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By Renée Smith | j&R Tutoring Academy of Indiana

 Since we know that a lot of people are no longer reading newspapers, I wonder how influential they are. I realize that many read online, but I suspect that is for sports scores or similar items.

When I log on, which I do several times a day, the headlines of the day always pop right up. The majority of the headlines are not about issues that affect our daily lives. Out of curiosity, I just logged on to my email account. Six of the ten “trending” items as of 2:40 pm on Friday, April 26, 2013 involved celebrities!

My local paper this morning printed an editorial supporting the Common Core Standards, and a letter to the editor from the president of the state chamber of commerce espousing the same. The editorial suggested “dire” consequences if they were not implemented. Additionally the people or groups who have dared to suggest that we pause and do further research before implementation were called very derogatory names.

Both TV and radio now broadcast ads urging listeners to support Common Core. If the Common Core Standards are so great, why is it necessary to spend so much money convincing people?

My concern with these examples is that I wonder who is paying attention? If you get the majority of your news from the Internet, then you probably won’t even know what changes are being implemented in your local schools until after the fact.

If you do pay attention to the main stream media, then you will get the idea that only those people who want schools to fail our children would be against these new standards or any other new idea.

Some in our nation have assumed an odd posture when promoting a new idea. Anyone who is against it is automatically labeled with the most vile, printable adjectives imagined! These labels are often offered before any opposition is stated.

Isn’t this what bullies do? They challenge you, challenge your character, and call you names to prevent you from opposing them. And none of us want to be perceived as not “caring.”

In the meantime academics hundreds of miles away are making curriculum decisions that will determine what your child learns in school, and when they are supposed to learn it.

Last week j&R Tutoring Academy sponsored a vendor table at a “Just Between Friends” consignment sale. In my numerous conversations with parents I did not talk to one who thinks all the standardized tests and the required standards are a good idea!! (Stay tuned – much more about tests to come!)

About two weeks ago a CNN anchor was featured in a weekend spot about educational funding. She said that parents needed to get over the idea that children belonged only to them! She went on to say that the children belonged to everyone. I have paraphrased her comments, but I have not changed what she said.

If you are not paying attention to educational issues, then decisions about your child’s future are being made by people you do not know and will never meet.