Ham presented this paper at the BPS Community Forum meeting on Common Core, 9-12-2013; held at the BPS Viera complex, .
It should go without saying, but warrants repeating; that no one has a greater right than the parents to determine what is best for their child. The Common Core State Standards 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 CCSS and its adjoining requirements are funded by private special interests, the Federal government. CCSS is about control by the federal government and a few national organizations who believe they will be the ones to operate this new machinery.
FOLLOW THE MONEY
Common Core State Standards are not state lead; they are .. GATES lead: $147.9 million to promote CCSS.
The four principal organizations associated with CCSS– NGA, CCSSO(Council for Chief State School Officers), Achieve, and Student Achievement Partners– have accepted millions from the Bill Gates Foundation to promote Common Core. In fact, prior to CCSS “completion” in June 2009, Gates had paid millions to NGA, CCSSO, and Achieve, and the millions keep flowing.
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 (Common Core), even though the standards were not yet written, nor tested. CCS has never been granted authority from any state to do so. States could also be denied NCLB waivers if they chose not to sign the grant.
The CCS Validation Committee is the committee tasked with deciding what the final Common Core standards will be. The foremost ELA (English, Language Arts) expert and the only Math Content expert on the Validation Committee and 3 other experts refused to sign off on the Common Core Standards!. There reasons were never published by CCSI.
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 most states, such as Florida, adopted the uniform standards before they were even written or much less approved.
The ELA, (English, Language, Arts) expert on the Validation Committee is Dr. Sandra Stotosky. While serving as Senior Associate Commissioner in the Massachusetts Department of Education from 1999-2003, she is recognized for developing one of the country’s strongest ELA standards for K-12 students, and solid academic standards and licensure tests for prospective teachers. Currently, she is the Head of the Department of Education Reform at the University of Arkansas.
The only Mathematics Content expert on the Validation committee, Stanford University’s Professor Emeritus in Mathematics, Dr. James Milgram has said, Quote-“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 were 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 handpicked individuals, while the members of the validation committee had “no idea “what happened to their comments once they were returned to the writers.
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 could not be released without prior written consent from a parent or legal guardian. Now the WHO, that the information can be released to has changed. Quote: “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, like a lot of parents, 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, cost unknown and developed without parent, state and county input. Members of committees were handpicked by special interest groups, NOT representative of the 45 adopting states. 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; I think not!
C Hamilton Boone
The philosophy of the classroom for one generation will be the philosophy of the government in the next.