A Peabody Ma School Committee meeting was quite instructional in pointing out the many issues, backdoor dealings, and corrupt plans that have been intertwined with the implementation of Common Core standards for k-12 public schools. The speaker, Professor Sandra Stotsky, is a women who helped develop the math and english standards used in Ma school districts for the 16 years prior to the implementation of Common Core—and Massachusetts actually has some of the best schools in the country.
She was on the validation committee for Common Core where she had to sign a nondisclosure agreement and cannot speak specifically about anything that happened in the process. She did not agree on the entire program, and only signed off on a few of the pieces. When the final draft came out a couple months later, it was entirely different from what she had been shown and “signed off” on. This is the information that she shared at the Peabody meeting, and her informed presentation as someone on the front lines warning America about the detriments of Common Core.
- Common Core started as a program to develop voluntary standards for states to adopt. Standards were developed by private organizations including the Gates Foundation in secret. They then appealed to government to make those standards applied by force, since private organizations cannot use force without the government.
- The government “seduced” the states into accepting the standards in order to centralize control of education for a vast number of people across the country with all different types of lives, opportunities, and individual interests.
- Constitution bans federal government from forcing local controls over education, so government got the private organizations to do their bidding. Stotsky: “Its hard to see it as truly voluntary when most states need money”.
- Gates Foundation gave $250,000 for each for 15 states to send in the proper applications for Race to Top grants, written specifically by Gates. States get $250 million from federal government for adopting standards.
My solution is to have states be in control of the money in the first place, not the federal government. Abolish the 16th amendment authorizing the income tax, abolish the federal programs that it funds (including the Department of Education), and then states can appeal to their citizens to raise taxes instead of begging the “overlord” federal government for money. Bottom up approach should be used, not top down.
- Common Core includes data mining of religious and political affiliation, information about family and home life, as well as other personal questions. Personal information can now be shared with private companies; though the law was not changed, “interpretation” of the law has changed. This is another reason to reduce the power of courts and legislators in favor of individual liberty, and law based on contracts and agreements.
- Stotsky: “If teachers’ comments mean nothing to a department of ed, then they need to go elsewhere.” Stotsky suggests Ma legislators have more control, and wonders aloud whether we still need a state board of ed, commissioner of ed, or department of ed, again pointing to centralization of control as a key problem.
- Stotsky facetiously speaking about the federal government and their response to the backlash over Common Core: “…we have wise all knowing people in the department of ed who know the right things for all kids and then we have these fringe groups—not parents because they don’t dare criticize parents as parents—except Arnie Duncan who put his foot in his mouth and had to retract it.”
- Secretary of Education Arnie Duncan had a huge hand in development of Common Core. He is the guy that said suburban moms are against Common Core because they are realizing their kids aren’t as smart as they thought. See his exact words here.
- Need to stand up against these standards “If we are still a sovereign state” says Stotsky and asks, “Are Parents in charge of their own children?”
- When writing Common Core standards, parents were left out, teachers were left out, State legislators were left out, and local school boards were left out. College educators of Freshmen were not asked about “College ready” standards. No standards have been developed for disabled and special needs students. Everything seems to be going towards everyone being reduced to an “egalitarian middle” by “reduc[ing] variation in achievement, and want[ing] to hold everyone to the same standards”.
Even historically government compliant unions are starting to oppose Common Core because of the extreme backlash from their teachers. This is so obviously counterproductive to education, that finally people of all political alignments can come together to oppose it. Of course, it makes my point that the less power government has and the less centralized it is, the easier it is to avoid situations like this in the first place—maybe libertarianism can pick up a few disenfranchised liberals.
These hearty objections are coming from Massachusetts of all places—let that sink it. I’m from Massachusetts so I have seen first hand how the machine works, and right now that machine is breaking down, finally. Throughout the video the speaker makes references to how no one could understand what was going on, why the states, teachers, parents and politicians were being ignored in this process, why things weren’t explained, why pilots were not tried before national implementation.
I have a feeling Stotsky had an opinion on why those people were brushed aside—control—but it shows that not enough people have a healthy distrust of government. It is all about control, and the power seekers are starting to drop the facade as the desire for control moves forward at full speed, and the sheep’s clothing that these wolves wear starts to blow off.
The whole video can be found here, and is worth a watch if you have kids in public schools, might someday, or just want to stop the destruction of future generations. Continuing to raise awareness about how terrible Common Core is, as well as going to the local meetings to oppose it is something that can be immediately done to combat this. Another idea is to pull your kids out of public schools and either homeschool or send them to private school if you have the means to do so. Please take the time to watch the video, there is even more information about the implementation and consequences of Common Core.