The truth behind Common Core

To the Editor:

Open Letter to Parents of Public Schooled Children filed in Common Core State Standards by Heather Patenaude on March 15, 2013.

What you need to know about CCSS:

1. These standards claim to be “rigorous” and will prepare your child for “college and career.” But upon review, you will find that these standards will prepare your child with empty skill sets and will teach them what to think, not how to think. They will also foster “teach to the test” practices.

2. These standards claim to be “state led,” but this is one of the largest myths of CCSS. Truth is private interests in Washington, D.C., initiated CCSS without any representation from the states. Eventually, the creators realized the need to present a façade of state involvement and therefore enlisted the National Governors Association (a trade association that doesn’t include all governors) and the Council of Chief State School Officers, another D.C.-based trade association. Neither of these groups had a grant of authority from any particular state or states to write the standards. The bulk of the creative work was done by Achieve Inc., a D.C.-based nonprofit that includes many progressive education reformers who have been advocating national standards and curriculum for decades. Massive funding for all this came from private interests such as the Gates Foundation.

3. The Race to the Top stimulus funds and No Child Left Behind waivers were available only to states signing on to CCSS. This specific requirement was inserted by the Department of Education and was not a part of the stimulus bill language as passed by Congress. Through the RTTT applications, governors and state school superintendents signed onto CCSS without input from state legislatures, state school boards, parents or taxpayers. This commitment to implement CCSS made before the standards were even written. (First round RTTT applications were due January 2010, first draft of CCSS arrived March 2010.) So they agreed to them sight unseen!

4. CCSS will cost states millions of dollars and this will fall on the backs of the taxpayers. This is a massive unfunded mandate. (Anyone already have high property taxes?!) Most states have not even done a “cost analysis,” but with yearly computerized testing and teacher training, CCSS carries a hefty price tag.

5. There will be a massive data tracking system on each child with more than 400 points of information collected. This information can be shared among organizations and companies and parents don’t have to be informed about what data is being collected. They will collect information such as: your child’s academic records, health care history, disciplinary record, family income range, family voting status, and religious affiliation, to name a few. Big Brother will be watching your child from preschool until college (P20 Longitudinal Data System). You, the parent, are unable to opt your child out of this tracking system.

6. As a parent you will have no voice. If you are unhappy with what is being taught, you can’t go to your school board, your principal or even your state senator. No one can change the standards of your state. This is “education without representation.” Removing states power of education is unconstitutional and should make the patriot in you rise up and fight to remove CCSS from your state!

Please don’t take my word for it, do your own homework. CCSS are one giant step toward nationalized curriculum. Truth in American Education (www. truthinamericaneducation.com) is a broad based community of contributors working to educate others on the implications of Common Core. (Myths vs. Truth http://truthinamericaneducation.com/common-core-state-standards/myths-verses-facts )

Thank you for your time.

VALERIE OGDEN

Brookline