Hi guys! A few weeks ago Vanessa posted something about how she could see her kids getting dumber as they did their common core math homework, and boy did it ever spark a lot of conversation. We decided we better do a post on this controversial subject matter, so I turned to one person I know who keeps themselves well-versed in this matter, my cousin Keilani.
This is such a HUGE subject that we have broken it into more digestible pieces.
Common Core – Part 1
When my cousin asked me to write some information about common core for her blog, I blithely said yes. Then I sat down and tried to determine where to start and oh my! Many educational tie-ins are often called common core, though they technically are not. However, I called them tie-ins for a reason. They are indeed tied-in to common core through a variety of threats and bribes, and are adopted along with common core.
Think of this whole thing as a spider web. Lots of different spokes radiating outward, connected to other spokes here and there. One plan coming from the same source, but being distributed through multiple sources to appear to be different than it is.
I am going to give a lot of information and because I don’t want this to run to pages and pages, it will be short. I would be happy for you to contact me if there is something I say that you would like references for. Final disclaimer, I am speaking from an Idaho perspective. Our consortium is the CCSSO and we use the SBAC test. You may be from the NASBE consortium and use the PARCC test. Your state may be implementing differently.
However, at the “core” it’s all the same. At the bottom of this pile is Bill Gates, a progressive liberal agenda toward nationalized education, and a progressive think tank called Achieve, Inc. If you go to Bill Gates charitable website and look up donations titled “college ready” and then start scrolling backward, you will see that he has been putting this plan in place for years and years and has spent countless millions on it. He has stated in various forums that he has a goal to change education throughout the US and then the world. However, he doesn’t care that everyone has a different idea of what education means and how it should be accomplished, just that everyone eventually adopt his view of a one size fits all (think Windows) approach to education, designed to create a labor pool and provide a valuable market to those who design education curriculum and especially education software.
It would be very helpful if you Googled Marc Tucker Hillary Clinton Letter and then read it. It’s a letter that outlines a change in our educational system, includes testing starting in 3rd grade and then funneling students into the education/training channels that the tests suggest they should follow. Using labor boards to determine who goes to college, to determine who receives technical training, and to determine where everyone works. Its a grand design to guarantee everyone has a job, no more unemployment, no more homeless (because they all have jobs) and everyone will be educated in the manner that scientific testing determines they should be educated. It’s very similar to the education system in China (I’ll come back to the issues with China’s system later). It removes all individual choice and parent control and puts government determined boards and testing in control of what your child should learn and do for a career.
Years ago, Achieve individually approached the various governors of all the states and suggested this great plan. What if the governors and state education superintendents got together and worked out common state standards? This approach was low key, and very purposeful. We have federal laws in place designed to protect state autonomy in education. They specifically prohibit a national education system. They prohibit a national test. They very specifically reserve parent rights to privacy for their child and to determine education for their child. They prohibit national education and student data bases and reserve education autonomy to the states.
So how does someone get around that? They encourage the states to get together and “voluntarily” come up with common standards. They plan a huge convention and all the governors and state superintendents come together voluntarily and agree to start nationalizing education. At the same time, President Obama announces his Race to the Top plan. (Announced at the end of Dec. when states legislatures are out, and due to be turned in to the DOE in January, before state legislators can see or vote on it.) States will compete for federal education money. They compete on a point system and
among other things, they get points for:
- Being part of the largest group of states to agree to common standards
- Building a state longitudinal data system (data collection on over 400 points of information) that will follow students from preschool thru college and employment, and make this information available to other states, politicians, unions, trade organizations, researchers, curriculum publishers, and anyone else they call a “stakeholder”.
- Agreeing to a test that all the states in the consortium will take.
Additionally, the secretary of education, Arne Duncan, “redefines” FERPA, the law specifically designed to protect parent rights and student privacy. Though it can not legally be changed without an act of congress, he does it anyway and no one says anything. He changes the meaning of stakeholder to be basically anyone who can show a reason why they should have access to this valuable (and private) information. Now, the longitudinal data can be collected and disbursed without any parent notice and without parent consent even when they do know and forbid it. Parents no long have the
right to decide what information about their child and family is publicly available.
This is the true beginning of Common Core.
Wow, I know that is a lot to take in, but there is so so much more. Keilani is putting together a list of references that we can email out to anyone interested. We will post more information in parts so that you can understand what it is, what the standards are, what it means for your children’s education and autonomy, and lastly what you can do about it. Thank you Keilani!