Proponents of Common Core Standards (CCS), say it is a state lead, uniform set of educational standards, using “international bench marked” guidelines, by which we will be able to base our children’s progress. This would lead America to once again becoming a leader in education in the world and thereby preparing our students to be successful academically and in the workplace. So, in essence, this would give control of local academic standards to the Department of Education, (DOE) in Washington, DC.
The reality: this initiative violates Article 1 and the 10th Amendment in that “education” is not an enumerated power and the power of education rests with the people. The CCS and its adjoining requirements are funded by private special interests, including the Federal government and is endorsed by the leadership of both parties. The objective; a nationalized education system, which caters to special interest influence in the classrooms, allowing insidious data collection, while removing local control. It will provide little options for reform, and severely limit parental involvement.
Follow the money: 2007-$60 million was donated by the Gates Foundation (Microsoft) and the Eli Broad Foundation to create uniform US standards. 2008- $2.2 million given to “governors and stakeholders” to “sell” the national standards. 2008- National Governors Association (NGA), Council of Chief State School Officers (CCSSO) and Achieve, Inc. write Benchmarking for Success, the vision for Common Core. Estimated to date total of $163 million has been given by the Gates Foundation to push CCS .
Of interest, in 2008, two former Gates Foundation executives were hired by the Obama administration. Margot Rogers, after managing the foundation’s 5 year-plan education strategy, became Secretary of Education Arne Duncan’s chief of staff. James Shelton became the assistant deputy secretary at the DOE and is also heading the Office of Innovation and Improvement.
CCS was foisted upon the states during a time of economic turmoil by bribing state and local school districts. In 2009, $4.35 billion of “free” money, through the ARRA (American Recovery and Reinvestment Act) was offered to any state that agreed to sign on to Race To the Top(RTTT) grant program. RTTT awarded funds to states that “competed” for the funds and agreed to specific uniform standards, even though the standards were not yet written, nor tested.
This endeavor to push CC through was marshaled and guided primarily by 3 groups in Washington DC. None of these groups answer to state or local school boards and 2 hold the patent rights on CC. The 3 groups are Achieve, Inc., the NGA and CCSSO.
The much touted Common Core Standards, (CCS) are not “internationally benched marked” and most certainly are not state lead. They are politically driven by DC based organizations, NGA, Achieve, Inc. and CCSSO, who received funds from special interest groups to develop and implement a strategy to create national curriculum standards, (more to come). They have never been granted authority from any state to do so.
Now about those “international benchmarks”. The Validation Committee, utilizing the international benchmarks, is a committee tasked to determined what the standards will be in Common Core, in order to judge our children’s progress in school. Perhaps it best if an ELA (English, Language Arts) expert and the only Math Content expert on the Validation Committee, share their insights. By the way, they both refused to sign off on the Common Core Standards!
I encourage you to Bing them both and read other articles by them, as the information is immense.
The ELA, (English, Language, Arts) expert on the Validation Committee is Dr. Sandra Stotosky. http://www.uaedreform.org/sandra-stotsky/
She is credited with developing one of the country’s strongest sets of academic standards for K-12 students as well as the strongest academic standards and licensure tests for prospective teachers while serving as Senior Associate Commissioner in the Massachusetts Department of Education from 1999-2003. She is also nationally known for her in-depth analyses of the problems in Common Core’s English language arts standards. She is currently the Head of the Department of Education Reform at the University of Arkansas and is credited with developing in Massachusetts, one of the most rigorous ELA standards in the nation for K-12. Please copy, paste her letter of resignation to the Validation Committee entitled: Reasons for not signing off on Common Core’s final standards.
I encourage you to read the 1.5 page letter, but I will draw attention to #3; ..”No material was ever provided to the Validation Committee or to the public on the specific college readiness expectations of other leading nations in mathematics or language and literature”, and
then to #7,”Based on analyses cited above, Common Core standards are an unsound basis for the development of common assessments. Moreover, in order for test developers to develop “curriculum -based” assessments, they will essentially remove control of curriculum from the local level if not the state level.”
Now on to Stanford University’s Professor Emeritus in Mathematics, Dr. James Milgram. He is the only mathematics content expert on the Validation Committee and refused to sign off on the Common Core Math Standards. The short of it.the CC standards will hurt, not help the student.
“There are a number of extremely serious failings in Core Standards that make it premature for any state with serious hopes for improving the quality of the mathematical education of their children to adopt them. This remains true in spite of the fact that more than 35 states have already adopted them.
For example, by the end of fifth grade the material being covered in arithmetic and algebra in Core Standards is more than a year behind the early grade expectations in most high achieving countries. By the end of seventh grade Core Standards are roughly two years behind.”
But – as someone who was at the middle of overseeing the writing process – my main duty on the CCSSO Validation Committee – it became clear that the professional math community input to CCSSI was often ignored, which seemed not to be the case with the Indiana Standards.
In addition, Drs. Stotsky, Milgram and others remarked why most members of the Math and the ELA committees were NOT content experts.only testing experts. Additionally, feedback of the committees was “filtered” by 5 individuals and the members of the validation committees had “no idea “what happened to their comments once they were returned to the writers.
Members of the validation committee repeatedly asked for proof of international benchmarking; none was ever provided. No pilot programs were conducted on the standards prior to adoption and implementation by the states and most states, such as Florida, adopted the uniform standards before they were written or approved.
At the first of 3 hearings in Indiana this month, Professor of History, Terrence Moore of Hillsdale College, provided some pointed insight into what is being left out of the ELA standards; this in turn begs the question; are proponents of CCS trying to indoctrinate, to rewrite history?
“Dr. Moore noted that CCS undermines the significance of our historical documents. For example, CCS does not recommend students read and analyze the US Constitution.
Under CCS, The Federalist Papers are insignificant. Indeed, they are not even on the reading list. CCS recommends only reading the First Amendment of the Bill of Rights. Furthermore, CCS recommends students should read the Declaration of Independence but only to answer, “compare and contrast questions” not to analyze the significance of this great historical text.”
Another area of great concern in Common Core represents an incredible intrusion into our privacy, in the form of DATA MINING. There are over 400 points of private information mined such as:
Overall Health Status
Under the “old” Federal Education Rights and Privacy Act, (FERPA), student information cannot be released without prior written consent from a parent or legal guardian. Now the WHO, that the information can be released to has changed. Now;..”educational agencies and institutions are permitted to nonconsensual disclose(don’t need the parent’s permission) Personal Identifiable Information (PII) to “authorized representatives” of State and local educational authorities, the Secretary, the Attorney General of the United States, and the Comptroller General of the United States, as may be necessary in connection with the audit, evaluation, or the enforcement of Federal legal requirements related to Federal or state supported education programs.”
As parents of a 14-year-old, my wife and I are very involved in his education. We find it distressing that this unconstitutional federal intrusion is being rushed through, over a relatively short period of time and being developed without state and county input. Members of committees were handpicked by special interest groups, NOT representative of the 45 adopting states; which in essence, were bribed. How are these “state-led” reforms when the entire process to develop them exhibits an utter lack of transparency?
If our “experts” here in Florida and Brevard county, (the same ones that put us in the mess they say we are presently in), are so concerned, then why not first seek to work with those rigorously honest, competent and intelligent professionals,(teachers and parents alike) within the state and the county. Are we to assume that Floridians are unable to work out solutions for Florida; or is it just the same old ” follow the money”?
“We parents know what our children need better than a bureaucrat in DC. The expansion of the federal government into our lives threatens the long-established right of parents to direct their children’s education and confuses a proper understanding of federalism. Moreover, national standards and tests would be a one-size-fits-all approach that tends toward mediocrity and standardization, undercutting the pockets of excellence and the principle of federalism on which this nation is founded.”
C. Hamilton Boone