What Is Wrong With The Common Core?
Where shall we begin? Let’s start with the “state-led” and “voluntary” claims:
- Common Core was not developed by the states but rather by a DC-based nonprofit called Achieve, Inc., under the auspices of the National Governors Association (NGA) and the Council of Chief State School Officers (CCSSO). Neither NGA nor CCSSO (which are merely trade associations with private membership lists) had a grant of legislative authority from the states to develop national standards. In fact, Common Core was written by the same progressive education reformers who have been trying to impose a national curriculum for decades. This time, they were savvy enough to invoke the “cover” of NGA so they could paint Common Core as a “state-led” effort. To the extent states had any input, it was limited to offering suggestions that may or may not have been accepted by the people in control.
- The U.S. Department of Education (USED) did not create the Standards, but it was deeply involved in the effort to gather together the various trade associations and private foundations to do the work that USED wanted done.
- Once Common Core was created, USED “persuaded” the states to adopt it by tying adoption to the opportunity to obtain Race to the Top (RTTT) funding. No Common Core, no RTTT money. (Since then, USED has also attempted to lure states into the Common Core by dangling No Child Left Behind waivers as a reward for adopting the national Standards and national tests. In both RTTT and NCLB waivers, Georgia took the bait – hook, line, and sinker.)
- USED is funding the national tests that are being created by two testing consortia (called SMARTER Balanced and PARCC). Obviously, what’s on the PARCC test will dictate what is taught in SC classrooms – in other words, it will dictate curriculum. So by funding the tests, USED will eventually control the SC curriculum – in violation of three federal statutes.