Collier County School Board District 2 candidate Louise Penta continues to engage in a campaign about the issues, focusing heavily on eliminating Common Core and the troubling trends with the Department of Education.
Penta has been calling for local school districts to take control of education from the federal government. She would like to see the local school districts operate on the education system with involved parents, engaged teachers, and school administrators.
She recently wrote a letter documenting the issues with Common Core and why our education system should eliminate it and implement a classical system of education. The entirety of the letter is below:
COMMON CORE vs CLASSICAL EDUCATION
“With the implementation of Common Core by the federal government in 2009, education in our schools across America was forever changed. What once used to be taught our children, no longer is part of their education. Items eliminated from the curriculum such as phonics, cursive writing, good literature, basic math skills, grammar and punctuation are no longer taught. Clearly Washington bureaucrats and politicians do not know what is best for our kids. The federal authorities need to step out of our schools and give control back to parents and the locally elected school board.
Common core was produced to teach all kids the same information and method across the board, one standard education implemented in all the schools in our nation. It is known as an education of equity, which conveys certain attitudes and behaviors. We know that all kids do not learn alike, so how was this philosophical phenomenon going to work and improve our education system? If truth be told, it does not work and our schools, for the most part have declined in reading and math skills steadily since the implementation began, along with metrics.
The preparation of our children for a global community through Common Core has failed. Teaching that surrounds itself with global warming, economic systems and indoctrination to become well rounded, college and career ready students has not materialized. With the current statistics of 24% of our children college ready after completion of 12th grade with 54% proficient in reading and 60% proficient in math, the numbers speak for themselves. Common Core has failed at a huge taxpayer expense and the dumbing down of our kids. We are using our children, the future leaders of our nation, as guinea pigs; this nonsense has to stop.
In the current Collier County school board race several of my opponents say Common Core does not exist in our schools. I beg to differ — it is alive and well. Renamed the Next Generation Sunshine State Standards, it is the same animal just in a different skin. Federal intrusion into our classrooms needs to stop. The current structure of classrooms and the teaching schedule is stringent in time and content.
There is no time to repeat a segment if a child doesn’t get it, the class moves on; spontaneity, open dialog and discussion have been practically removed in most classrooms.
Teachers are programmed to cover the same lesson plans across the board; originality and fun in learning is obsolete. Teaching to the test is the norm; rigor and standards have been lowered; scores are curved so all students do not “feel” they are failing. Why is it that over 60% of college freshman need remedial classes and over 1 million kids drop out of high school each year?
Parents have no voice about what their children are taught. Elected school board members along with Department of Education administrators do not pay attention to parents. The Federal government deliberately uses our tax dollars to put themselves in control of our children’s education, at our expense. What happen to “by the people, for the people and of the people”?
Classical education, as I refer to it, was the teaching of the 3 R’s– reading, writing and ‘rithmatic. It was taught with the use of true facts. Starting with phonics at an early age, proceeded by reading good literature, learning history of our great nation exactly as it occurred, exploring what the Constitution meant to the development of our country, sequential math and science based on reasoning. These were the basic building blocks of all other learning, which occurred from K to 12. Children were taught HOW to think, not WHAT to think. The basic premise of this type of well-rounded education was to create an individual who could take care of himself.
Students understood scripture, science, history, math, reading and writing, were tested on their knowledge through nationally normed tests such as the Iowa Basic or the SAT. Teachers controlled their own classrooms, used teaching skills, creativity, organization and class management to promote learning, discussion and debate among their students that made learning impactful and successful. We need to create humanity in school for all teachers and students. Leave the cell phones at home; if we must have electronic devices then keep them turned off and collected in a safe place while class is in session.
Let’s give our kids what’s best, return to a traditional, fundamental education preparing them for the global world in a way that will make them the outstanding leaders of tomorrow, which we desperately need.”
About Louise Penta
Louise Penta grew up in the Boston area, where she raised her own family. A full-time resident of Naples since 1999, she has fully invested herself in the community. Through various events in the last six years alone, she has helped raise more than $7 million to fund education programs. The Women’s Foundation of Collier County honored her as a Woman of Initiative in 2016. Penta’s personal mentoring of a number of local children has resulted in each advancing to the college level. To learn more about Louise Penta, visit www.louisepenta.com.