The Borg was an alien species that threatened the existence of the Federation in the TV show Star Trek. Their race assimilated other races into their collective through hardwired neurological attachments that would reach deep into the mind. Their belief was that central control would raise efficiency. The result was a total loss of individuality and independent thought. What is happening in the education system in this country is very much a parallel to this threat.
Lt. Governor Bell recently praised the Common Core State Standards (CCSS), but there are several important things he and others need to realize.
While the math standards themselves are pretty good (addendum: read better than most states, but not top state standards), the notion that these are not national standards is inaccurate. When you have national organizations (National Governor’s Association and Chief State School Officers) collaborating to create one set of standards, you have de facto national standards.
The claim that the federal government isn’t involved in these standards is laughable. They bribed states to adopt the standards with Race to the Top grants (which would only be available for a handful of states) IF they adopted CCSS. Now, several states have sought waivers on No Child Left Behind’s annual yearly progress and the federal DOE is telling them, “we’ll grant you a waiver, IF you adopt ‘career and college ready standards’ (hint: Common Core).” Why were the Feds so interested in bribing states to get on CCSS even before a final draft was ready? They aren’t involved in this, right?
Why would Lt. Governor Bell say that Utah can adapt the standards to meet our needs and values when we aren’t allowed to modify the standards at all, except to add 15% more to them? How can he say these aren’t national standards?
If the federal government really isn’t taking over education, why have they put millions of dollars into creating assessments with organizations like SBAC, PARRC, and Achieve?
If the federal government isn’t nationalizing education, why have they mandated that states create a database to federally mandated standards to track children on 40 vital factors such as a child’s blood type, what time they get on the bus in the morning, the number of cavities in their mouths, what their religious affiliation is, family voting status, etc…? This is a total invasion of privacy. Is anyone concerned about this?
If the federal government isn’t taking over education, why have they been rewriting the laws at the federal level to strip away state and local control of education and make it look like they’ve always had legal control of education?
Can anyone not imagine the Feds soon telling the states they’ll get no federal funds for education (or perhaps ANY funds) unless they adopt this entire package? Everything is coming together for total federal control and we are embracing the Borg collective! It’s the end of individualism.
The solution isn’t found in joining the collective. It’s found in a return to true local control and giving parents MORE responsibility and authority for their children’s education. Each time we remove authority and responsibility from parents over their God-given mandate to teach their children, their interest and involvement lessens because they know, “the schools are going to educate my child.” Until we put the burden back on parents for their child’s success, education will continue to decline.
Links to the above points can be found here: http://www.utahsrepublic.org/dropping-the-common-core-state-standards/