So What Is Common Core? Fact Sheet with Links to Evidence   Leave a comment

 

 

Utah schools began to use Common Core (CC) standards this year.  Utah will have implemented all CCSS federal standards and SBAC tests, fully controlled by the federal government, by 2015. (http://www2.ed.gov/programs/racetothetop-assessment/sbac-cooperative-agreement.pdf)   Utah has committed to billions in new CC spending that competes with Utah’s already-stretched educational budget to implement the mandates of CC and its testing arm, the SBAC (Smarter Balanced Assessment Consortium). http://www.pioneerinstitute.org/pdf/120222_CCSSICost.pdf 

 

There is a small window of opportunity to guarantee educational freedom now; we can still sever ties with Common Core and the SBAC. http://www.utahsrepublic.org/proof-utah-is-on-the-hook-with-sbac/ Later, our state will be too financially and federally entangled to withdraw.  Although Utah’s sovereign right to educate is guaranteed by the Constitution, the initiative threatens that sovereignty and has slipped into being under most people’s radar.  It came in the form of a grant application (Utah didn’t get the money). Utah’s still bound to the RTTT grant conditions via CC’s testing arm, which we’d joined at the time we applied for the Race To The Top grant.) http://www.sde.ct.gov/sde/lib/sde/pdf/arra/sbac_narrative.pdf

 

Facts:

  • There      is intense pressure to agree with Common Core Initiative among educators.  School Board applicants must take a      survey before the State Board selects a pool of candidates. The survey      asks: “Do you support Common Core?”  No one with a differing view can be      elected. 
  • No cost      analysis was done.      The USOE legal team claims, “I believe a cost analysis was done,”      but it has not.  The      Congressional Budget Office was not asked to do an analysis. Asking would      point out that this was not a state-led initiative. An independent think      tank’s cost analysis: http://www.pioneerinstitute.org/pdf/120222_CCSSICost.pdf 
  • No      educational analysis has been done. How does Utah retain power to raise educational      standards in the future? (If ideas do not align lockstep with federal      Common Core Standards (CCSS), states under CC must submit to federal      agendas. Also, USOE’s website fails to explain that the current Utah Core      will be invalidated by CCSS federal standards when testing begins.
  • Utah      Legislators were left out of the loop: legislators are asked to allocate taxes to      support CCI and SBAC, but they were never appraised of budgetary demands      nor of the cost to freedom.
  • CC      comes with SBAC (testing arm) membership and student privacy loss. Both academic and      psychometric data is to be collected and shared (triangulated) across      consortia and with the Executive Branch (U.S. Dept. of Education).  This is clearly evidenced in the      “Cooperative Agreement between the U.S. DOE and the SBAC” http://www2.ed.gov/programs/racetothetop-assessment/sbac-cooperative-agreement.pdf
  • There      is no amendment process      to disagree with the federal CCSS that Utah is contracted to teach. The USOE      lawyer’s response? “Why would      there need to be?  The whole point      is to get to a place where there is a ‘common core’ – that would mean the      same standards for all the states that adopt it.  If the states had the freedom to ‘disagree’      and ‘change’ them, I guess they would no longer be ‘common’.”

 

This is key:  the USOE lawyer realizes Utah has ceded our sovereignty and freedom.  She,  like most CC-proponents, value being common more than she values Utah being sovereign. Educational standards are meaningless without political freedom.  Utah has agreed to “possibly-better-possibly-worse” standards, and has signed on to a system that will not allow us to choose for ourselves to ever raise them higher or amend them.

Please contact the State School Board, the Governor and Superintendent of Schools and ask them to sever ties with CCI and SBAC. 

Any good that came from CCI implementation this year is in the academic public domain, and we can keep it.  

Uphold educational sovereignty in Utah.

Posted April 11, 2012 by Christel Swasey in Uncategorized

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