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Ken Van Doren | August 01. 2013 | 3:13 pm
In Wisconsin there is a rising tide of opposition to Common Core “State” Standards. Several states have decided NOT to use CCSS testing, one or two have dropped out, and others are beginning to join the protest. The Lt. Governor of North Carolina wrote a long and detailed list of questions regarding CCSS, its formation and history.
With the upcoming National Governors Association meeting in Milwaukee, that would seem an opportune time to correct a previous mistake by NGA, namely, endorsing and funding Common Core “State” Standards. Here are some red flags showing Common Core is rotten to the core.
CCSS essentially federalizes education, and actions taken by the Federal Education Department are in violation of the 10th amendment and at least 3 federal laws. Further, it grossly undermines local and state control. The federal government-funded CCSS every step of the way, gave a very significant preference to states that promised CCSS compliance in order to get NCLB waivers and “Race To the Top” money, and requires CCSS participation, yet still claims the standards are voluntary and that they were state developed.
CCSS has not been adequately field tested, and early results from those few places that it has been are not encouraging. If CCSS is the failure that we predict, it will fail nation-wide.
CCSS requires at least 85% compliance with its standards by contract, making it very inflexible. In education as in other endeavors, one size does not fit all. We need to individualize and create critical thinkers.
CCSS represents a top down, centralized planning model that has failed every other time it has been tried. CCSS proponents even want to ensnare private and home schools by making college admissions tests CCSS compliant. Indeed, David Coleman who was a driving force behind CCSS is now CEO of College Board, the corporation that administers the SAT test.
In every other segment of the economy, COMPETITION tends to make things better. Because it will limit both competition and innovation, CCSS will greatly reduce the opportunity to excel. Why even have private or home schools if they must use the same (failed) methods and materials as public schools? To make education homogeneous is likely to reduce, not increase its quality.
CCSS subject matter is not age-appropriate. It asks young children questions that many are not mentally developed enough to answer. This will lead to frustration and before first grade, we could have a majority of children hating school. This is hardly the path to greater achievement.
Common Core tests include psychometric questions. Part of the argument in favor of CCSS is that the student can be targeted for re-testing, until he gets it right. Is this to apply to attitudes, inclinations and beliefs as well as hard academic questions? The last thing we want is some government/school agent crawling around inside the heads of our young folks. It seems very clear that “psychologizing” schools has not necessarily added to the mental health of students.
As if the mere testing were not intrusive enough, look at the following pictures gleaned from an article on the US Department of Education website. Note that being poked and prodded and wired as suggested below is likely to make many students feel like lab rats, making them resentful, and making it likely they will rebel. None of this is conducive to real education, but appears to be consistent with an attempt to obsessively control our minds. (http://www.ed.gov/edblogs/technology/files/2013/02/OET-Draft-Grit-Report-2-17-13.pdf see pages 62 & 63 of pdf for pictures and associated comments)
CCSS requires a data base that violates our privacy and is very intrusive. A NCES sample database has more than 400 data points, but could easily be expanded to 4000. Included are pick up and drop off times and places for each student on bus routes. This information should be shared by NO ONE but the transportation director of the school. It is none of the schools’ business where parents work, what their social security numbers are, their health histories, voting histories, and maybe even “attitudes, inclinations and beliefs” of the parents themselves. Given the recent scandals involving media intimidation by the current presidential administration, the IRS and NSA scandals, it is not too far fetched to be concerned about how this data bank may be used as a political tool by this and future federal administrations. Moreover, the Federal Department of Education recently rewrote rules in violation of the FERPA Act passed by congress, which intended to protect student and family information. The fact that this information is to be shared on an individually identifiable basis with almost any bureaucrat and numerous corporations only heightens our concerns. In fact, the whole of CCSS seems to suit the purposes of corporate America more than the needs of our nation’s students. Privacy and freedom itself are at risk if CCSS is not stopped.
Please note the mountain of evidence against CCSS was very much abbreviated in order to keep the length of this message manageable. Again, we urge you to take this information, find more if you need to, and act against Common Core by proposing resolutions to defund and rescind NGA endorsements of CCSS. We also encourage you to fight against Common Core in your state legislature.
Given who helped design and implement CCSS, and given the available materials that claim compliance, we can expect it to be even more oriented toward collectivism, even socialism, and would promotion of international government. CCSS is likely to undermine our constitution, national sovereignty, individual rights and free enterprise.