Monday, March 18, 2013


Common Core:  what’s hidden behind the language
Townhall – Rachel Alexander – 3/18/2013

Diane Ravitch, a former assistant U.S. secretary of education who was appointed to office by both Clinton and George H.W. Bush, recently changed her mind about Common Core. Ravitch now refutes claims by Obama and Common Core that the standards were created by the states and voluntarily adopted by them. She writes in The Washington Post, “They were developed by an organization called Achieve and the National Governors Association, both of which were generously funded by the Gates Foundation. There was minimal public engagement in the development of the Common Core. Their creation was neither grassroots nor did it emanate from the states.” Instead, Common Core is being driven by policymakers in D.C.

Common Core is set up in such a way that it can hardly be called voluntary. The Obama administration's grant program offers “Race to the Top” federal educational grants – which come from stimulus funds - to states if their school systems adopt preferred Obama policies like Common Core. States that adopt Common Core receive higher “scoring” from the Obama administration in their grant applications. As a result of this coercion, only Nebraska, Alaska, Texas, Virginia and Minnesota have not adopted Common Core. Minnesota adopted the language arts standards but kept its own math standards.

There is no evidence that the curriculum works, and it will destroy innovation amongst the states. Ravitch writes, “We are a nation of guinea pigs, almost all trying an unknown new program at the same time...Would the Federal Drug Administration approve the use of a drug with no trials, no concern for possible harm or unintended consequences?” Jane Robbins, a senior fellow for the American Principles Project, writes, “Common Core has never been piloted. How can anyone say it is good for kids when it’s not in place anywhere?” In fact, the results are coming in and they are the opposite. A principal in the Midwest told Ravitch that “his school piloted the Common Core assessments and the failure rate rocketed upwards, especially among the students with the highest needs.”

The curriculum replaces the classics with government propaganda. According to the American Principles Project, “They de-emphasize the study of classic literature in favor of reading so-called 'informational texts,' such as government documents, court opinions, and technical manuals.”

Common Core amasses large amounts of personal information about students. Michelle Malkin cites research by Joy Pullmann of the Heartland Institute, who discovered a report by the Department of Education revealing that Common Core's data mining includes “using cameras to judge facial expressions, an electronic seat that judges posture, a pressure-sensitive computer mouse and a biometric wrap on kids’ wrists.”

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