What Thomas Jefferson wrote matters: government gets its power “from the consent of the governed.”
Without the consent of the people who are being told what to do, there is not a good or free government, but a system of subtle (or not-so-subtle) oppression.
Common Core is a system of oppression, by this definition. How? Because parents, teachers, and state legislators have never given consent or been asked to vote on Common Core; in fact, the standards were set in concrete without any amendment process available, under copyright by the National Governors’ Association (a trade group that does not include all governors). http://www.corestandards.org/public-license Yet, we all are being made to take on Common Core, whether we know what it is, whether we like it, whether it makes legal, educational, financial sense to us –or not.
Common Core is not Constitutional.
It violates the major provisions of the Constitution, including: the principle of representation; separation of powers with checks and balances; limited powers of the government, and sovereignty of the people (not of elites)– each of these principles is trampled by Common Core and its sister, the new FERPA student privacy law alterations.
True, adopting Common Core was voluntary for Governors and state school boards, initially, and true, it was not initiated by the Dept. of Education –but states’ adoption was strongly incentivized, financially and with the offer of NCLB waivers, by the Dept. of Education. And it is controlled by the Department of Education, which also controls the testing consortia.
Ezra Taft Benson explained how unconstitutional agencies operate. This explanation applies precisely to the unconstitutional program of Common Core –of federalized education and tests. He said:
“What many fail to realize is that most of these federal agencies are unconstitutional. Why are they unconstitutional? They are unconstitutional because they concentrate the functions of the legislative, executive, and judicial branches under one head. They have, in other words, power to make rulings, enforce rulings, and adjudicate penalties when rulings are violated. They are unconstitutional because they represent an assumption of power not delegated to the executive branch by the people. They are also unconstitutional because the people have no power to recall administrative agency personnel by their vote.”
When America created a Department of Education, it also created a law to make sure the agency didn’t overstep the reasons it was created. This is called G.E.P.A. law, the General Educational Provisions Act. G.E.P.A. says this:
“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.”
But the Common Core Initiative ignores this. The Department of Education coerces (“directs, supervises and controls”) the “choice” of states’ adoption of the standards; it controls the two consortia’s testing systems micro-management style; http://www2.ed.gov/programs/racetothetop-assessment/sbac-cooperative-agreement.pdf and it finances Common Core above any other educational initiative states might want to create (for example, via high-stakes grants such as Race to the Top, Race to the Top for Assessments and via the NCLB waiver/ESEA Flexibility request, etc.)
J. Reuben Clark wrote this about the Constitution’s protective gift to us:
“It gave us, for perhaps the first time in all history, a republic with the three basic divisions of government– the Legislative, Executive, and Jucidial– mutually and completely independent, the one from the other, under which it is not possible for any branch of government legally to set up a system by which that branch can first conceive what it wants to do, then make a law ordering its doing and then, itself, judge its own enforcement of its own law, a system that has always brougth extortion, oppression, intimidation, tyranny, despotism– a system that every dictator has employed and must employ.” (Improvement Era, July 1940, p. 443; qtd in The Constitution, a Heavenly Banner, by Ezra T. Benson)
Thus, the Executive Branch (The Department of Education) has illegally set up Common Core, according to the supreme law of the land, the Constitution. Also, the Department of Education illegally broke G.E.P.A. law. Not only that, the Department of Education went behind Congress’ back to change FERPA privacy regulations six months ago, to enable Common Core tests to be accessed without parental consent, creating the very system described as illegal in the quote by J. Reuben Clark above.