Apparently, there was NOT a mass exodus from SC schools today

Fun fact: If you do a Google Images search on "Sheri Few," this picture that I took during an editorial board meeting years ago is still the second one that comes up.

Fun fact: If you do a Google Images search on “Sheri Few,” this picture that I took during an editorial board meeting years ago is still the second one that comes up.

There was a lot of talk last week — from people who supported the event to those who were horrified at the idea of encouraging kids to skip school — about this thing Sheri Few was putting together:

Hundreds of South Carolina parents are expected to rally and possibly pull their children from schools on Monday to show their opposition to the Common Core State Standards.

The Columbia event is part of National Don’t Send Your Child to School Day, which was organized to raise awareness about Common Core. Those standards are the new requirements for what K-12 students must learn in English language arts and math.

“It is our hope that it sends a loud message to the education establishment and the decision makers in our state that we’re going to protect our children from these flawed standards,” said Sheri Few, president of South Carolina Parents Involved in Education, a group that is opposed to the standards…

Well, apparently the message wasn’t all that loud.

Jamie Self of The State Tweeted this morning, “About 50ppl have lined up for march against Common Core at SC Dept of Ed on Senate St.” She posted this picture to go with it. She later reported that about 100 showed, so maybe there were some who were tardy.

Anyway, apparently there was no mass exodus from the schools today.

31 thoughts on “Apparently, there was NOT a mass exodus from SC schools today

  1. Karen Pearson

    What exactly is their problem with common core? As I understand it, these for a simple, common denominator of facts/skills our children should know.

    1. Bryan Caskey

      The argument is whether you want the federal government setting academic standards or state and local government setting academic standards. It’s about who gets to make the rules.

      1. Doug Ross

        It allows two sets of useless government bureaucrats to make a lot of money that could be spent on teachers.

        1. Bryan Caskey

          Hey, the federal government gave the states $4.4 BILLION to set up the 14 state-run sites. Only the US government can spend that much money and get such a massive failure.

          Quick! Let’s put them in charge of education, too!

    2. barry

      oh believe me- they can list a lot of SUPPOSED problems with it- and spin it to sound worse than the black plague.

      A certain percentage of people simply like to complain about everything and anything- will never be happy.

      I just ignore them.

  2. Juan Caruso

    “Apparently, there was NOT a mass exodus from SC schools today” – Brad

    Who would really have expewcted one? The home schooler population of SC is growing as we write. And that includes future lawyers, by the way, whose parents are seeing the writing on the wall (delining academic standards and increasing propaganda lessons).

    Any parent who pulled a son/daughter out of public school to support foolish propaganda is as dumb as their children will become. The answer (follow the future lawyers and MDs) is home schooling.

    Public education is noit dead; it remains misguided as historical measures have attested.

    Of course, since the product of public education suits a political party with entrenched lawyers, dumbed down jurors and voters has certain advantages. Sorry, ther eis no arguing with the obvious.

    Thank goodness the home-schooling movement is growing!

    1. Chris

      I disagree, some of the top students I’ve worked with at USC were home schooled. They were taught course work like what most of us had in public school, not this test prep crap that’s drilled into students heads today.

      1. Kathryn Fenner

        Some of the opera kids are homeschooled. They are impressive.

        People home school for a lot of reasons.

        1. barry

          True- and some homeschool students are excellent and their parents are smart about it.

          I also know a few that don’t do that well (are woefully behind) and their parents – well- they probably need to be at home most of the time as opposed to anywhere else.

  3. Chris

    Reminds me of the 10 minute sit-in demonstration by Lexington high school students when they were told that homework and quizes would now be graded.

  4. barry

    What did you expect?

    I have a few friends that talk about this common core stuff all the time- especially on facebook. I’m convinced they think common core had something to do with the JFK assassination.

    My son’s elementary school has adopted the standards almost fully and I can’t tell any difference in his coursework or schoolwork – and YES- I visit his school once every 2 weeks to help out where I can (instead of just sitting behind the computer complaining about everything).

    In fact, the common core standards for his school were already partially adopted anyway. He’s doing well and his homework and tests are no different than what I was taking 25 years ago- except that his classwork is probably about half a year ahead of where mine was back in the day.

  5. Norm Ivey

    The Common Core standards are here. They weren’t established by the federal government but by a coalition of state-level groups (National Governors Association is the biggest), and its development was funded primarily by the states, The Bill Gates Foundation, and business groups.

    We’ve been talking about and preparing for Common Core for the last several years in Richland 2. I’ve seen nothing in it to cause concern, and nobody has ever given me a coherent argument against them.

    1. barry

      I’ll give you the argument:

      Talking points to incite fear to drive scared, and conspiracy prone people to the election box.

    2. Doug Ross

      I took a look at the standards… it’s just SO much bureacracy. I guess I was under the impression that a teacher already knows what should be taught and how to do it.

      How did we all manage to get educated without someone from the government putting into writing that a first grade student must be able to:

      “Understand that the two digits of a two-digit number represent amounts of tens and ones. Understand the following as special cases:
      CCSS.Math.Content.1.NBT.B.2a 10 can be thought of as a bundle of ten ones — called a “ten.”
      CCSS.Math.Content.1.NBT.B.2b The numbers from 11 to 19 are composed of a ten and one, two, three, four, five, six, seven, eight, or nine ones.”

      Seriously? How many tax dollars were spent on education consultants to come up with these mind numbing standards?

      Back in the good old days, we had a math book and the teacher taught from it, gave homework, and tested our knowledge. What’s different now?

      Let trained professional educators have the freedom to do what they do best . We should be encouraging creativity in the classroom, not cookie cutter standardized test takers. We can see how little effect all the testing has had in South Carolina with PACT and PASS.

      1. Doug Ross

        And then there is all the wasted education time on crap like this:

        “CCSS.Math.Content.HSF-IF.C.7a Graph linear and quadratic functions and show intercepts, maxima, and minima.”

        Why? The number of people who actually would get any value out of that “knowledge” is a tiny percentage of the population. The vast majority of people learn that skill long enough to pass the test and then forget it.

        1. Rose

          I’ve gone through them, since my 7yo son is in public school, and I don’t like them. I’ve also talked with teachers who don’t like them. I don’t like the circular way subjects are taught. You don’t just have a six- week unit on a subject. You talk about A one day, then B the next day, etc., until you circle around to A again. It’s supposed to “drill down” into the subjects. They have “number molecules” and some such nonsense to teach them addition and subtraction. They’re trying to teach them WHY 2 plus 2 equals 4. IT JUST DOES!!!!!! Why not use the mathematics tables? A mathematics professor I know at USC can’t stand the way math is being taught.
          The new math they’re teaching is so confusing that the elementary schools hold workshops for parents so that they can help their kids with their homework. Parent workshops for first grade math.

          They’ve dumbed down the standards, too. My son is BORED in FIRST GRADE because he has covered a lot of this stuff already at home and in preschool.

          First graders are not learning at the same level we did at that age, and the unnecessarily complex way of teaching in Common Core just makes it worse.

          I didn’t participate in the protest. I thought it was unfortunate that the speakers we all of the tea party/conservative bent, because parental unhappiness with CC crosses party lines.

          1. barry

            ” I thought it was unfortunate that the speakers we all of the tea party/conservative bent, because parental unhappiness with CC crosses party lines”

            Really? When folks like Lee Bright are campaigning on this subject and talking about the evil government every second of the day, that you’re surprised is surprising.

            BTW- I was bored a lot in school too. Most of the time it was because I was daydreaming too much and not focusing. Most teachers will allow a child to work ahead if the parent takes the time to talk to that teacher and express concerns.

            Of course if the child isn’t doing well, and the parents chalk it up to “being bored”, then the teacher isn’t likely going to give the child more work to do.

          2. barry

            BTW- My child’s teacher does like them- in fact- his school has already implemented the standards – did it a few years ago- finalized it before this school year started. I have discussed it with her several times.

            Now, some folks want to “OUTLAW” the standards. (Real freedom of choice there, right?)

            and if I hear one more person say (or post on facebook- like Mick Zais for one) say the standards direct every child to a 4 year college education my head will explode. The standards don’t do that- it’s explicit in the standards- and even South Carolina’s Dept of Education materials specifically state they don’t do that. I am sure Mr. Zais just wants people to think that regardless of the facts).

          3. Rose


            “Really? When folks like Lee Bright are campaigning on this subject and talking about the evil government every second of the day, that you’re surprised is surprising.”

            I never said I was surprised by it. I said it was unfortunate. That was supposed to say “were” instead of “we.” I am assuredly NOT a Tea Partier.

            He’s bored because he’s finishing his work ahead of the others in his class. His teacher is not amenable to letting him work ahead, or giving him extra work, or letting me send in some extra worksheets. I have asked her to let him read while the others are finishing. Obviously, I’m dealing with more than Common Core issues. Oh, how we miss his wonderful Kindergarten teacher.

          4. Scout

            I don’t think the standards tell you what order to teach things in. The things you are reacting to might be a teacher’s interpretation/decision of how to teach what’s in the standards rather than the standard itself. I could be wrong, but I really don’t think the standards say teach A, then B, then C, then back to A. That sounds like a pacing guide (possibly a district thing) or a teacher decision.

            Perhaps your 7 year old is very precocious. If anything, the more common concern with the common core is that they are too challenging – not dumbed down.

          1. Doug Ross

            Then let them stretch their brains on something useful… like how to figure out how mortgages work.. or how the stock market works… or if all they need is brain stretching, let them do Sudoko or crossword puzzles.

            Education without a purpose is just wasting time. That covers about half of high school.

        2. Norm Ivey

          School is not only about learning what you need, but about learning what is possible. How does a kid know if they have an aptitude or an interest in such obscure activities if she is never asked to consider it?

          1. Doug Ross

            I knew by age 13 what I wanted to do and what I had an aptitude for. Spent four years of high school and four years of college taking classes that had nothing to do with those skills.

            And let’s be serious – if a kid can’t read well by 9th grade, trying to force him to graph quadratic equations is very likely an exercise in futility.

          2. barry


            Unlike Doug, I had no idea what I wanted to do until I was in college.

            I like the idea of common core standards very much. It’s serving the needs of my 2 public school boys well. My daughter (private school now) will be in public next year and I expect her to do well on them too. We will see.

  6. JoanneH

    My students came to class because they knew I was going to teach whether they were there or not… and that they’d be responsible for the material.

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