Posts Tagged ‘Common Core Standards’

Borg’ing Education via Common Core

Borging Education

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: https://www.utahsrepublic.org/dropping-the-common-core-state-standards/

The Marxist Redistribution of Teachers and Forced CCSS

Do you have a successful school? Lots of good teachers doing a good job educating students? Do you enjoy the federal dollars you receive for funding? The feds are about to turn that peanut butter and chocolate combination into cyanide and chocolate. (chocolate being the good local teachers just to clarify the analogy :))

A few days ago congress was presented with an 860 page education bill from Democratic Senator Tom Harkin of Iowa. The Heritage Foundation has started a review of the bill and notes:

For example, the bill would codify Obama Administration education priorities, such as the “equitable distribution” of effective teachers among schools. It would eliminate “adequate yearly progress”—the onerous federal requirement that mandated every child be proficient in reading and math by 2014—but would replace it with requirements that states prove they have “college- and career-ready” standards, giving Washington more control over the content taught in local schools.

Good news for schools on getting rid of AYP but if you’re successful, it’s time to chop that school up and send some of those teachers to failing schools to make sure they get quality teachers too. Oh, and don’t miss the great news that the Feds aren’t mandating national standards, they’ll just force you to be on “college- and career-ready” standards. Gee, I wonder where we can find national standards that will fit that bill? Oh yeah, the CCSS are available for use. We’ll just force everyone taking federal dollars to get on those standards so the federal assessments being rolled out will apply nationally. The factory model of education can continue but with total control from the top.

Educators and legislators, if you thought NCLB and AYP were bad, wait till this rolls out. You’ve got to get us off the federal welfare dime or what’s coming isn’t going to be good for anyone. Teachers are going to lose jobs in places they like, they’re going to lose freedom to teach what they deem necessary and be forced to teach to a national test, and children are going to lose any hope of having an education customized to their needs because the factory belt model of compulsory education is going to become more vise-like than ever.

What is being done? Heritage is pushing forward with an “A-PLUS” plan to bring accountability to parents and taxpayers while reducing the federal footprint, but I do not think this will happen in time to help our state. State lawmakers and educators need to work together to completely eliminate all federal funding and reject all mandates that come from Washington.

On this current education nightmare bill above, Washington always seems to have a way to get these things through, but thankfully the House is controlled by the Republicans so the Democrats are going to have a hard time getting this bill passed. Senator Rand Paul talk here about introducing 100 amendments to stop this bill in its tracks. I hope he’s successful.

Related post: https://www.utahsrepublic.org/dropping-the-common-core-state-standards/

Dropping the Common Core State Standards

Dropping the Common Core State Standards

Still think the Common Core Standards are just a state initiative? Ask yourself these questions and think again.

  1. What do you call it when standards are adopted from a national body and a state isn’t allowed to modify anything they just adopted except to add up to 15%? De facto federal/national standards
  2. What do you call it when national assessments funded by the federal government and led by a Marxist researcher will measure the effectiveness of common core standards? National assessments overseeing national standards
  3. What do you call it when national tracking is done on both academic and non-academic factors to ensure that students are scoring well on these assessments? A massive violation of privacy and national assessments and standards
  4. What do you call it when the federal government engages with textbook publishers to create curriculum based on common standards? A national curriculum and national standards
  5. What do you call it when federal dollars for state education come from countries like China and states like California? Immoral because our grandchildren will pay for their parents education
  6. What do you call it when the federal department of education rewrites the laws on the books to eliminate and redirect local and state control of education to the federal government? Tyranny and national control of education
  7. What do you call it when state officials and agencies fail to connect the dots on these items? A tragic lack of foresight

The Governor, State Board of Education, State Office of Education, and all others who buy into the story that the Common Core Standards are just a collaboration of individual states are in for a shock when they find out they cannot escape this transition to tyranny because they didn’t have the foresight to get off the federal funds now while there might still be time.

If adopting the Common Core means (and it WILL since we take federal money) we have to take national assessments, national data tracking, national curriculum, teachers teaching to the test which obviously means their failure to follow the national curriculum will result in their loss of a job (so they will proceed to follow the indoctrinating curriculum), and national control, we should immediately move to drop the Common Core standards and look for creative alternatives to save the 9% funding we get from the federal level. No intrusion or authority like this is given in the U.S. Constitution, which is the supreme law of the land.

Further, no loss of freedom can be recovered without tremendous effort. Giving up that freedom for a pocketful of money is so shortsighted that anyone who votes for any measure that includes federal funding of education should be immediately campaigned against and removed from office. For example, someone running for school board who touts “conservative principles” yet tells the public they’ll bring in the federal dollars should never hold any office of public trust that has budgetary authority.

JoDee Sundberg Campaign Poster

JoDee Sundberg Campaign Poster

If you believe the day is coming when people cannot buy or sell except through the collective entity (Revelation 13:17), what do you think is coming for education? Do you think the education establishment will escape it? Not a chance. That’s where this scenario starts by indoctrinating people to accept collectivism.

I applaud the resolution against national standards which the National Federation of Republican Women recently passed. You can read it here:

https://educationviews.org/2011/10/11/resolution-against-national-standards-for-schools-a-warning-from-oklahoma/

Are you willing to finance your child’s education on the backs of your grandchildren? Shame on you. Anyone who argues in favor of federal funding of state education should not be involved in our education system. Demand your legislators end all federal funding of education in this state. There are plenty of creative solutions to financial challenges and it’s high time we started looking to implement some of them.

Related Post: https://www.utahsrepublic.org/jumping-off-the-federal-education-train/ (shows the Feds are forcing states to adopt Common Core or not receive a waiver on NCLB’s annual yearly progress requirements)

SBAC’s draft for CCSS assessments

Wendy Hart from the Alpine School District board sent me this link to W. Stephen Wilson’s review of the Smarter Balanced Assessment Consortium’s plan for creating the assessments for the Common Core state math standards. Dr. Wilson is a professor of mathematics at John’s Hopkin’s university and received his PhD at MIT. No sloucher.

The SBAC is led by Linda Darling-Hammond, proponent of social justice, close to Bill Ayers, and was on President Obama’s short list of candidates for Secretary of Education. She is a constructivist (For the uninitiated, this is where children should construct their own knowledge instead of being given it directly–to see this set to comics, visit my math comic site) and what is being seen of the framework for the assessments isn’t good. Here’s a link to Dr. Wilson’s full review, but here’s his final paragraph:

Ultimately, the actual assessments will tell us all what SBAC thinks is important.  This Draft does not give good guidance for curriculum developers because content is an afterthought. It appears that the assessments will focus on communication skills and Mathematical Practices over content knowledge.  As such, there is little to be optimistic about.

Dang, who saw that one coming???

CCSS: Nationalizing Education

Standards

At the Republican state convention a few months ago I had the chance to speak with Utah Governor Gary Herbert for a few minutes and so I brought up the Common Core State Standards (CCSS). The governor assured me they weren’t a prelude to a national takeover of education (which by some measures we could conclude that already happened years ago). The governor said the CCSS was the product of states getting together and collaborating to improve the standards.  That is true in part. The states got together. However, some states had better standards than what was produced in the CCSS documents. Rather than 50 experiments in education, we will now have 1. Success and failure is now 100% for our country in either direction, rather than 2% per state. Will the CCSS work? Nobody knows. They’ve never been used. They weren’t even complete when they started being adopted by states. Assessments weren’t ready to look at, but “don’t worry, everything necessary for this system to work 100% is in process…”

When the evidence is examined as a whole, it is difficult to not see the CCSS as the prelude to a national melding of education into a giant pot.  It’s not like everything is isolated and we certainly can’t say that the standards are independent objects for the states to manipulate. If a state signs on, they can’t modify the standards except to add a little to them. So lets look at what else we know is happening that is pushing forward to compliment the CCSS.

Curriculum

Article: Common Core Writers Craft Curriculum Criteria

What? The people that wrote the standards are now telling curriculum designers how to design the curriculum? That sounds like a national curriculum in the works. But that’ll never happen so don’t worry about that.

Assessments

Article: State Consortium Scales Back Common-Test Design

So you have these “state” standards which are being pushed with the odd national anticipation that very soon all the states will adopt them (even if the standards are worse than their current successful standards such as in MA and CA). Shown on this SBAC timeline, that will be by late this year (2011). By 2013 they will be pilot testing the assessments, field testing in 2014, and 2015 will be when we have “final achievement standards.”  The SBAC is one of a couple of consortia that have received massive amounts of federal funding to develop a set of assessments that will match the CCSS. SBAC’s senior researcher is Linda Darling Hammond, proponent of social justice in the classroom, and constructivist extraordinaire. Anyone want to guess what these assessments will be asking and how they will influence the “final achievement standards?” Does anyone think the CCSS might change by 2015 based on these tests and developing “final” standards?

SBAC CCSS Timeline

SBAC CCSS Timeline

Tracking

Once you have the standards, curricula to teach them, and assessments to measure student progress, the next thing you’ll want to know is information about the students to see how they are progressing (and of course you’ll want to track the teachers so you know who the ones are that most successfully get students to answer the correct questions on the SBAC social justice tests).

https://www.utahsrepublic.org/education/common-core-database-intrusion/

Connections

If you didn’t read the post the other day on Marxism and CCSS, here’s the flowchart from page 20 of that pdf someone produced.  Everything fits nice and neat together. I haven’t looked into it myself, but from the title on this map, these relationships all seem to get identified in the Race to the Top grant.

RTTT Grant Connections

RTTT Grant Connections

Financial Cost

I have read estimates that in California alone, implementing these new standards will entail spending several hundred million dollars. Nearly every state was hoping to get Race to the Top funds but only a handful did. Not surprising, Utah got nothing and so implementation of these new standards will be a significant new expense for our state. It will involve teacher training in the new standards, new textbooks written to the standards, and additional costs for switching out assessments and such. Why on earth would we create massive new costs when we already have pretty good math standards and we have high unemployment and a financial disaster brewing in our country?

Local Control

Everyone’s favorite buzz-phrase but which only a few really cherish. The only local control that is going to exist after this will be for home schoolers and private schools. Accepting this package, and make no mistake it is a package, will terminate local control and allow for Educrats in Washington D.C. to determine what is taught, how it’s taught, what’s tested, and what’s tracked. If we’re lucky, they’ll share a little bit with us at the local level.

Science Standards

Here’s a great piece from Ze’ev Wurman on the newly proposed CC science standards. His conclusion as an engineer and educator who has served on the California Academic Content Standards Commission that reviewed the adoption of Common Core for California, is that these standards are going to develop students who appreciate science rather than actually learn science. You can read his article here entitled Education to Raise Technology Consumers instead of Technology Creators. These standards will only serve to dumb down our children and allow for further deteriorating our scientific prowess (if we can even call it that anymore).

Conclusion

There are many people who believe the CCSS are good standards. No doubt they may be better than what some states were using, but that’s no reason to kill innovation between the 50 states, nor to allow for all these separate components to join together. It’s out of our hands though. The only way to avoid this is to reject the CCSS and be a state that is free to innovate and educate as we see fit.

For more information about the CCSS, check out the Truth in American Education website.

CCSS and RTT – an Introduction to Marxism 101

Last month a friend of mine sent me a link to a document which I knew I had to read. The title of this document is “Common Core State Standards and Race to the Top – An Introduction to Marxism 101.” The manuscript was prepared by Jenni White, Lynn Habluetzel and Jo Joyce, part of the Restore Oklahoma Public Education project (website).

With 179 footnotes in 19 pages of text, this is a document that needs to be read and then put into the hands of every school board member to help them understand that what they’re being told about CCSS not being part of any national agenda, is false. This paper does an excellent job of pulling everything together from a history of education as it used to be, to the corruption brought into the system by John Dewey and company.

After the paper concludes on page 19, several appendices follow comparing traditional and progressive education (including specific pages on differences in the approaches to math and English education). Specific contrasts are also made between Karl Marx and Thomas Jefferson, and John Dewey to Ben Franklin. There is also an amazing chart on page 20 of the document which shows the flow of money and cooperation between Race to the Top and a huge assortment of entities, many of which are mentioned in the document.

You can access the document at the link above, or get the pdf here. Please send a copy of this to your school board members.

Common-Core-State-Standards-and-Race-to-the-Top-An-Introduction-to-Marxism-101

Truth in Education Website

A great new website has arrived that shows the interrelated nature of all the education reforms that have come out such as NCLB, RTTT, CCSS, and other wonderful acronyms you didn’t realize were ruining your child’s education. :) I strongly encourage you to spend a little time on this site and see how Bill Gates and Pearson publishing are gearing up to produce a national curriculum to accompany the CCSS which are essentially turning into national standards.

https://truthinamericaneducation.com/

Be sure to see how the Gates Foundation has *bribed* many organizations to buy into their reforms. On the list are Achieve and Fordham, 2 organizations I previously trusted to be objective but not any more.

https://truthinamericaneducation.com/?page_id=311

I also strongly encourage you to check out their “tool kit” with important links to resources on stopping CCSS. Please use your influence with legislators and school board members to help them understand why this is a bad idea. Some think that this is all being done in a small box. It’s not. It’s vast and interconnected from many different points. The CCSS is only one part of a plan to allow the feds to control education and lose what little local control we have.

https://truthinamericaneducation.com/action-center/tool-kit/

You can also read about Race to the Cradle here as the government gets involved in Pre-K funding.

https://www.cato-at-liberty.org/race-to-the-cradle/

Closing the Door on Innovation

A diverse group of individuals has written up a manifesto and petition of sorts on why the Common Core State Standards are a bad idea. I encourage everyone to read this and then add your name to the supporter list.

https://www.k12innovation.com/Manifesto/_V2_Home.html

Here is their press release:

Broad Coalition Opposes National Curriculum Initiative by U.S. Dept. of Education

Over 100 leaders sign manifesto against nationalization of schooling

Stanford, Calif. & Fayetteville, Ark. – A broad coalition of over 100 educational and other leaders representing diverse viewpoints released a manifesto today opposing ongoing federal government efforts to create a national curriculum and testing system.

The manifesto, entitled “Closing the Door on Innovation,” is available at www.k12innovation.com. It argues that current U.S. Department of Education efforts to nationalize curriculum will stifle innovation and freeze into place an unacceptable status quo; end local and state control of schooling; lack a legitimate legal basis; and impose a one-size-fits-all model on America’s students.

Congress is now preparing to debate renewal of the Elementary and Secondary Education Act, the main law authorizing federal aid to K-12 education. Meanwhile, the U.S. Department of Education has been quietly funding efforts by two assessment groups to develop a national K-12 curriculum, along with a national testing system that tests every public-school student multiple times each year. This federal initiative will create a national system of academic-content standards, tests, and curriculum. It is in line with the goals of a manifesto released on March 7, 2011, by the Albert Shanker Institute that calls for a single nationalized curriculum in every K-12 subject.

“A one-size-fits-all national curriculum based on mediocre high-school standards will stifle the educational innovation essential to closing the racial gap in academic achievement,” said Abigail and Stephan Thernstrom in a joint statement on why they signed the new manifesto. Abigail Thernstrom is vice-chair of the U.S. Commission on Civil Rights and a former member of the Massachusetts Board of Education; Stephan Thernstrom is a professor of history at Harvard University.

“Closing the Door promotes what is for high schools the most important innovation in a century,” said signatory Blouke Carus, leading children’s magazine publisher, math and reading textbook developer, and chairman of the Carus Corporation. “Our schools need to offer each student a choice among six or more challenging and rigorous high school curricula, as do other, higher-performing countries.”

“The federal government’s effort to impose a national curriculum on all schools spells trouble for the educational system,” said Richard Epstein, law professor at New York University, also a signatory. “No one in Washington can craft a curriculum that works well throughout this diverse nation. Once errors are built in at the national level, corrections will be ever more difficult to make at the local level. Only decentralized control over education can prove nimble enough to root out errors and spur innovation. Washington bureaucrats should not trumpet their own omniscience, but should become more cognizant of their own fallibility.”

“To some, a national curriculum sounds like a redemptive cure-all for the shame of our public schools’ failures,” said signatory Shelby Steele of Stanford University’s Hoover Institution. “And a national curriculum gives the education establishment elite a powerful warrant for ‘doing good.’ But we must not discard the proven constitutional discipline of our federalist system. Decentralization has been the engine of educational innovation. We shouldn’t trade our federalist birthright for a national-curriculum mess of pottage.”

“National curriculum becomes, in effect, a nationalization of what teachers teach,” said former Attorney General Edwin Meese III, another signatory. “We must always evaluate policy proposals in light of principles like rule of law and the logic of our constitutional system. The Education Department’s sponsoring and funding of national curriculum runs counter to both laws of Congress and the wisdom of the Founders.”

The coalition of leaders releasing its counter-manifesto today opposes both the Shanker Institute Manifesto and the U.S. Department of Education initiative on a variety of grounds:

•These efforts are against federal law and undermine the constitutional balance between national and state authority.

•The evidence doesn’t show a need for national curriculum or a national test for all students.

•U.S. Department of Education is basing its initiative on inadequate content standards.

•There is no research-based consensus on what is the best curricular approach to each subject.

•There is not even consensus on whether a single “best curricular approach” for all students exists.

With federal education law coming to the top of Congress’s agenda, the U.S. Department of Education’s push to create national curriculum and assessment is becoming a hot topic.

The manifesto opposing a national curriculum was organized by Bill Evers, research fellow at Stanford University’s Hoover Institution; Greg Forster, senior fellow at the Foundation for Education Choice; Jay Greene and Sandra Stotsky, professors at the University of Arkansas; and Ze’ev Wurman, executive at a Silicon Valley start-up.

Common Core Database Intrusion

There has been a mixed bag of opinions ever since the common core standards have come out. Speculation continues but things do gel in small pieces. Someone sent me this article yesterday which points out that the National Education Data Model contains many of the database information attributes the feds want on our children. The NEDM “is the single, comprehensive model of education data and is prerequisite to establishing automated and comparable systems.” Now this isn’t directly tied into the Common Core State Standards by name, but what else would a national database be for but to get everyone on the same page, taking the same tests from the same curriculum and knowing everything about the students and teachers as possible.

We’re not just talking a few things that deal with student grade performance, we’re talking things like your child’s blood type, what time he/she gets on the bus, compulsory attendance status, orthodontic appliances, religious consideration, the number of decayed teeth you’ve got, etc… Hmmm, now why would the feds would want to track these things? I wonder if members of the state school board ever foresaw problems with federal standards and money? I guess not since they didn’t feel the need to have public meetings prior to their decision to adopt.

Article:

https://pajamasmedia.com/blog/arne-duncans-brave-new-world-dept-of-education-wants-your-kids-blood-type/?singlepage=true

Link to the database attributes (ie. the new master race database):

https://nces.sifinfo.org/datamodel/eiebrowser/techview.aspx?instance=studentElementarySecondary