To read a more eloquent and studied version of what I’m about to say, read the expert testimony of Jim Stergios to the South Carolina legislature (above) as they studied whether to sever ties with Common Core/SBAC or stay bound.
But here’s my version:
1. We don’t need Common Core. We didn’t go seeking it. It found us in the form of a grant. We signed up without knowing what we were signing up for (the standards hadn’t been written yet, nor the test) because we wanted points. The more points, the more likely we were to win a federal grant: Race to the Top. We didn’t win but were still members of CC and SBAC unless we took specific steps to escape. Which is what we should do now. And we don’t need “expert” strangers who aren’t necessarily even experts, telling local experts what to teach kids.
2. It was never debated by the public, by teachers, or by the legislature. It snuck in under the radar claiming to be “state led” and “not a federal initiative.” Ha. Ha. Ha. Who believes that silliness? The whole thing was pushed, incentivized, and controlled in such obvious ways by the feds from the beginning. Do your homework and you will see it.
3. No cost analysis was ever done. Pioneer Institute estimates it will cost each state 16 billion over the first seven years that we implement it. That’s a heavy burden for states who struggle to make educational ends meet, who drop music and arts programs, who drop tutoring programs, who lay off teachers for economic reasons, already. Common Core proponents want to gloss over the cost. They do not want you to ask about this one.
4. It doesn’t raise all standards for all states, period. It’s been called substandard by many professors and educational experts, and by kids who’ve tried it this year. But that’s beside the point. If we stay in, we won’t have the freedom to argue about it. We’ll be cemented in to the Common Core by so many threads and ties and expenses and rules and mandates and bureaucratic waste that we will not have our freedom anymore. Importantly, (tell your teacher friends this who actually like common core standards) –it’s all in the public domain. Anything you like from Common Core, you can have. And states don’t need the CC membership to go with it and to drag our freedoms down.
5. It’s illegal. The Constitution and many other laws give education solely to states and prevent the federal government from coordinating, overseeing, directing, gathering educational data or putting educational mandates on states. This is why the federal Common Core pushers go to great lengths to get groups other than themselves to push Common Core. They pay others to do what they are forbidden to do. Nice.