BYU Professor Ed Carter is an expert on copyright. I called him to learn more about what it means to have our Utah educational standards under copyright by the NGA (National Governor’s Association) and the CCSSO (Council of Chief State School Officers).
So, how bound are we?
Professor Carter made it clear that his was not professional legal advice, nor was it any official statement from BYU.
He said it appeared to him that the NGA/CCSSO copyright on the Common Core State Standards (CCSS) is a smokescreen.
Smokescreen – an action intended to obscure, conceal or confuse.
Smokescreen – a mass of dense artificial smoke used to conceal military areas or operations.
Because governments cannot copyright things (this was news to me) the Dept. of Education not only couldn’t legally write national standards under GEPA law* and the Constitution (I knew that part) but the Dept. of Education could not copyright standards, either.
So it’s getting clearer and clearer. The only way the Dept of ED could do this nationalization of education and yank local autonomy out of our hands –and appear sort of legal about it– was to promote Common Core via other groups. –And they have: Achieve, NGA, CCSSO, Bill Gates– all nongovernmental groups– have written, promoted and paid for the Common Core.
The really odd part is that on the official Common Core website there’s a copyright page that says nobody better claim to have written these standards. Yet, we’ve all been told that Common Core is a “state-led” initiative, with no federal strings attached, and the states themselves got together and wrote the standards. Hmmmm. Compare: “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.” http://www.corestandards.org/public-license
No, the NGA/CCSSO cannot force us to obey the national standards. They just developed them and copyrighted them, but of course, since we didn’t elect them, we have no way to change the standards nor the administrators over them.
Simultaneously, the Dept. of Education promoted the standards and even went so far as to say states can’t delete anything from the CCSS national standards, and are limited in adding anything to them beyond 15%. The Dept. of Education can enforce this obedience to the copyright through coercion. They fund grants and offer waivers that can only be received on conditions of accepting the Common Core standards.
But there is a loophole!
I’ve been writing letters, begging our Governor and other state leaders to use that loophole. It’s not complicated; Virginia did it. They chose option 2 rather than option 1. See:
On page 8 of the ESEA Flexibility document (updated June 7, 2012) found at http://www.ed.gov/esea/flexibility, it says: “A State’s college- and career-ready standards must be either (1) standards that are common to a significant number of States; or (2) standards that are approved by a State network of institutions of higher education”.
Same thing appears on the official ED website: http://www.ed.gov/race-top/district-competition/definitions.
They define “college- and career-ready standards: Content standards for kindergarten through 12th grade that build towards college- and career-ready graduation requirements (as defined in this document) by the time of high school graduation. A State’s college- and career-ready standards must be either (1) standards that are common to a significant number of States; or (2) standards that are approved by a State network of institutions of higher education, which must certify that students who meet the standards will not need remedial course work at the postsecondary level.”
Here’s my question. The ESEA flexibility request window shuts down Sept. 6, 2012. Does this mean we have to resubmit our waiver request before then, or lose the option of doing loophole option 2 forever? I do not know the answer to this question. It seems incredibly important and I sure hope our state leaders are on it.
* 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…
A friend just sent me this link. It’s sad.
But it explains a lot. It explains why Professor David Wiley is so passionately pro-common core, so defensive of the USOE and of the Dept. of Education’s terrible FERPA alterations that empowered the Common Core Initiative, and why he does not want to read past the first link on my rebuttal to the USOE’s statement written last week by Brenda Hales.
So, on page 25 of Utah’s ESEA Flexibility Request (the No Child Left Behind waiver) it talks about Professor D. Wiley. It says:
“Utah is a leader in developing and utilizing digital resources. For example, the USOE has entered into a partnership with Dr. David Wiley, an associate professor at Brigham Young University and a Senior Fellow for Open Education with Digital Promise, to research, develop and implement technologies that transform reaching and learning. The USOE staff, LEA and Higher Ed experts, and Dr. Wiley are working to develop online digital e-books that will be based on open-source materials. They will be available in a hybrid format for all Utah students. Teachers can use the digital or inexpensive print format (five dollars per book or less) to deliver instructional material to learners. Dr. Wiley is leading a successful pilot of open-sources science textbooks in Utah classrooms. By next fall, e-books based on Utah Core Standards [Common Core National Standards] will be available for secondary language arts and mathematics. The mathematics e-books will facilitate our transition to an integrated high school math model while the language arts e-books will contain heavier emphasis on content literacy and oral argumentative writing. [Notice, no classic literature or narrative writing because it's slashed under Common Core rules.] Digital resources are a key to designing and using highly relevant and responsive curriculum to Utah’s students. We also have a working relationship with Apple, use ITunes U and work with the Utah Education Network to provide resources aligned with the Standards. All of this can be found on the various content websites and linked to our CCSS website http://www.schools.utah.gov/core/. “
…I still do not think badly of Professor Wiley.
Nor of Brenda Hales. Nor of my own local school board. Why?
I don’t think they get it. I do not believe they are deliberately, knowingly selling out our kids and our privacy rights. They lack motivation to study it out and think about all the possible repercussions because their jobs and their egos hinge on their work for Common Core implementation in Utah.
Also, I am pretty sure these people don’t know what the Constitution’s about. They take for granted that it will be there to protect us, even while they act against its principles, by each step they take for Utah/America, toward more and more socialist/communist styled programs.
In case you forgot: The Constitution says that the people are the sovereign; not a consortium, and not a federal Department of anything. It says that separation of powers, that checks & balances idea, is the safeguard of rights; allowing the feds so much power over us is abusing the Constitution. It says the powers granted to the 3 branches are LIMITED, on purpose to never concentrate or centralize power but to keep it spread out in each locality; it outlines the principle of representation, which Common Core laughs at. There is no representation where there is no amendability of standards or of tests.)
And because these people, our Utah education system leaders, have not been valiant in detecting the problems brought by Common Core, such as detecting the subtle, powerful seeping away of control over education, and parental consent, and lost privacy rights; because they have not recognized it, and therefore have not stood up to it, the encroachments of Arne Duncan and his gang at the Department of Education increase.
Yes, we are in a terrible place, teetering on the verge of not being able to get out. We have lost many and are losing more and more liberties and rights of education and of privacy.
And David Wiley and the Utah State Office of Education are fine with it.
Rod Arquette hosts national education experts: James Gass of Pioneer Institute, Emmett McGroarty of American Principals Project, Bill Evers of Hoover Institute at Stanford, and Kent Talbert, D.C. lawyer and former counsel to Department of Education. Photo taken the day before the public forum in Salt Lake City.
On July 10th, 2012, a public forum was held where Jamie Gass, Bill Evers, Kent Talbert and Emmett McGroarty, four national education experts, taught evidenced facts to the public concering Common Core. A press release about the forum upset Brenda Hales, a USOE administrator, who then posted a statement on the Utah Public Education website giving the official line of the USOE on Common Core.
Brenda Hales, Utah State Office of Education
I decided to provide a referenced rebuttal to challenge her statement. You can read at http://www.utahnsagainstcommoncore.com/christel-swasey-responds-to-brenda-hales/ . (You can read Brenda’s post as well so you can see what’s being said by the USOE.) The Utahns Against Common Core website posted both the USOE’s statement and my rebuttal.
Dr. David Wiley, pro-Common Core professor
Next, comments were sent in on one aspect of the Common Core debate, privacy issues, by BYU Professor David Wiley. The purpose of this blog post is to record his comments and my responses to his responses so readers may determine for themselves what they feel is right.