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Tuesday, March 27, 2012

Reasons to Get Out of the Common Core Initiative and SBAC

Here are links to some resources if you are wondering whether Common Core and the SBAC are more complicated than they seem, and about more federal political agendas than the good of the school children.

Governor Nikki Haley of South Carolina
Senator Michael Fair of South Carolina
Cato Institute
The Pioneer Institute
The Heritage Foundation
A teacher against the common core:
and, here's more from The American Principles Project :

1.  It's not state-led.
"The fed. gov't did not create Common Core, but neither did the states. The "state-led" claim is marketing, not reality. CC was created under the National Governors Association (a trade group that does not include all governors) and the Council of Chief State School Officers. They contracted with Achieve, Inc., a nonprofit in DC, to write the standards. Achieve worked through the same people that have been pushing a national curriculum. States had little or no input.

Even though the feds didn't create CC, they are incentvizing/coercing states to accept it, and Duncan is in a big panic now that the some states are balking:

2. Whoever is paying for the tests will control the tests

 The primary avenue through which the feds will control this going forward is the assessments, which are still being drafted by SBAC and PARCC. The feds are funding the assessments to the tune of $350 million. Whoever is paying for the tests will control the tests, and even CC proponents admit that what's on the tests will control what's taught in the classroom. (Under CC, a state may add 15% content to any subject area, but that additional content will not be on the tests -- so no teacher will spend much, if any, time on it. And the state may not subtract anything from CC -- it must accept CC word for word.) The result: a national curriculum, whether they call it that or not. The argument that the standards will not affect curriculum is ludicrous -- the whole point of standards is to affect curriculum.

3.  Sounds like GROUPTHINK.  Take a step back and see the bigger picture in what the feds are doing. This plan isn't an education model; it's a workforce model. The progressive dream is to have a national curriculum that trains children to fill specific jobs in the workforce, and to track each student from preschool through career to see how all the gov't programs are working. This plan requires collecting and disseminating reams of data on students, which the feds are orchestrating through Race to the Top, the Stimulus bill, etc. See

It also may explain some of the more troubling aspects of the CC standards, such as the de-emphasis on teaching literature in favor of teaching "informational texts." After all, Bill Gates (whose foundation is paying for much of this) doesn't need entry-level workers who understand Shakespeare -- he needs entry-level workers who can understand computer manuals. Under CC, we'll won't be educating children; we'll be training them to fill jobs at (politically connected) companies. "  - From the American Principles Project.

4.  Teachers haven't been told.  They only hear about the academic questions.  Why?  Ask a teacher or a state office of education official how the standards amendment process works, how a state can get out of its consortium, or why the assessments (SBAC consortium) has exhibit B appendix that describes having to align with federal standards.  They won't know-- guaranteed.


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