Common Core – Developmentally Inappropriate

August 9, 2013 at 5:00 am / by

About Macey France

Oregon PolitiChick Macey France is co-founder of the Stop Common Core in Oregon and is working with parents across the state to educate and help them to learn how to advocate for their children's education.… More

If there’s one thing that almost everyone can agree on, even some Common Core supporters, it is that most of the Common Core standards are developmentally inappropriate.

I remember learning about the Etruscans when I was in the 9th grade. To this day I couldn’t tell you what they did or who they were because it was so boring I could barely keep from nodding off while writing the report and pray I didn’t get the uncontrollable giggles when I gave my presentation.

So when I discovered this Common Core lesson on Early World Civilizations and began to read up on the things being taught in the unit, imagine my surprise when I discovered this lesson was for 1st grade. Yes, you read that right, FIRST grade. Six year olds will be asked to do the following:

Explain the significance of the Code of Hammurabi;

Explain the significance of gods/goddesses, ziggurats, temples, and priests in Mesopotamia;

Describe key components of a civilization.

Those are only three of the eighty one (81!) things that your 6 year old should know at the end of this “ELA Domain.” And none of them have anything to do with the actual mechanics of reading and writing.

This particular lesson was taken from EngageNY, an organization created by the New York State Education Department to provide Common Core-aligned educational resources among other things.

Now I will ask you: Where are the foundations that are taught in first grade English Language Arts? Where are the principles of sentence structure, punctuation, or spelling? Where are the fundamentals of story structure? Beginning, middle and end.

In the first grade most kids still take two lines to write their names and only get the first two or three letters on that first line and have to continue with the rest of their name on subsequent lines.

And don’t worry; the standards are only in English Language Arts and Math. Never mind the small piece of information that people seem to gloss over when saying that science and social studies are going to be addressed through the ELA.

Not only is this subject and lesson completely and wildly age inappropriate and boring for little children it is the perfect example of the way these standards will use English Language Arts to indoctrinate.

Under the cover of ELA the supporters who seek to push their own political agenda can have children reading documents about climate change, same sex marriage, and other political firestorms, slowly indoctrinating them to the bias of these pieces.

And to boot, not only are these standards developmentally inappropriate education wise, they are emotionally inappropriate! Many of the lessons in one Common Core suggested ELA book are emotionally manipulative and instruct small kids to learn to use very emotionally charged words like “demand” and “nag.” It encourages kids to disrespect their parents and in doing so, I believe, try to separate them from that parent.

Little children in the first grade will be conditioned and learning all about age inappropriate things. And when do they learn the real stuff? What about the stuff that gets you through just about every aspect of daily life?

Basic grammatical skills will get you more in real life than knowing what components make up a civilization.

I will even posit that if you have a Facebook account you should at least be literate enough to know the difference between your and you’re; their, there and they’re. I’m sure you know someone who is not familiar with these basics. Recall how hard it is to read a status update when someone doesn’t have the primary set of skills to properly convey their message in writing. Now imagine that same hot mess on a job application or a resume. Or even worse, imagine these people being in charge of educating the next generation.

When do we learn these things if not in the very early primary grades? The foundational skills of reading, spelling, sight words and grammar have got to be laid before we venture into early civilizations. They need to be laid before we even venture into chapter books!

When this lesson was put forth in a very large group of teachers every single one said, “Oh, that’s a mistake. They didn’t mean to label it as first grade. That is surely, at least, a sixth grade topic.”

My first thought when I saw this lesson was that I am sure glad I don’t live in New York. My second thought was that it doesn’t matter because these are national standards, so it very well could come here. My third thought was, to my horror, when my fear was realized. A teacher I know told me that, indeed, this lesson was proudly shown off to our little town’s educational professionals. I live in a small town all the way across the country from New York. Nationalization of education sure is fun, isn’t it? If we can teach first graders about early civilization, surely we can find someone to create a sarcasm font, no?

Look how smart your first grader will be! They will know all about Mesopotamia! They won’t know how to spell their name or write a sentence, but by golly, they will know about early civilizations!

It makes you wonder what kind of “high minded” people wrote these standards. Oh wait. We know who wrote them. And it wasn’t actual teachers.

I just can’t wait until the day that I’m in my 80’s and I ask a younger person what time it is. They’ll give me the rundown on how to build a watch, but they won’t know how to tell time.

I look forward to sharing with you the math standards. If this article didn’t scare you, that one will.

Like this article? Share it!    Share on Facebook827Tweet about this on Twitter0Google+8Email to someonePrint this page


Macey France

Oregon PolitiChick Macey France is co-founder of the Stop Common Core in Oregon and is working with parents across the state to educate and help them to learn how to advocate for their children's education. Macey has spoken at many Common Core informational meetings across the state of Oregon. Macey’s articles on Common Core have been picked up by various news outlets and she has been a guest on many radio shows across the nation. Macey’s article about The Bluest Eye was featured on a panel on Al Jazeera America and was nominated for a CPAC Blogger Award for Best Sunlight Post of 2013. Macey is a strong conservative with libertarian leanings, making her more of a "conservatarian." Preserving the constitutional and moral values of that this great nation was founded on for her children is her priority. She is a stay at home mom of two boys who are now in elementary school. As a mom who has always been interested in politics, religion and all of the taboo subjects, she has always had a lot to say about the state of the nation. When she realized the Common Core Standards were not only bad news for children but a government coup over education, she decided to fight back and is now considered one of the nation's leading experts on all-things-Common Core. When she's not having uncomfortable arguments with strangers on Facebook she can be found spending time with her husband of 15 years and two sons. Find Macey France on Facebook and Twitter: @MaceyFrancePC

Read all posts by Macey France
Posting Policy
We have no tolerance for comments containing violence, racism, vulgarity, profanity, all caps, or discourteous behavior. Thank you for partnering with us to maintain a courteous and useful public environment where we can engage in reasonable discourse. Read more.


  1. TopAssistant says:

    Obama is linking Common Core and the Muslim Brothehrood in America!
    MUSLIM BROTHERHOOD GROUP TO CONNECT ALL U.S. SCHOOLS’ Partners with State, Education departments on international initiative Published: 01/23/2013 at 8:40 PM AARON KLEIN About | Email | Archive
    JERUSALEM – A Muslim Brotherhood-linked organization has partnered with the U.S. Department of Education and the State Department to facilitate an online program aiming to connect all U.S. schools with classrooms abroad by 2016.
    Vartan Gregorian, a board member of the organization, the Qatar Foundation
    International, was appointed in 2009 to President Obama’s White House
    Fellowships Commission.
    WND previously exposed that Gregorian served as a
    point man in granting $49.2 million in startup capital to an education-reform
    project founded by former Weather Underground terrorist William Ayers and
    chaired by Obama.
    Documentation shows Gregorian was central in Ayers’
    recruitment of Obama to serve as the first chairman of the project, the Chicago
    Annenberg Challenge – a job in which Obama worked closely on a regular basis
    with Ayers…..[SNIP]

  2. John Dougherty says:

    I think you miss the bigger picture. Sure, Common Core is about indoctrination, but more importantly, these standards are made to ensure that after a little exposure to this educational malpractice, most children will be taught to hate reading and learning. That way, they should never be able find their way out of the progressive trap.

    • Macey says:

      Believe me Mr. Dougerty, I’m in full agreement with you. This is only one small take on a HUGE topic. I plan on taking them all on.

  3. S. D. Coburn says:

    It’s not the topics but the expectations that are inappropriate. I homeschooled four children for many years, and there was a span of 11 years from the oldest to the youngest. History-based unit studies were at the core of our lessons. There was a cycle. Ancient Civilizations/Greece/Rome, the Middle Ages, Renaissance/Reformation/Exploration, and Modern Times. We studied the lives of real people who lived in those times. Lessons involved reading real books, both fiction and non-fiction, out loud to all the children then each doing separate reading, writing and activities. Some activities included all the children. Some activities we did were hosting a medieval feast and inviting friends, building sandcastles while studying real castles, and making “Grecian” urns. It was fun for all of them.

    If we were discussing something like the Code of Hammurabi, we would have discussed why we need rules and laws. We might have discussed in very simple terms for younger ones what makes a good law. Older kids would have to know in greater detail the significance of the Code of Hammurabi and would probably have written a report or an essay on it. As our lessons were Christian-based, we would discuss the ultimate Source of authority. With older children, we might have discussed if it is ever right to disobey a bad rule or law, which might have lead to a discussion on Rosa Parks, Martin Luther King, or Ghandi.

    While spelling and math were studied separately, we incorporated writing and reading into the unit, along with science, arts, and sometimes math. History and social sciences were always my least favorite subjects when I was in school, but my kids loved it.

    Life changed for us, and I had to place my younger two children into public school when they were in sixth and third grades. These children who had never been in a traditional classroom and had not even used many traditional textbooks were immediately moved to gifted programs, where they remain four years later. When they encounter something in a textbook that doesn’t seem right, they will question it. We taught them how to learn, not what to think, and it serves them well.

    The difference is I was free to tailor their lessons and activities to their individual interests, learning styles, and abilities. Learning was fluid, flexible and creative. That is the antithesis of the Common Core. The Common Core sets rigid standards which all children of a particular grade are supposed to reach. Reading the standards is like reading tax code. It limits not only what and how teachers can teach, but sets the standard of how textbooks are written. Teachers must spend their time documenting how their lesson plans meet standards. Between that and maintaining discipline, what time is left to teach? It is bound to discourage teachers whose fundamental desire is to inspire children to learn and reach their highest potential.

    Inspiring learning and helping kids reach their highest potential is not the goal of the Common Core. That is the most inappropriate thing of all.

    • Stephanie Snyder Staker says:

      Can you tell me where you learned about Common Core and the standards, etc.? My daughter got a real indoctrination at “back to school night” for my 7th grade granddaughter…all about how excited the teachers are, teaches them critical thinking, etc. I really need FACTS. Thanks to anyone who can help.

      • S. D. Coburn says:

        Here are the standards.

        You will probably find additional information specific to your state on a state or district website.

        Take a look at the standards, and you’ll see why I compare them to the tax code. This is very evident in textbook publication. In order to sell textbooks to the widest audience, publishers have to be certain that every single element is specifically addressed. It creates serious limitations on what can be included and what must not be excluded, how an assessment question is formed, what passages will help meet the standards. Passages that make it easiest for teachers to meet the standards may not be the most engaging or most well-written. Those things become secondary to the standards.

        Teachers can teach well using the standards, but it will take a lot of effort and creativity on their parts. I don’t believe the standards will do anything to improve education in this country. If you want excellence in education, you need skilled and passionate teachers, students who are eager to learn, a learning environment that promotes study and exploration, and a home where education is promoted and prized. The standards do nothing to address the serious issues in today’s classrooms.

    • MargieAtPolitiChicks says:

      Can you take over homeschooling my kids, please? I’m old and tired and you sound like a hell of a teacher!

  4. Elseebee says:

    Somehow I missed the boat when I was teaching 1st grade- I only taught handwriting, reading, math, basic science and social studies principles. I never realized how IMPORTANT Mesopotamia is to 6 yr olds! But of course they would want to study that culture! What, little Susie, where’s Mesopotamia today? Well, sweetie. it doesn’t exist anymore. If we look at the map today we’ll see it’s a place called “Iraq”. What’s that? Oh, yes, all good Americans need to learn about Mesopotamia- it’s the basis of our “new” government!

  5. Joseph C Moore USN Ret says:

    Nice new word: conservatarian. As a long term conservative, constitutional libertarian, I approve of the term

    • ateacher says:

      I am a teacher and now we are asked to ask questions, not teach facts! This is to help us reach the “common core standards’ coming down the pike. My question to the person leading the inservice was”When do we get to finally tell them the correct answer? Or does the correct answer not matter? We are supposed to work on getting THEM to figure out the answer for themselves. It take a LOT of time to do this with every fact they need to learn in a schoolyear! It looks to me a lot like the post modern thought that truth does not matter–which is soooo incorrect! People these days don’t care about the truth and these young people will not either using this method of learning.

      • Joseph C Moore USN Ret says:

        I majored in education at the two schools I went to in the early 50′s but was drafted and never taught in public schools. From what I have seen of public “education”, you are entirely correct. I applaud you for your concern for our children.

    • MargieAtPolitiChicks says:

      I agree! I’ve been calling myself a conservative libertarian. I might have to change that!

  6. MATNC says:

    I live in NC my grandchildren go to school here. The other day I a little ditty from children praising common core. This is pure indoctrination plain and simple. I don’t understand why some parents are not up in arms about this. Some mothers told their children at the end of this past school year do not pick up your pencils for this common core test. Unless and until parents get more involved in this. We the people are being attacked everyday. Our liberty’s are being taken away by big government daily. Yet where are the people? We have Freedom Works, Tea Party’s and Patriot networks working on these things. More people NEED to be involved. These uninvolved people will be the ones to stand and ask What the hell happened? By not paying attention you deserve what you get. If you don’t fight for your liberty and freedom you are directly responsible.

  7. Michael Shreve says:

    NOTHING about Common Core ENHANCES education.

  8. Stephanie Snyder Staker says:

    Thank you @S. D. Coburn for the links. Very helpful.

  9. Danielle Dent-Breen says:

    Thank you for this post. I have linked to your page on my blog post today on the dangers of the Common Core.

Leave a Comment


— required *

— required *