You Had Me At Unconstitutional.   12 comments

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All over the internet, all over Facebook, and not just in America we see problems with Common Core –confusing math, twisted worksheets, stressful high-stakes tests. They’re troubling. But what about the blatant unconstitutionality of the system itself?

This week’s striking op-ed by Michael Lotfi at BenSwann.com and Alyson Williams’ recent speech at a debate in Utah (posted here) each make the point that commentary about Common Core should end when we realize it is unconstitutional!

Lotfi writes:

“We cannot oppose Common Core because it does not align with our values. We must oppose it because it violates this country’s principles. The pundits, journalists, etc. who report and commentate on Common Core only serve to further the disease. The commentary should end at Common Core being unconstitutional because it is not an explicit power delegated to Congress and therefore the Tenth Amendment is remedy.

Say Common Core was struck down because of the values it teaches, but was kept in place with neutral, or conservative values. Again, many would applaud this as victory. However, you’ve only picked off the flower of the weed, which has roots growing ever deeper through the soil. This is no victory. For it is only a matter of time until someone strikes at the values again and replaces them with their own, thus growing the flower back.”

Williams says:

“My opposition to the way we’ve adopted Common Core (and the rest of the education reforms introduced in the Stimulus) is not just about the education of my children, it is about the type of government I hope my children will inherit when they have children of their own. I believe we can set high standards for math and English without circumventing, stretching, or ignoring the high standards for self government that have made our nation unique in all the history of the world. This is the Constitution of the United States of America.”

How is Common Core unconstitutional?

1. IT LACKS A REPRESENTATIVE AMENDMENT PROCESS. If the Common Core Initiative was in harmony with the Constitution, it would be amendable by those governed by it. You and I would have a voice. But it’s only amendable by the NGA/CCSSO, according to their own words and website. They claim: “The Standards are intended to be a living work: as new and
better evidence emerges, the Standards will be revised.” Revised by whom? Again, from the official Common Core site: (their caps, not mine) “ANY USE OF THE COMMON CORE STATE STANDARDS OTHER THAN AS AUTHORIZED UNDER THIS LICENSE OR COPYRIGHT LAW IS PROHIBITED. ANY PERSON WHO EXERCISES ANY RIGHTS TO THE COMMON CORE STATE STANDARDS THEREBY ACCEPTS AND AGREES TO BE BOUND BY THE TERMS… NGA Center/CCSSO shall be acknowledged as the sole owners and developers of the Common Core State Standards, and no claims to the contrary shall be made.”

2. IT LACKS CHECKS AND BALANCES. The use of checks and balances was designed to make it difficult for a minority of people to control the government and to restrain the government itself. If the Common Core Initiative– a nationalized system of standards, aligned tests, data collection and teacher accountability measures promoted federally– if this initiative were in harmony with the Constitution, it would not be held in the power of a minority of the people (of the NGA/CCSSO and of the Dept. of Ed which is partnered with CCSSO). It would have been vetted prior to implementation by the proper means outlined in the Constitution– but it wasn’t. As Alyson Williams points out, “There is no such thing in the U.S. Constitution as a council of governors… Governors working together to jointly address issues and create rules that affect the whole nation is not a legitimate alternative to Congress, our national representative body.”

3. IT LACKS AUTHORITY. If the Common Core Initiative was in harmony with the Constitution, it would have been born legitimately: but its only “authority” is the unprecedented assigning of money to the discretion of the Education Secretary without proper congressional oversight. From that Stimulus money came the State Fiscal Stabilization Fund and the Race to the Top grant programs that enabled the Department of Ed to get away with setting up their own, experimental rules for us to follow in exchange for the money – rules that normally would be determined by the States alone.

4. IT ALTERS THE LIMITS OF FEDERAL POWER. If the Common Core Initiative was in harmony with the Constitution, it would not be admitted even by its most notorious proponent, Secretary of Education Arne Duncan, to alter the traditionally limited role of the federal government.

Duncan said, in his 2010 “Vision of Education Reform” speech: “Our vision of reform takes account of the fact that, in several respects, the governance of education in the United States is unusual. Traditionally, the federal government in the U.S. has had a limited role in education policy… The Obama administration has sought to fundamentally shift the federal role, so that the Department is doing much more… the Recovery Act created additional competitive funding like the high-visibility $4.35 billion Race to the Top program and the $650 million Investing in Innovation Fund… America is now in the midst of a “quiet revolution” in school reform… In March of 2009, President Obama called on the nation’s governors and state school chiefs to develop standards and assessments… Virtually everyone thought the president was dreaming. But today, 37 states and the District of Columbia have already chosen to adopt the new state-crafted Common Core standards in math and English. Not studying it, not thinking about it, not issuing a white paper—they have actually done it.”

Common Core governance is a slap in the face to the work of the Founding Fathers.

Yes, we should rightly be shuddering at the math disasters and the high-stakes tests, should be gasping at the lack of any cost analysis to taxpayers, and at the privacy-robbing aspects of the Common Core agenda. But these arguments are secondary to the hairiest of the reform devils, the destruction of individual liberty.

“I don’t know how you feel, my brethren and sisters, but I’d rather be dead than to lose my liberty…” – Ezra Taft Benson, 1952.

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12 responses to “You Had Me At Unconstitutional.

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  1. Reblogged this on American Individual and commented:
    In a previous post I presented my observation that implementation of Common Core State Standards, a federally driven education reform could and should be stopped. “It may not be too late to put an end to the threat of full implementation of Common Core, but doing so will require an upwelling of individuals standing up against our massive government and its wealth of influential partners . . .”

    Thankfully, citizens across the country are speaking out their exigent opposition to Common Core. Individuals are contacting their state and local governments, they are speaking out individually, and they are forming and joining organizations ardently advocating an agreed upon goal; stopping Common Core and reducing federal government power over education to levels consistent with those set forth in the Constitution.

    Existence of this uprising owes thanks to many parents, teachers, and concerned citizens who not only continue to fight battles against Common Core but aim to educate other parents, teachers, and concerned citizens about its implications and damaging effects to the fabric of American society. One such group of parents in Utah continues to present facts and developments of interest that are relevant on a national scale. Their blog, “Common Core: Education Without Representation,” continues to present information including personal accounts, research, and events surrounding various aspects of Common Core.

    Have a look at their latest post, “You Had Me at Unconstitutional.”

  2. Pingback: You Had Me At Unconstitutional. | American Individual

  3. NGA/CCSSO, according to their own words and website. They claim: “The Standards are intended to be a living work: as new and
    better evidence emerges, the Standards will be revised.” This is classic Hegelian Dialectic. Problem – Reaction – Solution

  4. Pingback: You Had Me At Unconstitutional #stopcommoncore #commoncore | Stop Common Core Illinois

  5. Reblogged this on Maryland Values Educational Excellence and commented:
    The three ladies who have compiles the information at the wordpress blog What is Common Core have done a bang up job. I’ve been reblogigg many of their articles here on the MVEE website so the folks I meet and speak to at forums have a single source that includes Maryland news on Common Core and other problematic education programs in Maryland.

  6. Pingback: School Counselors Required to Push Common Core | COMMON CORE

  7. Pingback: 40 Questions for Common Core Debaters | COMMON CORE

  8. Pingback: The Latest Fed-Ed Assault on Local Control: Mandatory Preschool and Principals’ Re-Education Programs | COMMON CORE

  9. Pingback: Outsmarting the Language of Common Core | COMMON CORE

  10. Pingback: Passed: Utah County Republican Resolution Against Common Core | COMMON CORE

  11. Pingback: Has Your School Adopted All-Year-Round Common Core Testing? | COMMON CORE

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