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Common Core State Standards Questions

by on June 3, 2013

I’ve spent a considerable amount of time researching the Common Core Program lately.  I have several questions on the subject that I have not found answers to in recent writings about the program from local educators.

First let me state that if you have concerns or questions, they might be difficult for anyone to answer.  The State of Connecticut adopted these standards based on their desire to participate in a race for the money (Race to the Top involved commitments to participate in Common Core).   Secretary of Education Arne Duncan and President Barack Obama have been very involved in bribing states to sign on.  If the Federal Government had no involvement, why did they push so hard?

Who from CT was involved in our “Common Core State Standards” development?  Every piece of information I can find returns the architect of the program as being David Coleman.  A google search of Mr. Coleman returns a lot of information on his involvement with the development.  Mr. Coleman was named President of the College Boards in May of 2012, so one should not be surprised to see changes made to SAT’s.

How will local Boards of Education have any say over curriculum?  Tests that are paid for by the Federal Government will be used to assess children’s progress.  They who pay usually determine content so again, how is the Federal Government not involved?  The tests will be uniform nationally.  If you decide to vary substantially from their Common Core program, students’ test scores will suffer.  No teacher will want their students to do poorly on the tests.

In the attempt to develop national uniformity, how will CT educational standards not suffer?  I am concerned that in the attempt to come up with a national one-size-fits-all educational program, our students will suffer.  It is no secret that Connecticut has been one of the states better at turning out well educated children.  That is not to say that there aren’t still pockets of educational problems but those will not be resolved by this program.   Children who have parents who lack interest or enthusiasm in their education will still not meet standards.    There is no way to reach “uniformity” unless the standards are lowered.

What data will be collected on our children?  Will this data be intrusive?  Will they keep identifying information on them, religious affiliation, family status, etc.?   Will their decades of data being tracked by these nameless, faceless bureaucrats lead to them being told what career they are suited for?

We went from “No Child Left Behind” where complaints about teaching to tests led to its demise, to a program with similar characteristics, which will gauge success by, wait for it, more standardized tests, only this time the implementation will involve a significant investment of taxpayer dollars.

What really surprises me is that a program that will so totally change the way children are educated was not widely covered.  Why was more information about the changes it will make to education not discussed widely in the press?  Who stands to make all the money?   Some information on that was published in this opinion piece posted at the Middletown-CT Patchhttp://middletown-ct.patch.com/groups/opinion/p/common-core-read-the-label-carefully

Utah is one state in the process of withdrawing from the program due in large part to a group of people who worked very hard to learn more about the program.   Three of the mothers present a video based on what they found out and details the struggles they went through to get the information.  Two have teaching credentials.  The video can be found at:  http://whatiscommoncore.wordpress.com/tag/data-collection/

In this video, you find that to withdraw from Common Core, you need permission from the Federal Department of Education.  Again, they’re not involved?

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