The official Common Core websites make the program sound good. The Department of Education promotes it. The purveyors of Common Core implementation guides make it sound magnificent. Many educators have said they support it.
At the same time, research groups, think tanks, parent groups, university professors and increasingly, more and more teachers, stand against it. So who’s to believe? How can you get to the truth?
Truth is truth, no matter what story the spinners may spin about Common Core. The repetitve use of Common Core’s favorite words, “rigorous” and “benchmarked” and “state-led” and “college ready” cannot alter reality.
But, rather than repeat myself further, and rather than to ask you to read hundreds of articles and reviews others have written, I have a new approach today.
I’m offering you an open book test.
Do the research for yourself. You will most likely find that Common core is a shaky experiment that dilutes good education, invades data privacy, robs states of autonomy, breaks the law (General Educational Provisions Act, and 10th Amendment to the Constitution) and it’s about to break the taxpaying public.
This is like one of those little craft kits you can buy at the county fair. The bulk of the work has been done for you; just put the pieces together and call it your own.
Welcome to A Common Core Open Book Test:
•Is the Common Core Initiative legal?
See: General Education Provisions Act Law (GEPA law): “No provision of any applicable program shall be construed to authorize any department, agency, officer, or employee of the United States to exercise any direction, supervision, or control over the curriculum, program of instruction, administration, or personnel of any educational institution, school, or school system, or over the selection of library resources, textbooks, or other printed or published instructional materials by any educational institution or school system” http://www.law.cornell.edu/uscode/text/20/1232g
See: U.S. Constitution- 10th Amendment: “The powers not delegated to the United States by the Constitution, nor prohibited by it to the States, are reserved to the States respectively, or to the people.” http://www.archives.gov/exhibits/charters/bill_of_rights_transcript.html
• Are the Common Core standards really un-amendable and copyrighted?
- Who are the sole developers of Common Core?
•How serious are the privacy issues involved in Common Core tests?
EPIC lawsuit against Dept of Ed. http://epic.org/apa/ferpa/default.html
Fox News http://youtu.be/wVI78lPCFfs
Reader-friendly explanation: http://www.utahnsagainstcommoncore.com/christel-swasey-responds-to-brenda-hales/
SLDS (state longitudinal database system) http://nces.ed.gov/forum/datamodel/Information/faq.aspx
UTREX grant that meshes data all the way up to feds: http://nces.ed.gov/Programs/SLDS/state.asp?stateabbr=UT (also see John Brandt’s online powerpoint, page 6).
National Data Collection Model database attributes http://nces.sifinfo.org/datamodel/eiebrowser/techview.aspx?instance=studentPostsecondary “Assurances” here:
Federal supervision, triangulation of tests (illegal under G.E.P.A. law) http://www2.ed.gov/programs/racetothetop-assessment/sbac-cooperative-agreement.pdf
•Are the Common Core math and English standards themselves helping or hurting education for kids?
- Has a budget been created or a cost analysis been done?
•Has Common Core been led by states or by the federal government?
http://www.utahnsagainstcommoncore.com/the-common-core-lie/ (less readable but provides links to prove it was not state led)
See the Race to the Top grant – federal incentivization of Common Core: http://www.google.com/url?sa=t&rct=j&q=&esrc=s&frm=1&source=web&cd=1&ved=0CDIQFjAA&url=http%3A%2F%2Fwww.schools.utah.gov%2Farra%2FUses%2FUtah-Race-to-the-Top-Application.aspx&ei=PSQDUaKkLvCWyAGb8YDACw&usg=AFQjCNFk2icoHCsO-TViXtbkFHJQWizg5Q&sig2=4re2ypxeoPF7RuhE00opug&bvm=bv.41524429,d.aWc (page 28 Utah agreed to Common Core in this federal document before public or legislative vetting had taken place)
- How can states escape?
— —- —-
Finally, a motives check:
Ask yourself: who are the people standing against the Common Core? Are they gaining financially from it? Well, I am one of the fighters, and I’m not gaining. I receive not a penny, nor ever will, for this work. I deliberately reject offers of ads on this blog, so that readers can –I hope– trust it as a labor of love from a parent and teacher, and not a labor of personal gain. Why spend hundreds of hours writing to legislators, school boards, parents and members of the media to fight against Common Core’s continued implementation?
Next, ask yourself this: why do many of the loudest proponents of Common Core never reference their claims? They claim grandeur for these standards, but nothing is verified, nothing is solid. Also, many proponents happen to be corporations that are making a lot of money to implement texts and tools for the Common Core. (Bill Gates’ Microsoft. The Pearson company’s lobbyists and Pearson company’s CEA Sir Michael Barber. Even the national PTA received $2 million from Gates to promote Common Core.) And lastly, ask yourself this: why is there no transparency or clarity, and why the secretive meetings, of the CCSSO –the developers of the standards; and why is there no amendment process for a principal, parent or teacher who sees a problem with these national standards?