Kokomo Tribune; Kokomo, Indiana

September 23, 2013

Letters to the Editor: Sept. 23, 2013

Kokomo Tribune

---- — Become informed about common core

Despite the media blackout on one of the most fundamental changes to our country, parents and families are learning, to their horror, that new regulations will wrest control of their children’s future into the hands of ideologues and activists; and I’m not talking about health care.

Common Core is an idea that has been struggling in the minds of socialists since the 40s. Its basis centralizes control of a “national” curriculum, making it nearly impossible for local communities to have a say in what their children are being taught.

Standards, which are set to a national average, are actually lower than educational standards in Indiana. Two members of the Common Core Validation Committee refused to sign off of the standards because they put our students two years behind high-performing countries by eighth grade and leave our children unprepared for entrance into a four-year university. They both testified to the legislature that Indiana should reject Common Core. Students in Indiana would actually be educated less under the common core program.

Once the public started gaining knowledge about this debacle, people began to rise up against it. They began to see what a threat this could be to Hoosier youth.

In response, Indiana House representatives passed House Bill 1427, which charged the Indiana State Legislature with evaluating the new Common Core Standards and made a recommendation to the State Board of Education who must re-vote on whether Indiana will keep or abandon the standards by 2014. There was no rush, right? The future of Hoosier kids were in danger for the next generation.

However, State Legislators like Rep. Mike Karickhoff of House District 30 did something you wouldn’t think a good Republican would do. He voted against the bill.

Why would anyone rush through legislation where States can’t change or delete any of the standards as private organizations hold a copyright on them? We can add 15 percent to the content, but that won’t be covered on proposed new national tests.

It’s time to become informed about common core. It’s time to hold our representatives responsible for implementing liberal ideology. Anyone with questions and concerns can attend the common core summit Saturday, September 28, from 10 a.m. to 12 p.m. at the First Church of the Nazarene 3101 N Benton Road, Muncie. Heather Crossin and Erin Tuttle will discuss Common Core in a panel discussion joined by Dr. Brad Oliver of Indiana Wesleyan University, a newly-appointed member of the Indiana State Board of Education.

Patrick Cloward, Peru

Let’s leave ag-gag proposal in the dust

Earlier this year, the Indiana General Assembly debated a bill that would have made it illegal to take pictures or videos on farms and factories without owner consent. At a time when Americans are growing increasingly conscientious of where our food comes from, why would Indiana consider legislation to deprive us of our basic right to know how our food is produced?

Fortunately, the General Assembly had the good sense to reject this so-called “ag-gag” bill in April, but ag-gag may be back. This week, a study committee will meet to discuss the merits of legislation that offers special protections to industrial agriculture by criminalizing the documentation of abuse.

The food we choose to eat is a very personal decision. I find the idea of our government stepping in to dictate what we can and can’t know about our food’s origins to be disturbing and, frankly, anti-American. I hope Senator Jim Buck of Kokomo, one of four legislators on this committee, feels the same and urges his fellow committee members to leave ag-gag in the dust.

Carol J. Schlotterbeck, Kokomo