear, propaganda from both sides. You hear from some school superintendents and school boards that Common Core is excellent and has no issues. You hear claims that parents who have concerns with it are actually ‘anti-CCSS groups heavily organized and supported by outside influences’ as stated by my own school district Board of Trustees chairman, Patrick M. White. You hear from some of those that are against Common Core that is the root of all evil, and was designed as part of a mastermind plan to nationalize education in our country and to track of our students.
Although you have been and will continue to hear a lot of things from both sides of this issue, I respectfully request of you the same thing we ask of our students. Look beyond the rhetoric for yourself, and uphold the responsibility you have to the people and students of this state. Dig deep, research the issues, and decide for yourself.
To dismiss either side as politically motivated, rhetoric, or as irrelevant would be an unconscionable disservice to your role on this committee. Please carefully examine both sides to prepare yourself for the deliberations on Wednesday.
Thank you again for your time, your consideration and your service. Despite what my own school district board of trustees would have you believe, I am simply a mom. I have four children in the South Carolina public school system, and I care very much about their education and how the implementation of Common Core has affected that. I am not organized or influenced by any ‘outside influences’ or political party. I am only a parent who is involved in and cares about my children’s education. That used to matter. I hope it still does.
Robyn W. Taylor