Originally published at the Virginia Free Citizen. Reprinted by permission
Article 3 in a series on Common Core
In Article 1, What’s the Big Deal about Common Core State Standards? and Article 2, How Did We Get From the ‘Greatest Generation’ to Common Core? we talked about the sales pitch for CC; the fact that Virginia opted out of CCSS, because its own SOLs were better; who developed the standards; and the fact that a Traditional Education appears to be better than anything we have had since. Plus, you now know that the United Nations has influenced our lives and education.
State officials signed onto CCSS when their education bank accounts were running low and major cuts had to be made to education budgets. Race-to-The-Top (RTTT) money ($4.35 billion) was the irresistible candy offered by our federal government for states to adopt the Standards. Also, Bill and Melinda Gates Foundation has given multi-millions of dollars to groups like Achieve, Inc., National Governors Organization, Counsel of Chief School Officers, and others to develop and implement the Standards. Gates Foundation also brought the National PTA on board with CCSS with a gift of $1 million. Isn’t the PTA’s job to know what good education is and to look out for the best interests of our children’s education? But, this is just another example of money doing the talking.
Unfortunately, state officials signed onto the Standards before they even knew what the they contained—sort of reminds me of Obamacare and “sign the bill so that we know what’s in it.” As Dr. Phil would say, “How’s that working for you?”
Now, after accepting federal money, many of the committed states are trying to back out of Common Core.
Lesson to be learned: With federal money comes federal “requirements” called mandates.
RTTT wasn’t any different; it asked for state reforms, such as adopting standards and assessments that prepare students for college, training a workforce and competing in a global economy, instigating a student-data-mining system, developing and rewarding teachers and principals, and turning around low-achieving schools. (see RTT Index) Does this sound like the federal government wasn’t involved in the standards, as many would like you to believe?
At least half of the states are now trying to “fix” their CCSS mess, either by trying to repeal the Standards, putting a moratorium on them, or renaming them and claiming them as their state’s own standards. A few governors have written Executive Orders stating their state will not accept national standards; but, the next thing you know CCSS has been accepted as those state’s own standards. In some states, the House might pass a bill against CCSS, but the Senate doesn’t, or it may be the reverse. And, of all things, would you believe some people in Tennessee even want to re-assert their right to run their own schools? It looks like a lot of the typical government games are being played while they learn a hard lesson that maybe they should have known what they signed up for, before taking the money.
“Name game: Amid opposition, states change title of Common Core” Fox News
“Georgia Legislature Suddenly Switches from Repeal of Common Core to Its Implementation” Breitbart
“Oklahoma State House Passes Common Core Repeal, Derailed in Senate Breitbart
“Tennessee Votes to Weaken Common Core” Patriots Billboard
“Connecticut to Pay $1 Million to Promote Common Core” EagNews
Indiana is a prime example of what is happening. First the headline came out that Indiana had backed out of the Common Core. Soon afterwards, another headline was “Indiana Replaces Common Core . . . With Common Core.”
For more information on what the individual states are doing for legislation, check out:
Common Core Legislation Round-Up Truth in American Education
That brings us to the fact that the U.S. Chamber of Commerce and the Business Roundtable have started an ad blitz promoting Common Core in order to counteract the flood of complaints against CC from both the Left and the Right. They are airing some of the ads on Fox News, a station that some consider to be a more conservative news channel. (Big Business Launches Common Core Ad Targeting ‘Skeptical’ Republicans) I imagine the strategy being to convince conservative-minded folks that the Standards are not as bad as some people are saying they are.
At the beginning of the U.S. Chamber of Commerce video, you will hear how bad our education is. Yes, our student performance has been pretty much stagnant since 1970. A number of education reforms, including Outcome-Based Education, have come and failed for decades. Check out the Cato Institute chart on student performance and enrollment versus money and employees added to education over the years. (Public School Spending. “Officials” vs. “Some Critics”..Cato )
After the sad tale about education in the U. S., the people in the video will tell you how wonderful CCSS is, even though it was never tested before implementation and is not internationally benchmarked. Several of the speakers in the video/ad are actually high-ranking officials of the Chamber of Commerce. Is there a reason that they are promoting CCSS? Could it be, because the Gates Foundation has given the U. S. Chamber of Commerce $1,383, 041, “to lead the effort to engage and educate state chambers to support Common Core State Standards” under the “Topic: Global Policy & Advocacy”?
Also, on the video, supporting the Standards is the president of the National PTA. Remember, earlier you learned that the National PTA received $1 Million from the Gates Foundation. Are you beginning to see a pattern here?
In the video/ad, Former Arkansas Governor, Mike Huckabee supports Common Core. He is “considering a 2016 presidential bid,” so has changed his mind about CC and no longer supports the Standards.
The Home School Defense League Association (HSDLA) folks have just released a movie to counteract the propaganda of the U.S. Chamber of Commerce and the Business Roundtable ad blitz. The HSDLA movie was not made to promote home schooling. People like Dr. Sandra Stotsky, Professor Emeritus, Department of English, at the University of Arkansas, and Dr. James Milgram, Professor Emeritus, Department of Mathematics at Stanford University, who were actually on the CCSS Validation Committee and who would not sign off on the Standards tell the truth about the issues with CC. There are others like Dr. Ze’ve Wurman, who served on the California Academic Content Standards Commission and who has been a U.S. Department of Education official, who share first-hand information about the Standards. They and others debunk the sales pitch and more about CC. It is well worth the 40 minutes that it takes to watch it.
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