[Editor’s note: This article was originally published by OCR on June 3, 2013.]
For years now, we have witnessed our public school systems pour incredible amounts of money into our schools only to see regressing results in quality. Now that the dangerous Common Core Curriculum has been introduced, the state of American education could grow much worse. Unfortunately, forty-five governors have embraced this monstrosity–some forced to accept it by default, others more than happy to welcome its arrival.
A nationwide initiative designed to herd states into national K-12 standards and tests, Common Core State Standards Initiative (CCSSI) will ultimately lead to a national curriculum and squelch input from local parents, taxpayers, and educators. Supporters of CCSSI claim that the development of the standards was a “state-led” effort. However, this claim cannot be true given that Board of Education members, state legislators, local educators, parents, and students were all left out of the development, evaluation, and adoption of Common Core.
Given that most are familiar with Outcome Based Education and Goals 2000, how did CCSSI creep by so unnoticed? While the nation’s attention was directed on ObamaCare and the federal power grab of our healthcare system, Secretary of Education Arne Duncan was quietly working to seize control of the American education system. As a part of President Obama’s stimulus package, Race to the Top grant money was earmarked for education initiatives in the states. Tied to this money is CCSSI. In 2009, when states’ budgets were tight, they were given the opportunity to compete for Race to the Top grants. Additionally, states could also apply for the No Child Left Behind waiver starting in 2011. Most states got on board, sight unseen. Proponents claim that the Common Core standards are forward-thinking, evidenced-based, and certain to make students college-ready.
This claim sounds wonderful on its face; however, curriculum experts believe CCSSI standards are below average and only prepare students for a community college rather than a four-year university. (1)
In addition to potentially below average standards, there is further cause for alarm…
Four Reasons To be Concerned about Common Core:
1. CCSSI is a massive power grab of educational content and standards from parents, taxpayers, local school districts, and states. It is a violation of the tenth amendment, and a federal overreach. Federalism works–giving individual states the freedom to set their curriculum and standards is the answer to educational woes, not CCSSI.
2. CCSSI is expensive. Ohio initially took $400 million from the federal government. The price tag includes the costs for professional development, new textbooks and instructional materials. The bulk of the national costs of CCSSI will fall onto the states and local districts as unfunded mandates, starting in 2014.
[Read on OCR: National Education Standards Will Be a Costly Failure by Seth Morgan]
3. CCSSI is intrusive: CCSSI ensures that states build expensive high-tech systems that will track student performance and other personal data and provide that information to the federal government. In June of 2009, Secretary Duncan even declared, “Hopefully, someday, we can track children from preschool to high school and from high school to college and college to career.” (2) Personal student data including academic achievement, health history, and disciplinary records will be collected and shared with other agencies and private entities without parental notification.
4. CCSSI could negatively affect private school and home school. If you are a home school or private school parent, you may be thinking, “Thankfully, this will not affect my family.” Unfortunately, CCSSI could very well impact your family and children by limiting their college choice options if they have not followed the Common Core platform. The Home School Legal Defense Association (HSLDA) worries that “if the CCSSI is fully adopted by all states, policy makers down the road will attempt to change state legislation to require all students—including home school and private school students—to be taught and tested according to the CCSS.” (3)
These are only four of the numerous concerns we should have with this overreaching, massive reconstruction of our school systems.
WARNING: Be Weary of “Party over Principle” Politicians:
common Core curriculum has been embraced by both Republicans and Democrats. Just because some Republicans have welcomed and supported Common Core does not mean it is a good policy worthy of conservative support. Please do your homework on where your elected officials stand and their strategy to get out from under this very bad policy.
What you can do:
· Educate yourself and others on Common Core. Sadly, most parents and legislators know nothing about the future education platform for their children.
· Call, email, and write Governor Kasich and state legislators and tell them to withdraw Ohio from Common Core.
· Use the websites below to stay on top of Common Core.
· Pray for our teachers, administrators, and our country.
Bobbi Radeck is the State Director for Concerned Women for America and on the board of the Faith and Freedom Coalition.
View and share this video resource from You Tube:
Common Core graph:
1- Common Core Mathematics Standards, “Controlling Education From the Top, Why Common Core is Bad for America,” May 2012, page 24 http//americanprinciplesproject.org/wp-content.
2- Sec. of Ed. Arne Duncan, “Robust Data Gives Us the Roadmap to Reform.” Speech http://www.2.ed.gov/news/speeches/2009/06/06082009.html
3- William A. Estrad, “Common Core State Standards Initiative: Too Close to a National Curriculm.” Dec. 17, 2012, http://hslda.org/docs.news/2012/201212170.asp