One of the biggest frauds ever perpetrated on the American people is the Common Core State Standards Initiative. There could be nothing farther from the truth than the assertion that proponents constantly use “that it was state-led.”
The standards actually were written by five people in a back room, led by David Coleman of Achieve, who has a degree in philosophy but no classroom experience. Instead of raising academic standards as it was touted to do, it was designed by statists inside the federal education bureaucracy to be one great big sociology experiment on our children.
What accounts for Common Core Standards being accepted by 45 states are not actual facts that prove that they were “rigorous,” or that they led to “critical thinking,” but instead by a great deal of money from the Race to the Top Federal grants and wealthy private corporatists.
Republican governors were suckered into adopting CCSS by the Department of Education dangling the proverbial carrot of money only if they agreed to 1) accept a common set of standards, 2) implement charter schools, and 3) set up a data collection system. At a time of severe financial crisis in many states, any money source was acceptable regardless of requirements.
Very few states actually received money to help implement the standards. The main draw for the states was the illegal No Child Left Behind (NCLB) Waiver. The onerous NCLB annual yearly progress goals were due and a big percentage of states were going to be penalized millions of education dollars they could not afford. So, they signed on the bottom line, “sight unseen.” Most signed on before the standards were even written.
The National Governors Association and the Council of Chief State School Officers own and have a copyright on the Common Core State Standards. Contrary to frequent statements that our state could change the standards to become “Alabama standards,” not much “modification” could be done to them.
Each state was allowed a 15 percent addition to the standards. However, this 15 percent would not be tested on the required national assessments. After all, if each state’s standards varied 15 percent how could they be “common” to the entire nation?
All across the United States the Common Core State Standards are a failure in both implementation and assessment. That has spawned stop Common Core groups in every state. Countless academics have speculated that it will slow learning by two years. I wonder, is that why President Barack Obama now wants two years of community college to be free? Are we just extending high school to recover the length of the time lost with the implementation of Common Core?
There are now more than 20 states that have either passed, or are attempting to pass bills in their respective state legislatures to withdraw from the Common Core State Standards. Alabama is one of them. Our parents and teachers, who are brave enough to go against the culture of intimidation, are fighting for their children’s minds.
Supporters commonly misrepresent the fact that parents support high academic standards and therefore they support Common Core. Parents do support high standards for our children; however, a majority of parents at this point do not support CCSSI. Standards and assessments drive the curriculum, materials and textbooks. Parents are often shocked at their content. They are appalled at what their children are learning in the classroom and the homework they are bringing home.
That’s why it’s so important that the Alabama State Senate takes up and passes Senate Bill 101 repealing Common Core Standards in Alabama.
The only way is for Republicans to return to their conservative roots and repeal the Common Core State Standards, and then put a stop to the Department of Education from interfering with the local control of education. That’s why I encourage everyone to write and call their state senator: Tell them they must pass Senate Bill 101 to repeal Common Core and restore common sense to education.
Ann Eubank is co-chair of Rainy Day Patriots (Jefferson/Shelby County), and the legislative chair of the Alabama Legislative Watchdogs. Ann is a frequent visitor of the statehouse and has bridged the gap between strong advocate and respected resource for members. She is also a member of the Alabamians United for Excellence in Education Taskforce and several other Stop Common Core groups.