Nullify Now! Coming to Raleigh, NC

Nullification - Tenth Amendment language    by Diane Rufino, May 27, 2013
The NC Tenth Amendment Center is organizing a Nullify Now! Rally in Raleigh this fall. Nullify Now! is a national tour, sponsored by the Tenth Amendment Center and Foundation for a Free Society, to educate and activate Americans on the Jeffersonian principle of Nullification. Nullification, simply put, is the right of the state, under the Tenth Amendment and Supremacy Clause, to reject, nullify, and refuse to enforce unconstitutional federal acts – from all three branches!!  The Raleigh event will be in September or October, depending upon the venue that is chosen. We want to start getting the word out now and ask that people share the information with as many people and groups as possible. There is perhaps nothing more important in the defense of liberty in our current precarious times than the education of ordinary Americans and state officials on the topic of Nullification. And given the hostility of our current leadership in the state legislature to states’ rights movements and the general reluctance in both houses to stand up to unconstitutional federal action, the time is now to begin that education.  Nullify Now.

The event capitalizes on the best-selling book “Nullification: How to Resist Federal Tyranny in the 21st Century,” by historian Thomas Woods.  Thanks to this important contribution by Mr. Woods, the doctrine of nullification, a founding principle, is being re-introduced to Americans and being revived all over the country. Its power and significance is ever more clear now that our own government has become a source of tyranny and oppression. Thomas Woods is a Senior Fellow at the Mises Institute and the author of other best-sellers, such as “Meltdown,” and “Rollback.”

In a nutshell, nullification is a constitutional doctrine that acknowledges the division of power between the federal government and the States – ie, the federal nature of our government. The right of each sovereign – the federal government and each state – to jealously guard its powers, and the Supremacy Clause of the US Constitution, which announces that only those laws made in pursuance to the delegated powers to each branch, are supreme and enforceable. In other words, any law that is not made in pursuance of a power expressly delegated to the government or any law made that abuses any constitutional power is null and void and unenforceable. The term “Nullification” was coined by Thomas Jefferson in 1799 in addressing the unconstitutionality of the Alien and Sedition Acts, but the fact is that the doctrine is as deeply rooted in our founding as is the sovereignty of the individual, the inalienability of fundamental liberties, federalism, supremacy, and checks and balances. When the state delegates met in Philadelphia in 1787 to draft a new constitution, their task was to design a common government that would take care of overlapping functions and allow the states to sufficiently unite. James Madison, the major architect of the Convention and of the “new” government, arrived in Philadelphia with quite a different scheme than what he eventually came to embrace. He arrived as a “nationalist,” believing in a strong national government of centralized powers that compromised the sovereignty of the individual states. In fact, his scheme of government would have given the federal government a “negative” (or a veto) on any state action that the government believed was at odds with its interests. But communications with Thomas Jefferson (letters from France) and a stark rejection by an overwhelming majority of delegates helped him understand the wisdom of a “federal” government of limited powers, with the “negative” (or veto) being given to the States who would be the sovereigns most likely to find their powers intruded upon and jeopardized.  Therefore, the legislative branch was designed as a bicameral branch, with one house representing the interests of the states (Senate), which gave the states an immediate opportunity to “negate” or veto an act of the legislature that it believed exceeded the scope of the Constitution and encroached upon the powers of the States.  To further entrench the notion that States retain the bulk of their sovereign powers and therefore have a right to assert them, the Tenth Amendment was proposed by the states and added to the Constitution (otherwise they wouldn’t ratify it).  A state “negative” is what Jefferson would later refer to as “nullification.”

For almost 200 years, the federal government has looked to its constitutional limitations with disdain.  It dared to take the position that the Constitution is one of hidden and implied powers and that government needs what it needs.  And it found a way around those limitations. First the Supreme Court delegated itself the exclusive power to declare what the Constitution means and what powers the government has. Yes, a branch of the government declared it would figure out what powers it has. And from that moment, the exercise of constitutional interpretation evolved into an opportunity for nine unelected individuals to use the bench to re-interpret our Constitution, to transform the intent of government, and to effect societal change (good and bad). Thomas Jefferson warned about this: “To consider the Judges of the Superior Court as the ultimate arbiters of constitutional questions would be a dangerous doctrine which would place us under the despotism of an oligarchy. They have with others, the same passion for party, for power, and for the privileges of their corps – and their power is the most dangerous as they are in office for life, and not responsible, as the other functionaries are, to the Elective control. The Constitution has elected no single tribunal.  I know no safe depository of the ultimate powers of society but the people themselves.”  The questions are these: Will federal politicians act to limit their own power?  Will federal judges limit their power?  The answer to both questions is no.  If  the federal government – all 3 branches – were ever to be the sole and exclusive arbiter of the extent of their own power, that power would always grow. And then we are in a position where the “abuses and usurpations” of government and of human liberties that were levied against King George of England and which justified the fight for our independence are being willingly tolerated here in the United States in the 21st century.  Nothing can be more dangerous since the Constitution is the document that protects our precious rights laid out in the Declaration of Independence. Education on the doctrine of nullification is an education on how the States and the People can constitutionally exercise rights that the government now believes don’t exist.

Critics contend that states have no power to review the constitutionality of federal laws and federal action.

“That’s what the courts are for,” they say.  Those very courts, after the Supreme Court’s pronouncement in Marbury v. Madison (1803) that the federal courts are to interpret the Constitution and judges are limited by its precise wording and intention, have gone way beyond simple constitutional interpretation to make policy from the bench. Those very courts, after the decision in Marbury, have reclassified the Constitution as a “living, breathing document” that is no longer confined to traditional interpretation.  Those same courts have rendered decisions on secession and nullification when those topics aren’t even addressed in the Constitution (federal courts are limited to federal questions – alleged violations of the US Constitution, federal law, or a treaty to which the US is a party).  Those same courts told Dred Scott that black people don’t have any rights under our Declaration or Constitution and approved the indefinite detention of an entire race of citizens in the 1940′s.  No freedom-loving person should be looking at the courts to defend and preserve liberty.

The States, and not the courts, will be the ones to stop unconstitutional federal mandates.  As Thomas Jefferson said, Nullification is the “Rightful Remedy.”

Since September 2010, the Tenth Amendment Center has been hosting a national tour to educate people on this topic and to re-engage them with their Constitution and principles of freedom. The goal is to teach about nullification, its constitutional basis, when it’s been used in history, why the criticisms (ie, “It’s unconstitutional because the Supreme Court has ruled on it” and “The Civil War settled it”) are misinformed, why nullification has become more popular, why Americans need to learn about this doctrine, and its potential. So far, Nullify Now! events have been held in Orlando, Philadelphia, Fort Worth, Los Angeles, Austin, Jacksonville, and Manchester, NH.  Raleigh is the next conference. Our neighbors, South Carolina and Virginia, are both planning them in their states. Future events are also being organized in the Bay Area, CA, Seattle, Las Vegas, Miami, Indianapolis, Chicago, and in the states of Idaho, Wisconsin, and South Dakota.

The opponents of nullification and the mainstream media want Americans to believe that Nullification is an evil doctrine because it was used to support slavery. They want to shame citizens into believing that to support this concept is to be un-American and to somehow endorse the mindset that gave rise to the Civil War. These false arguments are the very reason that the Tenth Amendment Center felt it was necessary to begin a campaign of proper education.  The truth will allow everyone to come to an educated conclusion about nullification.

The Tenth Amendment knows that the topic of Nullification is one clouded in mystery. People want to know more but don’t know where to learn about it truthfully. They want to believe there is a constitutional way for their states to protect their individual rights. In North Carolina, people have heard disturbing comments from their elected state leaders in the past year, such as the following: “Because NC lost the Civil War, we have no right to second-guess the actions and policies of the federal government.”  “The state constitution forbids us to second-guess the federal government. It’s essentially a surrender document that hasn’t been amended.”  “The 10th Amendment no longer means what it used to. That was decided by the Civil War.”  “The US Constitution doesn’t mean what it used to and we really don’t know what it means now.”  ”Nullification is an outdated, racist doctrine that was used for bad and has no legitimacy.” “The legitimacy of Nullification was decided by the Supreme Court.”  Can these statements possibly be correct?  Education will give people of North Carolina the answer. We hope it will also educate those officials who articulated these offensive positions. Fortunately, the Tenth Amendment Center promotes the topic of Nullification from the mouth and pen of Thomas Jefferson and James Madison, our most important of Founding Fathers. Each wrote a critical founding document and therefore are the proper authorities on the subject.

I’m sure liberty-minded folks support the notion that the federal government is one of limited powers and that the Supremacy Clause is a recognition of that limit and not an open invitation to the government to rule supremely on any and all objects it wants to. It can’t be that the federal government has the sole and exclusive authority to declare what the constitution means and how it applies to its branches and powers. The government can’t be sole and exclusive authority on the extent of its own powers. It’s a sure path to tyranny. I agree that the term “Nullification” scares many people and puts them on the offensive because of the crisis of 1832 with John Calhoun and South Carolina and because of the actions of Southern Democratic leaders in the post-Brown v. Board of Education era to repudiate the decision to integrate schools and society. I certainly get it and understand the negative connotations. But the positive exercises (not necessarily summoning the term “nullification”) have far out-weighed them, such as the actions of the Sons of Liberty which so thoroughly frustrated the British agents in the colonies prior to 1776 that such intolerable acts as the Stamp Act and Quartering Acts could never be enforced, the insistence in the Constitutional Convention in 1787 and in the individual state ratifying conventions for a state “negative” on the federal government (the Senate branch and the Tenth Amendment are examples), the nullification of the Fugitive Slave Act by the southern states, the nullification by a state court of Wisconsin (Glover case 1854) of the Fugitive Slave Act (in fact, the WI court said, despite what the US Supreme Court would later say in Dred Scott that Africans were not a class of persons covered by the Constitution or Declaration and hence were not entitled to any protections offered by those documents, including not having a right to bring suit, slaves and former slaves absolutely have a right to bring an action in a court of law), the state opposition to the federal Real ID which has effectively prevented its enforcement, the nullification of the NDAA by Virginia, and the rejection of state health insurance exchanges by 26 states as a way to show their opposition to federal intrusion into a state matter – healthcare, These are just a few instances of nullification (the pushing back of the federal government because it attempted to over-reach its constitutional authority.

There are many things going on at the national level which threaten our precious American freedoms. The War on Terrorism has expanded executive powers and extended the Rules of War to our homeland, thereby clashing with our Bill of Rights. There is talk of limiting the scope of the Second Amendment. The federal taxing power has been expanded by the Obamacare decision to give the government the option of coercing and controlling human conduct in the marketplace and in controlling human behavior in general.  Unelected officials are using the full power of the federal government to target, harass, censor, and intimidate American citizens. And privacy rights have never been so fragile. Everyone has an issue that is important to them, whether it be gun ownership rights, losing control over one’s healthcare because of Obamacare, gay marriage, the expansion of Homeland Security to spy on ordinary Americans, the drones-in-the-sky program, etc.  It may not be my issue or your issue, but collectively they all touch on the one thing that unites us in a common title – that of an “American.”  Americans enjoy a country where the government is tasked first and foremost with protecting their freedom.  When I think of how groups try to shut each other down or marginalize their issues, I can’t help but think of the words that Pastor Martin Niemoller wrote in light of the Nazi Holocaust:

First they came for the communists, and I did not speak out–
because I was not a communist;

Then they came for the socialists, and I did not speak out–
because I was not a socialist;

Then they came for the trade unionists, and I did not speak out–
because I was not a trade unionist;

Then they came for the Jews, and I did not speak out–
because I was not a Jew;

Then they came for me–
and there was no one left to speak out for me.

To minimize the freedom and expression of one group is to minimize freedom and express for all.

Take, for example, the Daily Kos. It accuses conservatives of trying to prevent and thwart social progress in the United States.  It writes that “their weapons of choice are nullification and secession.” It writes that conservatives resort to “these pernicious ideas in order to prevail on such issues as the rights of the unborn and gun rights.” To equate conservatives as enemies of the state is to silence the voice of our Founding Fathers on critical issues that touch on successful government and human liberty. To shut down those who speak for the unborn is to deny the unborn a voice.

The Daily Kos is wrong.  The weapon of choice for conservatives is education.

Please plan to attend the Nullify Now! event in Raleigh this fall. Once the date and venue are set, it will be posted on the NC Tenth Amendment Center website and Facebook page. In the meantime, please help spread the word.

      ***  Diane Rufino is the Deputy Director of the NC Tenth Amendment Center

NORTH CAROLINA: Stand Up to Common Core Now!

Common Core - Boy with Thumbs Down (CC is Not The Answer)  by Diane Rufino

At the “core” of Common Core is government control, both of students and States.

Please join the state-wide effort to resist the implementation of Common Core in North Carolina.  Of course, I hope this article will encourage those in other states to do the same.

How many North Carolinians know that public school education in the state is centered around the government’s Common Core initiative?  As of February of this year, only about 20 percent had even heard of the term Common Core. Far fewer were aware of the implications of Common Core on education.

The Common Core State Standards Initiative (Common Core) is a US Department of Education initiative that seeks to bring diverse state curricula into alignment with each other by following the principles of standards-based education reform. Although the Common Core establishment promoted the standards as a “state-based initiative,” the truth is that it is anything but that.  It is a government-based, centralized, top-down, one-size-fits-all national education initiative disguised as a state initiative.

In 2010, North Carolina adopted Common Core standards in mathematics and English language arts. The standards were released in June of that year. Like almost every other state, North Carolina quickly adopted the standards without looking into its merits.  Almost three years later, the state Board of Education and state legislators still have not looked into its merits. Instead, they continue to be blinded by the funding element and sold on the lies that the government and its associates have promoted.

The time is NOW to start digging into the merits of Common Core, as well as its criticisms. The hope is that as people begin to learn the truth about this initiative, they will join the effort to resist its implementation in North Carolina. A campaign has been organized for this effort, a resolution has been drafted, many groups are adopting it, and soon our state legislators will be introduced to this resistance. The resolution is attached below and if you think it would be wise to halt implementation of Common Core in North Carolina while parents, citizens, legislators, educators, and state officials have an opportunity to address the many valid and serious concerns (outlined in the resolution), we ask that you attach your name to it.

 

The History of Standards-Based Education: The Federal Role in Education Before No Child Left Behind

On July 24, 2009, President Obama and Secretary of Education Arne Duncan announced there would be federal “Race to the Top” competitive grants available to states for education reform. To be eligible, states had to adopt “internationally benchmarked standards and assessments that prepare students for success in college and the work place.” Once the Common Core standards were released, which was on June 2, 2010, the US Department of Education told the states that in order to continue to be eligible for these grants – this federal funding for education – the states had to adopt them.  45 states have adopted Common Core at this point and the government is planning to fully implement this initiative by 2015 by requiring that each state base at least 85% of its education curricula on the Standards.

How did Common Core come about?

As most people are aware, the No Child Left Behind Act of 2001 (NCLB), the initiative put forth by President George Bush, marked the most dramatic expansion of the federal government’s role in public education in nearly 40 years. Breaking from the government’s traditionally limited role in the daily lives of American school children, NCLB placed specific demands on states and school districts – forcing them to hold schools accountable for failing students, requiring them to monitor student progress annually or face consequences, mandating tougher hiring practices for teachers, and instituting penalties for schools that failed to improve. The penalty provision of the NCLB was the real meat of the initiative. A school that failed to meet the NCLB standards for 3 consecutive years would not be entitled to federal funding.

Up until Common Core, No Child Left Behind was the latest revision of the Elementary and Secondary Education Act of 1965 (ESEA), which was the very first federal education law. It was developed and enacted as part of President Johnson’s “War on Poverty” in order to provide significant levels of funding to schools.

In the beginning, ESEA allocated $1 billion a year to help subsidize schools with high numbers of low-income students. It funded Head Start, a preschool program that helped poor children prepare for first grade. It later budgeted an estimated $11 billion to $13 billion a year to help kindergarten through 12th grade schools in poor communities. The provisions of the law also included funds for professional development for teachers and programs designed to increase parent involvement. As President Johnson said the day the bill was passed: “It will offer new hope to tens of thousands of youngsters who need attention before they ever enroll in the first grade.”  He continued, “It will help 5 million children of poor families overcome their greatest barrier to progress: poverty.”  Indeed, ESEA’s most far reaching program, Title I: Aid to Disadvantaged Children, earmarked $8 billion a year to special education and impoverished and homeless children.

ESEA served as the foundation for federal funding of public schools for almost 30 years. Despite funneling federal money to schools, ESEA adhered to the historic paradigm of a limited government involvement in local schools and left the responsibility of managing public education to the individual states. Under the 1965 law, states created academic standards and assessed student progress but were not held accountable by the federal government for the results. Darla Marburger, the deputy assistant secretary for policy at the US Dept. of Education explained: “Prior to No Child Left Behind, states were required to report student performance but they were not being required to hold their schools accountable based on subgroup performance. States had accountability plans but those accountability plans did not necessarily have a focus on having all students proficient.”

In the classroom, ESEA required the Department of Education to administer the National Assessment of Educational Progress (NAEP) test, an assessment of fourth, eighth and 12th graders from randomly chosen schools, both public and private, across the country. The test, commonly referred to as “The Nation’s Report Card,” sought to give lawmakers a measure of national achievement by subgroups, such as female and Hispanic students, but did not assess all the nation’s schools. Major disparities between the reading and math scores of students in economically disadvantaged school districts and the scores of students in more affluent communities raised concerns, and this led to a revision of the law in 1994 by the Clinton administration. The revised law was called The Improving America’s Schools Act (IASA).

IASA increased school funding to cover additional programs for disadvantaged students and required states to increase the number of student assessment tests to once in grades 3-5, 6-9 and 10-12. Under the law, states were asked to impose their own standardized test requirements for disadvantaged students, who, under the previous law, did not have to be tested.  Despite what lawmakers hoped would be a turnaround in academic proficiency under IASA, NAEP scores continued to show a wide achievement gap by race and socio-economic status. While some schools and districts took pains to ensure their students passed progress tests, others did not.

A report of the National Conference of State Legislatures in 2003 summarized: “In attempting to account for the differences of 15,000 local districts and 40 million public students, state and local districts created a diverse array of policies and programs. It became apparent that some states, districts and schools were moving faster and further in implementing standards-based reforms than were others.”

In 1998, only 60 percent of fourth graders performed at or above the “basic” level of NAEP and only 30 percent of eighth graders and 40 percent of the nation’s 12th graders scored at or above the “proficient” or average level, according to the National Center for Education Statistics. The same year, the test still showed major performance gaps between white students (who scored higher on the tests) and black, Hispanic, and American Indian students.

As part of his bid for the presidency in 1999, Texas Governor George W. Bush, promised Americans an overhaul of the nation’s schools. At that time, studies showed that both working class and suburban voters considered education a top priority. Bush proposed college savings accounts and deductions, pouring more funds into early childhood education and supported standardized tests to measure school performance and accountability. “I believe that measurement is the cornerstone to reform and measurement is the cornerstone to making sure children learn. And I am going to ask the Congress to pass a bill that says in return for receipt of federal money and in return for flexibility, for the federal dollars you receive, you must show us … you must show the nation, you must show the people in your area whether or not children can read, write, and add and subtract,” he promised in 2000.  “If they can, there will be rewards. If they can’t, there must be a final moment of consequence in order for the accountability systems to mean anything. Instead of continuing to subsidize mediocrity after a reasonable period of time, then parents will have a different choice with the federal money.”

The No Child Left Behind Act, signed by President Bush on January 8, 2002, initially received praise from Republicans and Democrats alike. Both sides saw the new law as providing basic tools to give the country’s most disadvantaged children (who go to school in some of the poorest districts) a very real opportunity at a quality public school education. As mentioned earlier, the act initiated a coordination of state and federal policy with the goal of improving teachers and students by penalizing schools whose standardized test scores did not improve rapidly enough.

Since its passage, however, many Republicans and Democrats who initially supported the bill have joined critics who condemn the law for imposing unrealistic expectations on schools and failing to provide sufficient funds to make the required improvements. By 2005, least 10 state legislatures tried to roll back parts of the law and at least three states took steps to exempt themselves from some of the act’s provisions.

It was No Child Left Behind which fundamentally changed classroom education from the traditional approach to “teaching to the test.”

Even before George Bush proposed No Child Left Behind, the “Education Accountability Movement” was gaining momentum. The movement advocated for a common core of knowledge that all citizens should have in order to be successful in the nation’s workforce and they wanted mandatory testing of student achievement in order to achieve that goal. As part of this bold education reform movement, the nation’s governors and corporate leaders founded Achieve, Inc, a bi-partisan organization to raise academic standards, graduation requirements, improve assessments, and strengthen accountability in all 50 states. The year was 1996. Then in 2004, a report was published, titled “Ready or Not: Creating a High School Diploma That Counts,” which found that both employers and colleges are demanding more of high school graduates than in the past. According to Achieve, Inc., “current high-school exit expectations fall well short of what employers and colleges demand.”  The report concluded that the major problem currently facing the American school system is that high school graduates were not provided with the skills and knowledge they needed to succeed.  As the introduction to the report announced: “While students and their parents may still believe that the diploma reflects adequate preparation for the intellectual demands of adult life, in reality it falls far short of this common-sense goal.”  It alleged that a high school diploma no longer holds the value it used to because graduates could not compete successfully beyond high school.

The report went on the conclude that the solution to this problem is a common set of rigorous standards.  The stage was set for Common Core.

The development and promotion of the Common Core standards was a joint effort spearheaded by the National Governors Association Center for Best Practices (NGA) and the Council of Chief State School Officers (CCSSO).  The NGA and CCSSO coordinated the development process in partnership with Achieve, Inc.  In 2009, the NGA hired David Coleman, a businessman (not an educator) and a progressive, and Student Achievement to write curriculum standards in the areas of literacy and mathematics instruction. David Coleman, who despises classic literature and its teaching, is the chief architect of the Common Core standards. He is also listed as one of the top 10 scariest people involved with education reform.

As it was announced on June 1, 2009, the initiative’s stated purpose would be to “provide a consistent, clear understanding of what students are expected to learn, so teachers and parents know what they need to do to help them.”  With respect to the standards that were created, it was explained that: “The standards are designed to be robust and relevant to the real world, reflecting the knowledge and skills that our young people need for success in college and careers, which will place American students in a position in which they can compete in a global economy.”  A year later, on June 2, the standards were released.

With David Coleman as the architect of Common Core, it is no wonder that the teaching of classic literature has been sacrificed under the English Language Arts standards in order to teach from “informational texts.” hat is, students will have to know only the precise information presented in the document without room for analysis or interpretation   Informational texts range from everything from historical documents to insulation installation manuals,  presidential executive orders, environmental programming, and federal reserve documents.  (These are all actually on the recommended reading  list). Of course one has to ask: “Why can’t students read some of these “informational texts” in history class, for example, where they can be accompanied by proper analysis and discussion?”

While both the NGA and CCSSO appear to be state-based organizations, the reality is that both are DC-based trade associations (organizations founded and funded by businesses that operate in a specific industry). And Achieve, Inc, the group tasked with “raising academic standards and graduation requirements, improving assessments, and strengthening accountability” is actually a progressive non-profit group based out of DC which receives much of its funding by the Bill and Melinda Gates Foundation. (Bill and Melinda Gates are super liberals). The truth is that the Melinda and Bill Gates Foundation planned and funded all the development, did all the reviewing, and is now involved in the promotion of the Common Core, including selecting most of the figures on the various development committees. It is also worth noting that since creating the Common Core standards, David Coleman has recently been promoted to president of the College Board.  As president, he has promised to align the SAT with the Common Core standards he created.  First, he used his progressive education philosophy to hijack education for K-12 students and now he’s plotting it for post-secondary students as well.

As mentioned earlier, the Common Core State standards are scheduled to go into effect in 2014 and to be fully implemented (with testing) by 2015.  The 45 states that have adopted the program are currently phasing in the programs reforms. The standards released so far are in math and English language arts, but they will soon extend to science and then history (social studies).

Four states so far have either not adopted Common Core or have dropped out – Nebraska, Alaska, Texas, and Virginia. Alabama has introduced repeal legislation and now Kansas and Oklahoma are doing the same. Oklahoma took the first step in passing a bill (House Bill 1989) which will prohibit the sharing of its students’ personal information. Minnesota has only adopted the English language arts standards. And Indiana has recently passed legislation – a Common Core “Pause” Bill – that puts a pause on the implementation of Common Core in the state so that legislators, parents, teachers and school boards can have the time they were denied previously, to actually vet and analyze the Common Core agenda. The bill, in part, reads: “After May 15, 2013, the state board may take no further actions to implement as standards for the state or direct the department to implement any common core standards developed by the Common Core State Standards Initiative until the state board conducts a comprehensive evaluation of the common core standards.”  Indiana’s Governor Mike Pence, skeptical of Common Core, says the standards are less rigorous than Indiana’s prior standards and adopting them would mean giving up too much power over the setting of standards.

 

North Carolina and Common Core 

North Carolina adopted Common Core on June 4, 2010. That was only two days after the standards were released by the NGA and the CCSSO.  The NC Board of Education adopted it unanimously because it didn’t want to lose the federal “Race to the Top” funding.  The state legislature didn’t vote on it, nor have they taken any serious steps to put the brakes on its implementation. In fact, that’s been the case in 45 states.  Common Core was presented to the states at a time when the government knew the state legislatures would be out of session or beyond the point when they would entertain new legislation (the summer). The NGA and CCSSO knew they would have a better chance with the state boards of education, which are typically more liberal and progressive and like standards-based curriculum. And that’s what happened here in NC.  States didn’t want to lose the federal funding and therefore didn’t do the due diligence in researching the Common Core standards. If they had done so, they would have learned that almost everything the CC establishment has saying about it is a lie.

North Carolina schools began implementing the math and English language arts standards in the fall of 2012, although Common Core will fully go into effect in 2014-2015 when the tests (funded by the federal government) are provided.  At this time, most NC legislators think we are already too far down the road with Common Core and too dependent on federal education funding to break free and opt out.  Opting out would require one of two actions: (i) a decision by the state Board of Education (which would actually be feasible since many of the members who supported Common Core have been removed from the Board by newly-elected Republican Governor Pat McCrory and replaced with those who are skeptical of it); or (ii) action by the NC General Assembly to opt out (and refuse funding) or halt implementation. In April 2013, NC house members passéd House Bill 733 (H.B. 733) which creates a 20-member committee to study the Common Core standards and to make a report to the legislature in 2014 and 2015 and to make a final report in 2016, at which time the committee will be dismantled. If the bill called for a 1-year study, critics might be able to conclude that NC legislators are serious about figuring out if Common Core is good for its students and stopping a potentially bad program, but since the study is much longer and since Common Core will continue to be implemented and more firmly entrenched during that entire time, the bill is simply a diversionary tactic and only gives the illusion that our state legislature has good intentions. By the time the study is complete, Common Core will have established national standards and testing in all subjects.

 

The Initiative and Resolution to Oppose the Implementation of Common Core

An initiative has been organized to oppose the implementation of Common Core in North Carolina and ultimately to seek that it be rejected for our public schools. It is the belief of those who have spent time researching the standards that Common Core is a one-size-fits-all education agenda to nationalize education standards and then, by extension (and through the testing scheme), to control public school curriculum. The intention is to collect resolutions from as many groups around the state who want the brakes put on implementation of Common Core in North Carolina and then use them to put the pressure on our state legislature and state Board of Education.

I hope this information will encourage those in other states to organize opposition as well.

For those who live in North Carolina, please read the Resolution below and if you agree or simply want to err on the side of caution and provide more time for due diligence, please agree to add your name to it.  Also, please share with as many people as you can.  Once all signatures are collected, we will organize a day when groups can meet at the state legislature and together present the resolutions to all of our legislators.

To add your name, please contact Diane Rufino – crazy_for_the_80s@yahoo.com  (and put “COMMON CORE RESOLUTION” in the subject line).  Please include which town or county you live in and if you belong to any special organizations.

 

RESOLUTION OPPOSING COMMON CORE EDUCATION STANDARDS

WHEREAS, Common Core (CC) is a set of (math and English language arts) academic standards, created by two private membership organizations, the National Governor’s Association (NGA) and the Council of Chief State School Officers (CCSSO) and promoted as a “State Standards initiative” and as a method for conforming American students to uniform “internationally-benchmarked” achievement goals to make them more competitive in a global marketplace (1), and

WHEREAS, Common Core is being promoted as a “state initiative,” that description is merely offered to give the public the illusion that the agenda is “state-led.” Common Core standards were actually initiated by private interests in Washington DC and not by state lawmakers. Both the NGA and the CCSSO are both DC-based trade associations (organizations founded and funded by businesses that operate in a specific industry) which used ACHIEVE, Inc. to do the creative work. ACHIEVE, Inc. is a progressive non-profit group based out of DC which has received much of its funding by the Bill and Melinda Gates Foundation.

WHEREAS, Common Core is a top down, one-size-fits-all government takeover of our education system. It uses a one-size-fits-all approach to teaching and assumes the same in learning. The CC standards were founded on a severely flawed idea – that every child can learn the same way and at the same pace. It assumes that every child across America will “be on the same page at the same time”; and

WHEREAS, the federal government is bribing the states with federal funds in order to get them to assent blindly to the government’s education agenda. Even though Federal Law prohibits the federalizing of curriculum (2), the Obama Administration accepted the CC plan and used 2009 Stimulus Bill money to reward the states that were most committed to the President’s CC agenda; but, they failed to give states, their legislatures and their citizens time to evaluate the CC before having to commit to them (the old “bait and switch”), and

WHEREAS, the NGA and CCSSO in concert with the same corporations developing the CC ‘assessments’ have created new textbooks, digital media and other teaching materials aligned to the standards which must be purchased and adopted by local school districts in order that students may effectively compete on CC ‘assessments,’ and

WHEREAS, under the “one-size-fits-all” CC standards provided by the NGA and CCSSO and with the testing that the government will provide, teachers will rely less on creativity in order to teach, will be forced to stress rote memorization, and will end up “teaching to the test” (which means the government not only sets the standards but will also direct the curriculum); and

WHEREAS, up until forty years ago, this nation had the best system of education – both K-12 and colleges and universities – in the world. One of the traits that made American education great was its diversity. Elementary and secondary school students can choose among private, parochial, public, technical charter, virtual and home schools for their particular ‘flavor’ in curriculum. Yet uniformity (and NOT diversity) is what CC is all about; and

WHEREAS, in many cases, the CC standards are lower than already existing state standards; and

WHEREAS, instead of teaching critical thinking and problem solving, CC stresses the lowest common denominator, punishes achievement, and forces all students to conform to government standard;  and

WHEREAS, the curriculum will replace the study of classic literature in favor of reading so-called ‘informational texts,’ such as government documents, court opinions, and technical manuals; and

WHEREAS, Common Core will require “Data Mining,” which is a huge invasion of an individual’s right to privacy. States who have adopted CC to continue being eligible for Obama’s “Race to the Top” federal funding will be obliged to implement a State Longitudinal Database System (SLDS) used to track students. They will track students by obtaining personally identifiable information, including such intimate details as the SS# of parents, mother’s maiden name, political affiliation or beliefs of the student and parents, mental and psychological problems of the child and family, sex behavior or attitudes, a history of personal behavior (including illegal, anti-social, self-incriminating, and demeaning behavior), special relationships (with lawyers, physicians, ministers, etc), religious beliefs and affiliations, and income;  and

WHEREAS, Common Core changes the fundamental role of education – from teaching HOW to think and process information to WHAT to think. Common Core teaches for job placement. The emphasis that Common Core puts on “job placement” puts the focus of our education system primarily on the economy and not on the well-being of our children; and

WHEREASCommon Core will not only apply to all public schools, but it will affect charter schools, private schools, Christian schools and homeschooling as well. Recent statements from the College Board make clear that they are making the move to changing the SAT to reflect the CC as well (encouraged to accept only students who have an education based on CC). If the SAT is based on one curriculum, private school and home school curriculum may be forced to conform; and

WHEREAS, the Common Core standards are copyrighted by the NGA and CCSSO and therefore protected by intellectual property. Hence states are issued licenses to use them and forbidden, for the most part, from making any changes to them. In other words, Common Core, if fully enacted, will end the historical and legal rights of our communities to determine what our children are taught and how the material will be taught; and

WHEREAS, Common Core is being promoted as being “standards-based,” the truth is that educators have always had standards, guidelines, or benchmarks to guide curriculum? What is different all of sudden is that government is sliding towards a socialist agenda where it seeks a “one-size-fits-all” centralized scheme in regulating the lives of citizens; and

WHEREAS, the promoters of the CC standards claim they are based in research, the truth is that the creators were not researchers or educators or otherwise qualified to write the standards; and

WHEREAS, Common Core is an “untested” curriculum, which has not been field-tested anywhere, and which comes with a potential human price tag (requiring experimenting on our precious children), and which interferes with parental control and parental choice in the upbringing of their children; and

WHEREAS, our future depends on the next generation being able to solve the serious problems we face, and sub-standard government run education will only make things worse;

WHEREAS, Common Core comes with an enormous price tag (independent estimates put the cost at $14-16 billion over 7 years) yet that cost is not built in anywhere; and

WHEREAS, at its “core,” Common Core is essentially a social engineering experiment; and

WHEREAS, Common Core is a nationalized federal government takeover of our Education system which runs afoul of the Tenth Amendment, as education is a right reserved to the States.  The government certainly doesn’t have the power to create a one-size-fits-all take-over of education on all levels yet it uses its power of conditional spending to achieve the same purpose (an end-run around the Constitution). If the federal government has enough money to bribe the states to adopt its policies with taxpayer money, then the government is clearly overtaxing the American people. It should tax less and allow the states to tax more so at least the states can use its people’s money to serve their interests; and

WHEREAS, Common Core will force consistency and uniformity across the nation. As long as the States are bribed and coerced into adopting a national one-size-fits-all education scheme, then education in general will suffer severely because the states, as 50 independent laboratories of experimentation, will be precluded from trying to innovate and improve education and find solutions to the problems that plague our current education system (in other words, this imposed uniformity will stifle the innovation that federalism fosters).

Therefore, let it be –

RESOLVED, that the _______________________ (name of group) demands that the state Board of Education and our state legislators acknowledge and address the criticisms of the CC standards; and

RESOLVED, that the _______________________ (name of group) rejects thecollection of personal student data for any non-educational purpose without the prior written consent of an adult student or a child student’s parent and that it rejects the sharing of such personal data, without the prior written consent of an adult student or a child student’s parent, with any person or entity other than schools or education agencies within the state, and

RESOLVED, that the _______________________ (name of group) emphatically urges NC state officials to repeal the numerous federal regulations which interfere with State and local control of public schools, and

RESOLVED, that the _______________________ (name of group) urges our Legislators to get further involved in the current debate over Common Core, to halt implementation of the standards while a state initiative is pursued to do due diligence and perhaps take an independent state-based approach to the improvement of our education system, and to eventually introduce legislation to remove this system permanently from our schools in North Carolina.

 

References:

1.  www.corestandards.org

2.  Federal Law 20 USC 1232a-Sec. 1232a. and The Elementary and Secondary Education Act (ESEA) Pub.L. 89-10, 79 Stat. 27, 20 US.C. ch. 70.  http://us-code.vlex.com/vid/prohibition-against-federal-control-19195093

3.  Diane Rufino, “‘Common Core or ‘Rotten to the Core’ – You Decide,” For Love of God and Country, May 11, 2013.  Referenced at:  http://www.forloveofgodandcountry.com

4.  Common Core Terms of Use – http://www.corestandards.org/terms-of-use

 

 

Article References:

Department of Education. “President Obama, U.S. Secretary of Education Duncan Announce National Competition to Advance School Reform,” Ed.gov, July 24, 2009. Referenced at:  http://www2.ed.gov/news/pressreleases/2009/07/07242009.htm

Kristina Nwazota, “The Federal Role in Education Before No Child Left Behind,” PBS: The Online News Hour, August 21, 2005.  Referenced at:  http://www.pbs.org/newshour/indepth_coverage/education/no_child/before.html

Diane Rufino, “‘Common Core or ‘Rotten to the Core’ – You Decide,” For Love of God and Country, May 11, 2013.  Referenced at:  http://www.forloveofgodandcountry.com

Top Ten Scariest People in Education Reform.” http://whatiscommoncore.wordpress.com/2013/03/21/top-ten-scariest-people-in-education-reform-9-david-coleman/

Wikipedia (for a detailed look at the standards and examples) –http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Common_Core_State_Standards_Initiative

RESOLUTION OPPOSING COMMON CORE

I wrote the following resolution to adopt in my legislative district which would then be passed on to our state Board of Education members and to our legislators who continue to support Common Core in North Carolina –

I hope others can use this Resolution as well, even if just a starting point, to organize opposition and help pause or halt implementation of Common Core in their state

Diane Rufino

 

RESOLUTION OPPOSING COMMON CORE EDUCATION STANDARDS

WHEREAS, Common Core (CC) is a set of (math and English language arts) academic standards, created by two private membership organizations, the National Governor’s Association (NGA) and the Council of Chief State School Officers (CCSSO) and promoted as a “State Standards initiative” and as a method for conforming American students to uniform “internationally-benchmarked” achievement goals to make them more competitive in a global marketplace (1), and

WHEREAS, Common Core is being promoted as a “state initiative,” that description is merely offered to give the public the illusion that the agenda is “state-led.” Common Core standards were actually initiated by private interests in Washington DC and not by state lawmakers. Both the NGA and the CCSSO are both DC-based trade associations (organizations founded and funded by businesses that operate in a specific industry) which used ACHIEVE, Inc. to do the creative work. ACHIEVE, Inc. is a progressive non-profit group based out of DC which has received much of its funding by the Bill and Melinda Gates Foundation.

WHEREAS, Common Core is a top down, one-size-fits-all government takeover of our education system. It uses a one-size-fits-all approach to teaching and assumes the same in learning. The CC standards were founded on a severely flawed idea – that every child can learn the same way and at the same pace. It assumes that every child across America will “be on the same page at the same time”; and

WHEREAS, the federal government is bribing the states with federal funds in order to get them to assent blindly to the government’s education agenda. Even though Federal Law prohibits the federalizing of curriculum (2), the Obama Administration accepted the CC plan and used 2009 Stimulus Bill money to reward the states that were most committed to the President’s CC agenda; but, they failed to give states, their legislatures and their citizens time to evaluate the CC before having to commit to them (the old “bait and switch”), and

WHEREAS, the NGA and CCSSO in concert with the same corporations developing the CC ‘assessments’ have created new textbooks, digital media and other teaching materials aligned to the standards which must be purchased and adopted by local school districts in order that students may effectively compete on CC ‘assessments,’ and

WHEREAS, under the “one-size-fits-all” CC standards provided by the NGA and CCSSO and with the testing that the government will provide, teachers will rely less on creativity in order to teach, will be forced to stress rote memorization, and will end up “teaching to the test” (which means the government not only sets the standards but will also direct the curriculum); and

WHEREAS, up until forty years ago, this nation had the best system of education – both K-12 and colleges and universities – in the world. One of the traits that made American education great was its diversity. Elementary and secondary school students can choose among private, parochial, public, technical charter, virtual and home schools for their particular ‘flavor’ in curriculum. Yet uniformity (and NOT diversity) is what CC is all about; and

WHEREAS, in many cases, the CC standards are lower than already existing state standards; and

WHEREAS, instead of teaching critical thinking and problem solving, CC stresses the lowest common denominator, punishes achievement, and forces all students to conform to government standard;  and

WHEREAS, the curriculum will replace the study of classic literature in favor of reading so-called ‘informational texts,’ such as government documents, court opinions, and technical manuals; and

WHEREAS, Common Core will require “Data Mining,” which is a huge invasion of an individual’s right to privacy. States who have adopted CC to continue being eligible for Obama’s “Race to the Top” federal funding will be obliged to implement a State Longitudinal Database System (SLDS) used to track students. They will track students by obtaining personally identifiable information, including such intimate details as the SS# of parents, mother’s maiden name, political affiliation or beliefs of the student and parents, mental and psychological problems of the child and family, sex behavior or attitudes, a history of personal behavior (including illegal, anti-social, self-incriminating, and demeaning behavior), special relationships (with lawyers, physicians, ministers, etc), religious beliefs and affiliations, and income;  and

WHEREAS, Common Core changes the fundamental role of education – from teaching HOW to think and process information to WHAT to think. Common Core teaches for job placement. The emphasis that Common Core puts on “job placement” puts the focus of our education system primarily on the economy and not on the well-being of our children; and

WHEREASCommon Core will not only apply to all public schools, but it will affect charter schools, private schools, Christian schools and homeschooling as well. Recent statements from the College Board make clear that they are making the move to changing the SAT to reflect the CC as well (encouraged to accept only students who have an education based on CC). If the SAT is based on one curriculum, private school and home school curriculum may be forced to conform; and

WHEREAS, the Common Core standards are copyrighted by the NGA and CCSSO and therefore protected by intellectual property. Hence states are issued licenses to use them and forbidden, for the most part, from making any changes to them. In other words, Common Core, if fully enacted, will end the historical and legal rights of our communities to determine what our children are taught and how the material will be taught; and

WHEREAS, Common Core is being promoted as being “standards-based,” the truth is that educators have always had standards, guidelines, or benchmarks to guide curriculum? What is different all of sudden is that government is sliding towards a socialist agenda where it seeks a “one-size-fits-all” centralized scheme in regulating the lives of citizens; and

WHEREAS, the promoters of the CC standards claim they are based in research, the truth is that the creators were not researchers or educators or otherwise qualified to write the standards; and

WHEREAS, Common Core is an “untested” curriculum, which has not been field-tested anywhere, and which comes with a potential human price tag (requiring experimenting on our precious children), and which interferes with parental control and parental choice in the upbringing of their children; and

WHEREAS, our future depends on the next generation being able to solve the serious problems we face, and sub-standard government run education will only make things worse;

WHEREAS, Common Core comes with an enormous price tag (independent estimates put the cost at $14-16 billion over 7 years) yet that cost is not built in anywhere; and

WHEREAS, at its “core,” Common Core is essentially a social engineering experiment; and

WHEREAS, Common Core is a nationalized federal government takeover of our Education system which runs afoul of the Tenth Amendment, as education is a right reserved to the States.  The government certainly doesn’t have the power to create a one-size-fits-all take-over of education on all levels yet it uses its power of conditional spending to achieve the same purpose (an end-run around the Constitution). If the federal government has enough money to bribe the states to adopt its policies with taxpayer money, then the government is clearly overtaxing the American people. It should tax less and allow the states to tax more so at least the states can use its people’s money to serve their interests; and

WHEREAS, Common Core will force consistency and uniformity across the nation. As long as the States are bribed and coerced into adopting a national one-size-fits-all education scheme, then education in general will suffer severely because the states, as 50 independent laboratories of experimentation, will be precluded from trying to innovate and improve education and find solutions to the problems that plague our current education system (in other words, this imposed uniformity will stifle the innovation that federalism fosters).

Therefore, let it be –

RESOLVED, that the _______________________ (name of group) demands that the state Board of Education and our state legislators acknowledge and address the criticisms of the CC standards; and

RESOLVED, that the _______________________ (name of group) rejects thecollection of personal student data for any non-educational purpose without the prior written consent of an adult student or a child student’s parent and that it rejects the sharing of such personal data, without the prior written consent of an adult student or a child student’s parent, with any person or entity other than schools or education agencies within the state, and

RESOLVED, that the _______________________ (name of group) emphatically urges NC state officials to repeal the numerous federal regulations which interfere with State and local control of public schools, and

RESOLVED, that the _______________________ (name of group) urges our Legislators to get further involved in the current debate over Common Core, to halt implementation of the standards while a state initiative is pursued to do due diligence and perhaps take an independent state-based approach to the improvement of our education system, and to eventually introduce legislation to remove this system permanently from our schools in North Carolina.

References:

1.  www.corestandards.org

2.  Federal Law 20 USC 1232a-Sec. 1232a. and The Elementary and Secondary Education Act (ESEA) Pub.L. 89-10, 79 Stat. 27, 20 US.C. ch. 70.  http://us-code.vlex.com/vid/prohibition-against-federal-control-19195093

3.  Diane Rufino, “‘Common Core or ‘Rotten to the Core’ – You Decide,” For Love of God and Country, May 11, 2013.  Referenced at:  http://www.forloveofgodandcountry.com

4.  Common Core Terms of Use – http://www.corestandards.org/terms-of-use

“Common Core” or “Rotten to the Core” – You Decide

Common Core - Setting Standards

by Diane Rufino

Common Core is an educational curriculum being forced upon the states by the Obama administration, which is scheduled to be mostly implemented this year in the 45 states that have adopted it. Common Core eliminates local control over K-12 curriculum in math and English, instead imposing a one-size-fits-all, top-down curriculum that will also apply to private schools and homeschoolers.

Common Core was has been promoted in a manner that sounds good and commendable – “States working together to create national standards for education… standards that are designed to be robust and relevant in the real world.”  Common Core describes itself as “internationally benchmarked,” “robust,” “aligned with college and work expectations,” “rigorous,” and “evidence-based.”

Common Core proponents claim that it is not a federal mandate, instead using language like “state-led” and “voluntary.” The Common Core website asserts, “The federal government was NOT involved in the development of the standards.” It states that Common Core is not a national curriculum, but “a clear set of shared goals and expectations for what knowledge and skills will help our students succeed. If you go to the Common Core website, this is what you will find:  Common Core is focused in two areas: Mathematics standards and English Language Arts standards.  It was created by the National Governors Association Center for Best Practices (NGA) and the Council of Chief State School Officers (CCSSO).

If the initiative sounds so hunky dory, why is there a growing resistance to this initiative in many states around the country, including right here in North Carolina?  Well, state and local groups who are bothering to do their homework and look into the details of Common Core have concluded that what the public has been told about this initiative has not been the truth. In fact, none of what the Common Core establishment is pushing is true.
For instance, even though the Common Core establishment is claiming that the NGA and CCSSO are behind the initiative, this is merely offered to give the public the illusion that the agenda is “state-led.” Common Core standards were actually initiated by private interests in Washington DC and not by state lawmakers. Both the NGA and the CCSSO are both DC-based trade associations (organizations founded and funded by businesses that operate in a specific industry). In fact, most of the creative work was done by ACHIEVE, Inc, a progressive non-profit group based out of DC which has received much of its funding by the Bill and Melinda Gates Foundation. (Bill and Melinda Gates are super liberals). The truth is that the Melinda and Bill Gates Foundation planned and funded all the development, did all the reviewing, and is now involved in the promotion of the Common Core, including selecting most of the figures on the various development committees.

So, we see that Common Core was not, in fact, created by the states. But 45 states so far (including NC in 2010) have adopted the Common Core standards, so that must mean that the initiative is a good thing, yes?

Let’s see.

Even though the NGA is cited as the author of Common Core, the federal government has had a big hand in it. The Department of Education helped create Common Core, it has poured millions of dollars into two consortia that are created the national tests aligned with Common Core. The states who adopted Common Core did so primarily so they wouldn’t lose their “Race to the Top” federal funding and therefore have to come up with state funding for education. They needed to adopt Common Core to remain eligible for federal funding.  (“Race to the Top” is Obama’s education initiative, announced in 2009).  Right away we can understand why states were so quick to jump on the bandwagon.

So with this federal coercion and with the federal government involved, what does Common Core actually mean for the states?  Well, the Common Core establishment no longer claims that its standards are internationally benchmarked (no longer linked to competitive international performance). The website now claims that the standards are simply “informed by” the standards of other countries (although there is no clarification as to what “informed by” means).  The public school curriculum will be streamlined in both math and English language arts, but will not have any input by the individual states. Instead, the curriculum will be developed by private associations and non-profits based in Washington DC.  Fordham University, a proponent of Common Core, admits that several states had education standards superior to those advanced in Common Core and some states had standards that were at least just as good. This has led many to describe Common Core as a “Race to the Middle.”  It means that eventually, over time, the states will give up complete control over the curriculum in their public schools. They will not be allowed to make any changes to the curriculum or to the Common Core standards. Parents will have greatly diminished opportunity to get involved in the education of their children. The two private testing consortia, being funded by the US Department of Education, have admitted in their grant applications that they would use the money to create curriculum models for the nation.

What does this mean for our children?  It means that in many cases, the standards that were developed were not based on research, public dialogue, state input, or input from educators.  Nowhere is this fact more astoundingly true than in the case of the early childhood standards – more specifically Kindergarten through grade 3.  There were 135 people on the committees and panels that wrote and reviewed the Common Core standards. Not a single one of them was a K-3 classroom teacher or early childhood development expert. It means that children will be subject to a one-size-fits-all education scheme which assumes all students can learn in the same manner and at the same pace. Diane Ravitch, a historian of education and Professor of Education at New York University who has long advocated for national standards, says she cannot support Common Core because she fears it will cause a precipitous decline in test scores, based on arbitrary cut scores, which will have a disparate impact on students who are English language learners, students with disabilities, and students who are poor and low-performing. A school in the Mid-West had piloted the Common Core assessments and the failure rate rocketed upwards, especially among the students with the highest needs. He said the exams looked like AP exams and were beyond the reach of many students. When Kentucky piloted the Common Core, proficiency rates dropped by 30 percent. The Chancellor of the New York Board of Regents has already warned that the state should expect a sharp drop in test scores.  And there are even more serious concerns, which are addressed below. Perhaps the most importantly criticisms are the fact that its standards are not research-driven nor inspired and therefore not tested and the initiative calls for a massive invasion of privacy in order to collect data (“data mining”) and establish an inclusive file on students to document their educational (emotional, and psychological) development.

US Secretary of Education, Arne Duncan, has called criticisms of the Common Core State Standards “a conspiracy theory in search of a conspiracy,” but everyone is encouraged to take a close look at Common Core, weigh the positives and negatives, and decide the merit of the criticisms for themselves.

Not many people are aware of Common Core. If you would have asked the average person back in January of this year if they heard of it, maybe 20-25 percent would have answered in the affirmative. To make matters worse, 76 percent of teachers nationwide don’t think their states are prepared to implement Common Core and only 17 percent feel confident that the initiative will improve student education and performance.

The Common Core State standards are scheduled to go into effect in 2014 and the 45 states that have adopted the program are currently phasing in the programs reforms. As mentioned above, the standards so far are in math and English language arts, but they will extend to science and then history (social studies).

In the years to come we will be able to assess if the Common Core has indeed made students “college—and career—ready.” The only shame is that it requires experimenting on such precious young subjects.

My state of North Carolina adopted Common Core in 2010.  The state Board of Education adopted it unanimously because it didn’t want to lose the federal “Race to the Top” funding.  The state legislature didn’t vote on it, nor have they taken any serious steps to put the brakes on its implementation. North Carolina schools began implementing the math and English language arts standards in the fall of 2012, although Common Core will fully go into effect in 2014 when the tests (funded by the federal government) are provided.  At this time, most NC legislators think we are already too far down the road with Common Core and too dependent on federal education funding to break free and opt out.  Opting out would require one of two actions: (i) a decision by the state Board of Education (which would actually be feasible since many of the members who supported Common Core have been removed from the Board by newly-elected Republican Governor Pat McCrory and replaced with those who are skeptical of it); or (ii) action by the NC General Assembly to opt out (and refuse funding) or halt implementation. In April 2013, NC house members passé House Bill 733 (H.B. 733) which creates a 20-member committee to study the Common Core standards and to make a report to the legislature in 2014 and 2015 and to make a final report in 2016, at which time the committee will be dismantled. If the bill called for a 1-year study, critics might be able to conclude that NC legislators are serious about figuring out if Common Core is good for its students and stopping a potentially bad program, but since the study is much longer and since Common Core will continue to be implemented and more firmly entrenched during that entire time, the bill may simply be illusory.

What are some of the Criticisms of Common Core?

1).  The government is bribing the states with funding to adopt and implement Common Core.  Funding to the states from the federal government through the Obama administration’s signature school reform initiative, Race to the Top, is effectively tied to state” adopting Common Core. Further, the White House threatens to deny funding to states through Title 1 of the Elementary and Secondary Education Act (ESEA) to states that fail to adopt “standards that prepare students for ‘college and career.’” (Common Core is the only game in town when it comes to proposing wide national standards, so the general language fits the Obama administration’s intentions just fine.) Indeed, as reported by Education Week, President Obama’s proposal to tie re-authorization of the ESEA would require states to either join with their counterparts—as does the Common Core system—in adopting common standards or collaborate with state universities to establish education standards.

The ESEA is a United States federal statute enacted in 1965 as part of President Lyndon B Johnson’s “War on Poverty” which funds primary and secondary education and is historically the most far-reaching federal legislation affected education ever passed by Congress. However, the act explicitly forbids the establishment of a national curriculum and all of the federal legislation affecting schools following the ESEA (The General Education Provisions Act, the Department of Education Organization Act, the No Child Left Behind Act) were all solidly aligned on forbidding federal control over the curriculum. These laws have been frustrating for would-be education reformers, Republicans and Democrats. The Obama administration’s Department of Education, facing the same legal obstacles, worked with the NGA Center and CCSSO to develop standards states would be free to adopt but were tied to Race to the Top’s hundreds of millions of dollars to states that chose to adopt the Common Core. In a nineteen-page analysis of the legal standing of the Common Core State Standards, The Road to a National Curriculum, Department of Education documents are quoted directly, explaining “The goal of common K-12 standard is to replace the existing patchwork of State standards that results in unequal expectations based on geography.”

Worthy goal or not, the Department of Education’s intentions directly contradict the last fifty years of Congress declaring the school curriculum off-limits to the US government.

2). It uses a one-size fits all approach. The Common Core standards were founded on a severely flawed idea – that every child can learn the same way and at the same pace. It assumes that every child across America will “be on the same page at the same time.” Let’s say, for example, that your child has a learning disorder. He or she will be left behind, as Common Core has no provision for helping those that can’t keep up.

The proposed standards focus exclusively on teaching isolated reading and math skills starting in kindergarten. Academic learning is separated from social, emotional, and physical growth. But theory, research, and experience tell us that meaningful learning in young children does not come from rote skills. Children build knowledge through hands-on experience with materials, peers, and teachers in meaningful ways that relate to what they already know, to their developmental levels, and their interests. If adopted, the national standards will lead to more rote learning by all young children, but especially our poorest young learners who are in overcrowded classrooms with less qualified teachers who will have to resort to more direct instruction rather than hands-on, experiential learning. Even if we did see better test scores after an implementation of national standards, it’s unlikely that children would be able to apply the skills learned by rote to real-life situations, use them to solve new problems, or discover the satisfactions inherent when learning is meaningful. This will set young children up for failure later on when they go to college when transfer of knowledge and self-motivation become crucial to school success.

3).  In many cases, the Common Core standards are lower than already existing state standards.  Approximately 15 states have existing English language arts standards that are higher than the Common Core standards while most experts agree that ALL states have existing math standards that are higher than Common Core math standards.

So, will Common Core improve the education of our school children?  Asking states to lower their standards does not instill confidence that education will be improved.  So far, the projections and experiences leave one reasonably skeptical.

Consider the case of Massachusetts. In the 1990′s Massachusetts conducted school reforms that, within a few years of their adoption, caused math and verbal SAT scores to improve from below national averages to the state finishing first in all four categories of the National Assessment of Educational Progress by 2005. The state’s reforms are also helping narrow race- and poverty-based achievement gaps.  NAEP data show that between 2002 and 2009, scores for African-Americans and Hispanics on both fourth- and eighth-grade ELA testing improved more rapidly than those of white students. In 2008, educational standards expert E.D. Hirsch Jr. said, “If you are a disadvantaged parent with a school-age child, Massachusetts is . . . the state to move to.”

But under pressure to join the Obama administration’s Race to the Top, Massachusetts began to back away from its successful reforms. The concern is that by adopting the Common Core—the only way to qualify for the federal benefits tied to the Common Core—Massachusetts has to lower its existing standards. Texas, California, Virginia, and Minnesota face similar concerns.

4).  Up until forty years ago, this nation had the best system of education – both K-12 and colleges and universities – in the world. One of the traits that made American education great was its diversity. Elementary and secondary school students can choose among private, parochial, public, technical charter, virtual and home schools. College students can choose from an array of 2-year associate or technical colleges. Students wanting to attend a four-year institution have options ranging from small private liberal arts colleges to large public research universities. The diversity in institutional type, curriculum, and governance has been a hallmark strength of American education. That diversity has helped to produce the best system of education in the world. Since when is our diversity a bad thing?

Yet uniformity (and NOT diversity) is what Common Core is all about. The CC program is sold on the idea that national standards will improve education for all.  That’s only true if the new standards are proven better than existing standards. The standards are marketed as a combination of the best practices and “internationally benchmarked.”  The truth is that the standards are NOT internationally benchmarked, nor are they research-based. The standards were not developed by educators nor by researchers. They have never been tested and they are to be taught according to unproven methods of instruction. In some cases (e.g., Massachusetts, California, and Virginia, as mentioned above) the standards may be inferior to existing state standards. In the case of Massachusetts, in order to adopt CCS the state had to scuttle academic standards that were widely regarding as the best in the country. It is true that in many states Common Core Standards were equal to or inferior to state standards. How is forcing a state to adopt inferior standards good public policy?

5).  Common Core will require “Data Mining,” which is a huge invasion of an individual’s right to privacy.  States who have adopted Common Core to continue being eligible for Obama’s “Race to the Top” federal funding  will be obliged to implement a State Longitudinal Database System (SLDS) used to track students. They will track students by obtaining personally identifiable information which will involve a huge violation of privacy. The information collected will not only include the student’s test scores and perhaps other measures of academic proficiency, but will be much more extensive, including demographic, emotional, and psychological data.  How will some of this data be collected?  Students will be extensively questioned, while being observed by facial-monitoring equipment and by sensors strapped to their bodies. They will also be neuro-psychologically tested. In its February report, the US Dept. of Education displayed photographs of the actual technology that will be used on students, when the department’s plan is fully implemented. What they call the “four parallel streams of affective sensors” will be employed to effectively “measure” each child. The “facial expression camera,” for instance, “is a device that can be used to detect emotion…. The camera captures facial expressions, and software on the laptop extracts geometric properties on faces.” Other devices, such as the “posture analysis seat,” “pressure mouse,” and “wireless skin conductance sensor,” which looks like a wide, black bracelet strapped to a child’s wrist, are all designed to collect “physiological response data from a biofeedback apparatus that measures blood volume, pulse, and galvanic skin response to examine student frustration.”   So far, 24 states have agreed to a deal with the government to receive a $20 million grant in exchange for implementing such data mining.

“Personally Identifiable Information” will be extracted from each student, which will include the following data: parents’ names, address, Social Security Number, date of birth, place of birth, mother’s maiden name, etc. On the other hand, according to the SLDS brief, “Sensitive Information” will also be extracted, which delves into the intimate details of students’ lives:
1. Political affiliations or beliefs of the student or parent;
2. Mental and psychological problems of the student or the student’s family;
3. Sex behavior or attitudes;
4. Illegal, anti-social, self-incriminating, and demeaning behavior;
5. Critical appraisals of other individuals with whom respondents have close family relationships;
6. Legally recognized privileged or analogous relationships, such as those of lawyers, physicians, and ministers;
7. Religious practices, affiliations, or beliefs of the student or the student’s parent; or
8. Income (other than that required by law to determine eligibility for participation in a program or for receiving financial assistance under such program).

Students’ personal information will be submitted to a database managed by inBloom, Inc., a private organization funded largely by the Bill and Melinda Gates Foundation. The fact that Common Core Standards require children’s personal information to be provided to a database that can be expected to sell or share the data to unspecified companies is worrisome to many parents and educators. “It leads to total control and total tracking of the child,” said Mary Black, curriculum director for Freedom Project Education, an organization that provides classical K-12 online schooling. “It completely strips the child of his or her own privacy.”

6).  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.” Over half the reading materials in grades 6-12 are to consist of informational texts rather than classical literature. Historical texts like the Gettysburg Address are to be presented to students without context or explanation. Professor Sandra Stotsky of the University of Arkansas criticized the English Common Core standards as “empty skill sets that weaken the basis of literary and cultural knowledge needed for authentic college coursework.”  The most significant change for English CCS is a requirement that 50 percent or more of class readings in grades six through 12 be from “informational” or nonfiction texts. Advocates say the change in reading material will better prepare students to be college ready.  But the changes will mean the curriculum will no longer include many of the classic works of literature. Professor Stotsky says the move will limit a student’s exposure to great literature and limit the opportunity to think critically and communicate, skills that are vitally necessary for success in college and also for success later in life.  Professor Stotsky also points out that there is no research to suggest that college readiness is promoted by informational or nonfiction reading in English high school classes

The math standards are even more dismal.  Most experts say that Common Core math standards are worse than all existing state standards.  The initiative calls for less content –  less emphasis on geometry, multiplication, algebra, and calculus.  Mathematics Professor R. James Milgram of Stanford University, the only mathematician on the Validation Committee, refused to sign off on the math standards, because they would put many students two years behind those of many high-achieving countries. Other education experts agree. For example, Algebra 1 would be taught in 9th grade, not 8th grade for many students, making calculus inaccessible to them in high school. The quality of the standards is low and not internationally benchmarked. Common Core denies this on its website as a “myth,” but Professor Milgram’s opposition contradicts this.

In math, much of the criticism is focused on pedagogy.  Under Common Core, students will be asked to explain the “why” of a problem before merely performing the calculation. The changes result in needlessly complicating the teaching of basic math to students who are unlikely to have the context to properly understand such queries.  The changes have serious consequences. First, it means standards will be taught by teachers who are still grappling to understand the curriculum and not familiar with ways or resources to successfully teach various subjects.  Second, the changes also mean children will not learn traditional methods of adding and subtracting until the fourth grade. Multiplication skills will likely be delayed until fifth or sixth grade. Because of the back-loading, students who might normally have the opportunity to take calculus while in high school won’t have the time to do so because the number of prerequisite courses is started too late. Do these changes improve a student’s math skills and really represent a better curriculum?

The Common Core website, of course denies that its curriculum tells teachers what to teach. The site, in fact, claims that is a myth: “These standards will establish what students need to learn, but they will not dictate how teachers should teach.” This is like saying, teachers will be required to teach sex education and evolution, but they can choose whether to teach it using assignments, movies, class discussion or reading.  Teachers will, more than ever, teach to the test only. It will be to the child’s benefit (and to the teacher’s benefit) not to teach him/her critical thinking and problem solving, but rather to memorize desired information (teaching to the test only) since the measure of education will be the test scores. It will be the dumbing down of our children. The measure of a successful teacher will be the test scores as well.

7).  Common Core is a Nationalized Federal government takeover of our Education system which runs afoul of the Tenth Amendment, as education is a right reserved to the States.  The government certainly doesn’t have the power to create a one-size-fits-all take-over of education on all levels yet it uses its power of conditional spending to achieve the same purpose (an end-run around the Constitution).  Though educational grants tied to “Race to the Top” and now “Common Core,” the federal government is doing what is expressly prohibited by the Constitution: directing, supervising and controlling the curriculum, and dictating its direction. Government commandeering of education is a States’ Rights issue. If the federal government has enough money to bribe the states to adopt its policies with taxpayer money, then the government is clearly overtaxing the American people. It should tax less and allow the states to tax more so at least the states can use its people’s money to serve their interests.

8).  The Federal Government has standardized the education curriculum that will apply to all public schools, charter schools, private schools, Christian schools and homeschooling. No one is safe from this new mandate.

The Common Core standards do not “technically” affect homeschoolers or even private schools for that matter, unless they receive federal funding.  However, the big concern for home schools and private schools is that if the adoption of the CCSS leads to a national curriculum and ultimately national testing it will pressure them to teach their students according to the standards as well. Recent statements from the College Board announce that they are making the move to changing the SAT to reflect the CCSS as well. If the SAT is based on one curriculum, this move will seriously affect private school and home school students who take the SAT. This may also cause colleges to accept only students who have an education based on the CCSS. Essentially, the future is wrought with questions for homeschoolers and privately educated students if the Common Core Standards are nationally implemented.

9).  Common Core will force consistency and uniformity across the nation. As long as the States are bribed and coerced into adopting a national one-size-fits-all education scheme, then education in general will suffer severely because the states, as 50 independent laboratories of experimentation, will be precluded from trying to innovate and improve education and find solutions to the problems that plague our current education system. In other words, this imposed uniformity will stifle the innovation that federalism fosters.

10).  Common Core changes the mission of the public education system from teaching children academic basics and knowledge to training them to serve the global economy in jobs selected by workforce boards.  Theoretically, we could see a lot of  corporate and lobbying involvement. Lisa Harris, a retired teacher and education activist, says that what she sees with Common Core is that instead of children being encouraged to succeed and excel to the highest level they can, the agenda is to replace the system whereby child chooses his/her career or determines where he/she wishes to pursue with one where the workplace or the career chooses the child. And then they track the students all along the way to slot them into whatever the workforce needs are (compare to Communism). With Common Core, the child will be railroaded into a particular career based on emotional and psychological data and then tracking them. As one analyst put it: “We are all born free and our lives are like an unfinished canvas. It is if we are all artists with a blank canvas. We are born to live and paint our masterpiece. It should be we ourselves who paint that masterpiece and not the government telling us what to paint.”

11).  Common Core will also track teachers – compiling data, testing them, and keeping files on them. Teacher tracking information will be made public on school websites. Ordinarily, this would be a good thing and help keep teachers accountable to the education of children, but one has to wonder what kind of data the government will track and whether it will be presented fairly and reflecting the true ability of the teacher’s abilities or just his/her ability to “teach to the tests.”

12).  Common Core is the ultimate liberal “bait and switch.” Obama, the ultimate “transformation” president, has baited the states with “Race to the Top” federal education funding. The Race to the Top funding follows the “No Child Left Behind” funding. States have become dependent on the  federal funding and in this time of economic distress, have little opportunity to either raise state taxes or find other ways to raise funding for education (to separate themselves from the Race to the Top). While the government has the states dependent on federal funding for education, it has made the “switch.”  The Obama administration has switched to Common Core standards. With these standards, and especially with the teaching of informational texts rather than classics which involve analysis and critical thinking, the indoctrination of America’s youth will proceed with warp speed. The Father of Communism, Vladimir Lenin, said: “Give me four years to teach the children and the seed I have sown will never be uprooted.” Common Core appears to have all of the earmarks of the old USSR’s programming system for children – with several new innovative and chilling twists, of course. History has shown that state-run information control, which begins with education, has always lead to disastrous results (USSR, Germany, Cuba).

In fact, the U.S. Department of Education has already started a Common Core “technical review process” of test “item design and validation.” The test writing stage is where the specifics of content, or in this case progressive ideologies, are inserted. Test questions need content and context, and since Common Core is about subjective processes, the content can be added without ever notifying the public. This is where the sleight of hand can come in. After content is tied to test questions, textbook manufacturers can write the necessary content into their products, the teachers will have to teach from the progressively-driven textbooks, and the circle will effectively be complete. Herein we see the dirty little Common Core secret: If the government can control what is tested then it controls the curriculum.

13).  The role of education is not to teach students what to think in preparation for job placement. The role of education, the proper role, is to teach children HOW to think, how to process information, how to analyze, interpret, and infer, and how to solve problems. Proper education teaches children and  young adults to think in order  to deal with the ever-changing circumstances of our rapidly changing world. Trade school and career institutions, on the other hand, are the proper environment to be trained for job placement. Teaching specifically for job placement becomes obsolete as quickly as the technology of today yields to the new of tomorrow.

14).  The Common Core model is an untested model. It has not been field-tested anywhere.  There is no evidence to support the theories upon which the Common Core experiment is built. Diane Ravitch, one of the most voices in education and a long-time advocate of national standards, cites this as one of her strongest criticisms of Common Core.

15).  The promoters of the Common Core standards claim they are based in research. They are not. There is no convincing research, for example, showing that certain skills or bits of knowledge (such as counting to 100 or being able to read a certain number of words), if mastered in kindergarten, will lead to later success in school. In fact, two recent studies show that direct instruction can actually limit young children’s learning. At best, the standards reflect guesswork, not cognitive or developmental science. Moreover, the Common Core Standards do not provide for ongoing research or review of the outcomes of their adoption—a bedrock principle of any truly research-based endeavor. It’s bad enough to set up committees to make policy on matters they know little or nothing about. But it’s worse to conceal and distort the public reaction to those policies. And that’s exactly what happened.

Likewise, the standards, in many cases, were not designed by those who professionals who are most qualified to offer input. As mentioned above in the summary of  Common Core, standards that were developed were not based on research, public dialogue, state input, or input from educators.  The standards for Kindergarten through grade 3, for example, were designed and reviewed by 135 people, with not one of them being a K-3 classroom teacher or early childhood development expert. The National Association for the Education of Young Children, the foremost professional organization for early education in the U.S, had no role  in the creation of the K-3 Core Standards. More than 500 early childhood professionals, including educators, pediatricians, developmental psychologists, and researchers (including many of the most prominent members of those fields), signed a joint statement of disapproval of the standards – The Joint Statement of Early Childhood Health and Education Professionals on the Common Core Standards Initiative.  Their statement reads in part: “We have grave concerns about the core standards for young children…. The proposed standards conflict with compelling new research in cognitive science, neuroscience, child development, and early childhood education about how young children learn, what they need to learn, and how best to teach them in kindergarten and the early grades….”  The statement’s four main arguments are actually grounded in what science has clearly taught us about child development…. facts that any education policymaker should and need be aware of:

(i).  The K-3 standards will lead to long hours of direct instruction in literacy and math. This kind of “drill and grill” teaching has already pushed active, play-based learning out of many kindergartens.

(ii). The standards will intensify the push for more standardized testing, which is highly unreliable for children under age eight.

(iii). Didactic instruction and testing will crowd out other crucial areas of young children’s learning: active, hands-on exploration, and developing social, emotional, problem-solving, and self-regulation skills—all of which are difficult to standardize or measure but are the essential building blocks for academic and social accomplishment and responsible citizenship.

(iv). There is little evidence that standards for young children lead to later success. The research is inconclusive; many countries with top-performing high-school students provide rich play-based, nonacademic experiences—not standardized instruction—until age six or seven.

16).  Several states are concerned about the effect of public-private partnerships on true capitalism (competition and efficiency) and on individual representation. The emphasis that Common Core puts on “job placement” puts the focus of our education system primarily on the economy and not on the well-being of our children. Evidence for this lies in the fact that many education experts point out there is no evidence to support the theories upon which the Common Core experiment is built.

What is a public-private partnership? What purposes were they supposedly created to serve?  Public-private partnerships (PPP) describe a government service or private business venture which is funded and operated through a partnership of government and one or more private sector companies. They really amount to economic control and they are a key component to the design of a collectivist system. (See Dr. Steven Yates, professor of Philosophy at the Mises Institute; Dr. Yates often speaks and writes about the undermining of our free enterprise economy).

17).  At its “core,” Common Core is a social engineering experiment. Common Core’s lead architect, David Coleman, explains that the initiative is all about standards. It’s about preparing students for a competitive work force in this developing age. But just as we can understand a program or policy by looking at its architect (Ezekiel Emmanuel and the IPAB, or “death panel” created by Obamacare; Margaret Sanger and Planned Parenthood; Obama and the administration’s hostility to religion; Adolf Hitler and the final solution, etc), a look at Coleman’s background is equally enlightening.

David Coleman says he believes in the value of a liberal-arts education. The problem is nobody asked what a liberal-arts education means to him. Reading his background puts new meaning to the word “liberal” in liberal arts. American Thinker did an expose on him. Coleman lives in trendy Greenwich Village and was educated at Yale, Oxford, and Cambridge universities (all liberal). He has never been a classroom teacher and wants to replace traditional subjects with broad learning. He believes there is “a massive social injustice in this country” and that education is “the engine of social justice.” His upbringing is certainly in line with this progressive mindset. His mother and greatest influence, Elizabeth Coleman, president of Bennington College in Vermont, is of the view that school curriculum should be designed to address “political-social challenges.” She emphasizes an “action-oriented curriculum” where “students continuously move outside the classroom to engage the world directly.” In short: indoctrination through propaganda in education as the vehicle for social transformation.

Mrs. Coleman founded a social justice initiative – the Center for the Advancement of Public Action (she called it a “secular church”) – “which invites students to put the world’s most pressing problems at the center of their education.” She was a professor of humanities at the far left New School for Social Research, which was begun by progressives in 1932 and modeled itself after the neo-Marxist social theory of the Frankfurt School. She fights for “social values,” and a “secular democracy,” saying “fundamentalist …values (are) the absolutes of a theocracy.”

The foundational philosophy of Common Core is to create students ready for social action so they can force a social-justice agenda. Common Core is not about students who actually have a grasp of the intricate facts of a true set of what E.D. Hirsch would call “core knowledge.” Common Core is about, as David Feith would say “an obsession with race, class, gender, and sexuality as the forces of history and political identity.” Nationalizing education via Common Core is about promoting an agenda of Anti-capitalism, sustainability, white guilt, global citizenship, self-esteem, affective math, and culture sensitive spelling and language. This is done in the name of consciousness raising, moral relativity, fairness, diversity, and multiculturalism.

Common Core is not actually about standards, it’s about gaining control over the education system in a futile attempt to create a Progressive utopia using the important sounding academic umbrella of “standards.” But ask yourself, haven’t educators always had standards, guidelines, or benchmarks to guide curriculum?  What is different all of sudden?  The difference is that we have an administration that has put progressive secularism at the top of its agenda.  All we need to do is connect the dots.

Is there a rush to put a stop to this initiative?   YES.  The standards are set to go into effect this year. If states don’t opt out, then they turn their backs on one of their absolute most critical responsibilities – the exercise of a sovereign STATE function in the education of their children. It isn’t acceptable to pawn this responsibility off on the federal government and it is offensive, in light of the Tenth Amendment, to accept federal bribe money to implement its instrumentalities of indoctrination. Education involves state values and unique demographics, but overall demands that parents’ reasonable expectations are rewarded with an education that is as exceptional as possible and one that isn’t described as a “Race to the Middle.”  In North Carolina, for example, our state constitution puts great emphasis on the importance of a good education. Finally, If enough states don’t resist the initiative, then College Boards will alter the SAT to reflect the Common Core standards and college admissions will be skewed towards this fundamental transformation of American education. The official dumbing down of Americans will have taken place.

Five states so far have dropped out of Common Core – Nebraska, Alaska, Texas, Virginia, and Minnesota – and now Kansas and Oklahoma are taking measures to drop out. Oklahoma just passed a bill (House Bill 1989) which would prohibit the sharing of its students’ personal information. And Indiana has recently passed legislation that puts a pause on the implementation of Common Core in the state so that legislators, parents, teachers and school boards can have the time they were denied previously, to actually vet and analyze the Common Core agenda. Indiana’s Governor Pence, skeptical of Common Core, says the standards are less rigorous than Indiana’s prior standards and adopting them would mean giving up too much power over the setting of standards.

 

References:

Heritage Foundation Conference (panel discussion) on Common Core: “Putting the Brakes on Common Core” – http://www.youtube.com/watch?feature=player_embedded&v=P40GaKlIwb8   (Panelists included Lindsey Burke of the Heritage Foundation, Jim Stergios of Pioneer Institute, Ted Rebarber of Accountability Works, Heather Crossin of Hoosiers Against Common Core, and Christel Swasey. Michele Malkin was a guest speaker)

Bob Luebke, “Common Core Will Impose an Unproven One-Size-Fits-All Curriculum on North Carolina,” Civitas Institute, March 18, 2013. Referenced at:  http://www.nccivitas.org/2013/common-core-imposes-one-size-fits-all-curriculum/

Bob Luebke, “Common Core: Worse Than You Think,” Civitas Institute, April 11, 2013.  Referenced at:  http://www.nccivitas.org/2013/common-core-worse-than-you-think/

Dean Kalahar, “Common Core: Nationalized State-Run Education,” American Thinker, April 12, 2013.  Referenced at:  http://www.americanthinker.com/2013/04/common_core_nationalized_state-run_education.html

Mallory Sauer, “Data Mining Students Through Common Core, New American, April 25, 2013.  Referenced at:  http://www.thenewamerican.com/culture/education/item/15213-data-mining-students-through-common-core

Rachel Alexander, “Common Core Curriculum: A Look Behind the Curtain of Hidden Language,” Christian Post, April 18, 2013.  Referenced at: http://www.christianpost.com/news/common-core-cirriculum-a-look-behind-the-curtain-of-hidden-language-92070/

Data Mining, on the Glen Beck Show –  http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=7NjqOBEc3HU

Valerie Strauss, ” A Tough Critique of Common Core on Early Childhood Education,” The Washington Post, January 29, 2013.  Referenced at: http://www.washingtonpost.com/blogs/answer-sheet/wp/2013/01/29/a-tough-critique-of-common-core-on-early-childhood-education/

Reality Check: The Truth About Common Core –  http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=6AdiCGgxj58

Kelsey Rupp, “The Twisted Nature of Common Core,” Carolina Journal, April 1, 2013.  Referenced at:  http://carolinareview.org/2013/04/the-twisted-nature-of-the-common-core/