Archive for the ‘cost analysis’ Tag

Study the Common Core Money War   4 comments

This week’s Politico article entitled “The Common Core Money War” made me snort. While the authors admitted that the Gates Foundation has spent almost 200 million pushing Common Core on the masses, they asserted that opponents of Common Core (that would be people like me) are “backed by an array of organizations with multimillion dollar budgets.”

Not very funny. Not very true.

I am an example of the opposition to Common Core. I may be just one mom/teacher/voice against Common Core. But I can testify that I have never received a penny for any of my work against Common Core, and neither have my friends in this battle.

We spend countless hours researching government documents and attending boring school board meetings, write hundreds and hundreds of blog articles based on hours of research; plead with legislators and our governor; speak to groups and to the media. Our “stop common core” work is very tightly sandwiched time, budgeted between teaching school, changing diapers, doing laundry, being wives and mothers and church people.

We don’t sleep a lot and our houses aren’t all that tidy. We do this because it MUST BE DONE.

We are protecting our children and our Constitution. This is the only reason we work so hard.

We lose money in this fight; we pay for all our photocopies and the gas in our cars to drive to give speeches all over Utah. Notice: the reason there are no donate buttons on this blog, and the reason I haven’t paid WordPress the $100 they charge to get rid of their ads at the bottom of my page, the reason I don’t choose to accept ads or to make money off this blog is simple: I think I would lose credibility if this became a paid job for me. I think I would watch my words too carefully, be too careful of who I might offend, be afraid to speak out of my heart, be afraid to quote religious leaders or business leaders. WordPress is the only entity making money off my anti-common core fight.

There may be salaried folk at FreedomWorks or some of the think tanks that are against Common Core, but none of them are paid off by the conflict-of-interest, Microsoft-owning, Pearson-partnering Leviathan of all Grantmaking, Bill Gates.

And almost all of the Common Core proponents are paid by Gates. Follow the money trail: National PTA: paid by Gates to advocate. Harvard: paid by Gates to advocate. Jeb Bush: Paid by Gates to advocate. National Governors’ Association and Council of Chief State School Officers: Paid by Gates to develop and advocate for the Common Core.

But Politico is right about one thing: there is definitely a Common Core Money War going on. Lots of people ARE GETTING SO RICH because of the Common Core gold rush.

Just today in the Salt Lake City paper, Deseret News, I saw this little doozy: Companies are announcing plans to bring over a thousand new jobs to Utah. Guess what almost all of them are? Common Core jobs. Jobs that are Common Core dependent.

The article states: “The School Improvement Network provides tools and resources to educators to help them improve their teaching ability and meet the needs of all students. Over the 10-year life of the agreement, the company will pay out more than $5.9 million in new state wages… School Improvement Network will pay more than $15 million in new state taxes and invest more than $10 million in capital expansion at the Utah-based offices….’Utah is increasingly known as the emerging Wall Street of the West,’ Gov. Gary Herbert said. “The opening of the new office by Indus Valley Partners demonstrates the capabilities of Utah’s educated and hardworking workforce'”

Governor Herbert is more concerned with Utah making money by using Common Core technologies and Common Core sales products than he is concerned with making sure we haven’t been sold snake oil. But we have.

The Governor’s never done a cost analysis on Common Core although he promised us in a face to face meeting that he would.

He’s never looked into the fact that Common Core is an unpiloted experiment on children that throws out time-tested classical education and local control of education in favor of a collective notion of federally supervised and funded tests and standards.

I don’t care how much money Common Core implementation could make for our state. So could legalizing gambling, prostitution and drugs. It’s so wrong.

Common Core’s an academic scam, a prime example of –in Dr. Chris Tienken’s words– dataless decisionmaking. It’s a crime against the Constitutional right to determine education locally. Its tests are a robbery of student privacy and student time.
Read more: http://www.politico.com/story/2013/09/education-common-core-standards-schools-96964.html#ixzz2fG7XltoA

Stop Common Core.

ALABAMA DEBATES COMMON CORE WITHDRAWAL THIS WEEK   Leave a comment

 

This is a huge week for educational liberty and for the future quality of education in Alabama.  Other states are watching breathlessly.

The AL legislature will listen to testimony from both sides of the argument and will decide whether or not to pass SB 190.  If passed, the bill would:

  • prohibit implementation of Common Core;
  • prohibit state bodies from compiling/sharing data about students or teachers except under limited circumstances;
  • prohibit the State Board of Education from ceding control to an entity outside the state; and
  • require notice and public hearings before the State Board of Education adopts or implements any statewide standards.

 

This is such a good and important bill –for reasons that are academic, financial and constitutional.

Yet, Alabama’s pro-common core superintendent fears that Alabama will be “an island” if the state votes to withdraw from Common Core.

An island of educational freedom in a nation of now mostly fettered states– is bad thing?

An island of potentially high educational standards that could soar beyond the unpiloted experiment called Common Core– that’s a bad thing?

An island of educational solvency, no longer under mandate to implement the costly and unwanted technologies demanded by Common Core– also a bad thing?

Both the pro- and anti- Common Core groups cite detrimental effects on the economy and on the children’s academic achievements as reasons to implement –or to drop– Common Core.  Only the pro-common core side cites a fear of being isolated.

I’ll bet there were people in the 1700’s who feared withdrawing from Great Britain’s rule over the American colonies for the same reason.  There are always those who would prefer to risk dying like a lemming than to stand independently.

My questions to the AL superintendent would be:

How bad was it before, when we were “isolated,” before the advent of Common Core?  Were we unable to work collaboratively with other states before?  If not, what prevents us from working with others now?  We don’t have to be fettered to others to collaborate with the best they have to offer.

What Alabama –or any state– would be isolated from, would be great things to skip out on:  skip the unpiloted experiment, skip the micromanagement of state education data by the federal testing/data collection system; skip “standards” mandates coming forth from secret closed-door meetings of the CCSSO (the Council of Chief State School Officers, FYI, is a group that, along with whomever Bill Gates pays to join his agenda– created, and continues to create, the federally-promoted common standards.)

Many people across the nation are praying for Alabama this week.  We are praying that those who study this issue look at the whole issue and all of its intended and unintended consequences.

It is not enough to study common core on academic points, although they are in trouble on their own; the Common Core initiative hurts the states it touches in many ways– in academics, in finances, in constitutionality, and in the ability to have any voice in future decisions over local education.

 

Why is Senator William Ligon Running a Bill to Withdraw Georgia from Common Core?   1 comment

Why is GA Senator William Ligon running the Georgia bill to withdraw from Common Core?

 

From the Senator: http://www.senatorligon.com/newsroom.html

  • There is no reason to usurp the constitutional rights of Georgia’s citizens to control the educational standards of this state.
  • Common Core State Standards were developed behind closed doors and are owned and copyrighted by unaccountable third parties in Washington, D.C.
  • These standards were never vetted by the people of Georgia in an open, accountable process.
  • Terms of the grant forbid the state from changing the standards or even adding content that exceeds the threshold of 15 percent.
  • General Assembly has not received a cost analysis for implementation, and long-term maintenance, of the terms of the grant.
  • The Georgia General Assembly must hold the Department of Education accountable for decisions that affect not only the education of our children but the pocketbook of our taxpayers.
  • Our students and our teachers will be in a federal straight-jacket, and our school districts will be at the mercy of national and international vendors making money off this federal program.

Common Core Usurping Local and State Control of Education

Capitol Update:  by Senator William Ligon (R- Brunswick)

It was an honor this past week to host the visit of the former Texas Commissioner of Education, Robert Scott. I invited him to Georgia to meet with Governor Nathan Deal, our State School Superintendent, Dr. John Barge, the Senate and House Education members, the Republican leadership, and other members of the Georgia General Assembly. Sen. Lindsey TippIns, Chairman of the Senate Education Committee also extended an invitation for Scott to address the Joint Meeting of the House and Senate Education Committees before a standing-room only crowd on Wednesday afternoon.

As background, Scott, as the Texas Commissioner of Education, advised Governor Rick Perry to avoid the Race to the Top federal grant competition, with its requirement that the State adopt the Common Core State Standards. I wanted our leaders to understand his reasoning because I believe Gov. Perry made the right choice to keep Texas independent of the mandates of the grant and this federal focus to create uniform curriculum standards across the nation.

As most educators in my district have known for a while, Georgia’s former Governor, Sonny Perdue, and our former State School Superintendent, Kathy Cox, committed our state to the Race to the Top competition. This agenda never went before the Georgia Legislature and thus bypassed the voice of the people. Race to the Top is currently driving all school districts into “one-size-fits-all” curriculum standards in math and English language arts. Our students and our teachers will be in a federal straight-jacket, and our school districts will be at the mercy of national and international vendors making money off this latest federal program.

During Scott’s visit at the Capitol, he explained that the Common Core State Standards were developed behind closed doors and that they are owned and copyrighted by unaccountable third parties in Washington, D.C. These standards were never vetted by the people of Georgia in an open, accountable process, and the terms of the grant forbid the state from changing the standards or even adding content that exceeds the threshold of 15 percent.

Scott explained that the State of Texas was wooed by the federal government with a promise of $700 million to sign onto Race to the Top and Common Core. However, after his calculations, he realized that scrapping his state’s current standards and implementing the terms of the grant would cost between $2.5 to $3 billion. In his eyes, it was a sorry trade to shackle Texas to federal mandates, rob Texas citizens of their right to control education standards, and then stick taxpayers with a bill of at least $2 billion to make up the difference. To add insult to injury, that amount did not include the ongoing maintenance of the system for the years ahead beyond the four years of the grant.

Here in Georgia, though we are receiving $400 million in federal funds over a four-year period, the General Assembly has not received a cost analysis for implementation, and long-term maintenance, of the terms of the grant. The Georgia General Assembly must hold the Department of Education accountable for these types of decisions that affect not only the education of our children but the pocketbook of our taxpayers.

Further, the accompanying tests, developed by the Partnership for Assessment of Readiness for College and Careers, known as the PARCC national testing consortium, will create such testing demands that this will probably become better known as No Child Left Behind on steroids. Scott informed us that the PARCC will cost approximately $30 to $37 per student, in comparison to Georgia’s current costs of between $5 to $10 per student. These estimates do not take into account the additional technology, both in hardware and bandwidth, that will be required at the local level for online testing.

The bottom line is that the people of Georgia pay over $13 billion in state and local taxes for K-12 education (every year). There is no reason that a $400 million federal grant (over four years) should usurp the constitutional rights of Georgia’s citizens to control the educational standards of this state.

———-

Reposted from Senator Ligon’s website: http://www.senatorligon.com/newsroom.html

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