Category Archives: Unfair To States

CCSS Is Unfair to States

What Do Common Core State Standards Mean for Tax Payers, School Districts and States?

Here are some of the dire implications of Common Core State Standards for Tax Payers, School Districts and the States:

  • „Current state adopted textbooks will not align with CCSS approved textbooks – $$$ School Districts and Tax Payers pick up the tab!
  • „CCSS will require extensive professional development of school administrators and teaching staff – $$$ School Districts and Tax Payers pick up the tab!
  • „CCSS will require longitudinal databases to be purchased and operated by states – $$$ States and Tax Payers pick up the tab!
  • „CCSS will require large investments in technology for doing standardized testing at the local level – $$$ School Districts and Tax Payers pick up the tab!

Note that for almost all ongoing costs to implement Common Core State Standards, local school districts will be responsible for the bulk of the cost and states will pick up the rest.  Ultimately the tax payer pays for it all!

OBAMA IGNORES LAWS TO IMPLEMENT COMMON CORE STANDARDS

President Obama ignored federal statutes and federal student-privacy laws while he bullied states into accepting Common Core Standards (CCS) as part of the Race to the Top initiative. For nearly 100 years, educators have focused upon changing America. The Race to the Top represents a current resource for transforming America through changing the values of our children.

The General Education Provisions Act, the Department of Education Organization Act, and the Elementary and Secondary Education Act of 1965 all include language prohibiting the federal Department of Education (DOE) from directing, supervising, or controlling curricula in any school. These statues also forbid the DOE from selecting textbooks or other instructional materials.

These laws were ignored when Common Core Standards became an integral part of the Race to the Top initiative. CCS allows the federal government to define what will be in every textbook, in every subject, in every classroom across the United States. Once the curriculum has been defined, the federal government will have the authority to create assessment tools which match those standards. Also, the 2009 Stimulus Bill created a State Fiscal Stabilization Fund which is accessible only to states that agree to develop broad State Longitudinal Data Systems (SLDS), an integral part of the new educational goals.

SLDS will collect data on public-school students. According to A Pioneer Institute and American Principles Project White Paper: Controlling Education from the Top, all fifty states agreed to build an SLDS to become eligible for stimulus money.  The DOE now has authority to collect data on students from preschool to their experiences in the workforce.  According to the National Education Data Model, these records may include everything from health-care history, disciplinary records, social security numbers, and family voting status.

According to The Guide to Protecting the Confidentiality of Personally Identifiable Information (PII) Special Publication 800-122, the DOE issued new regulations in January, 2012, which allow “sharing” the information with any governmental or private agency. Each organization accessing the information will be reminded that they must be respectful of its sensitive nature, but parents need not be notified.

During a February 2010 speech at the National Governors’ Association,  President Obama explained that states would have to adopt Common Core to receive federal Title I education funding. The Pioneer Institute quotes the president, “We’re calling for a redesigned Elementary and Secondary Education Act that better aligns the federal approach to your state-led efforts while offering you the support you need…first, as a condition of receiving access to Title I funds, we will ask all states to put in place a plan to adopt and certify standards.” This maneuver allows the standards to now be called Common Core State Standards (CCSS). This name falsely implies that the standards are state developed.

CCSS resulted from generous funding from private entities such as the Gates Foundation. Including CCSS in the Race to the Top competition and imposing it upon the states is not unusual except this time the state legislators, educators, and parents have had no oversight in the formation of the CCSS.

Many taxpayers and educators are unaware that private institutions or educational agencies have influenced educational policy since the early 1900s. The public and educators are also unaware that most educational policy makers are not educators but are typically social and political policy people. They allow the teacher to be held mainly accountable for the failed outcomes of their policies.

Some experts including Dr. Sandra Stotsky and ZE’Ev Wurman focus upon student academic progress and express frustration with the “empty skill sets” and the “drastic costs” resulting from adapting Common Core State Standards for the current math and English curricula. The website and Facebook pages of conservativeteachersofamerica.com are peppered with articles and testimonials from teachers who are frustrated with the poor standards being imposed upon their classrooms.

Teachers are not eager to be held accountable for high levels of academic progress when the curricula they are required to use often expects less from students than do past state standards. New policies often focus on a determination to eradicate conservatism—NOT to promote academic excellence.

The Aspen Institute’s A New Civic Literacy: American Education and Global Interdependence explains that the conservative nature of teachers, school boards, and taxpayers has been a stumbling block to progress in gaining American support for global interdependence. Their solution is an increase in federal control of education.

A purpose of A Guide to Motivation in Education by Ronald G. Havelock is to transform educators into change agents. The guide explains that people who resisted their suggested changes had “really bad hang-ups” and that they needed “psychiatric help when they returned from training labs” because they were involved in an “extreme right-wing group”. The guide emphasizes that most conservatives are from the country and void of the enlightenment that comes from exposure to outside influences. The book repeatedly explains how and why it is necessary to “quell the irrational doubts and fears which the extremists (conservatives)…exploit.”

To exterminate conservative interference, the Behavioral Science Teacher Education Program (B-STEP) was developed to prepare teachers for a “changing society” and to alter “their impact on the program and on student attitude.” To accomplish this, “Clinical behavioral style permeates every phase of the program. Prospective teachers are trained so that they employ it.” Therefore, once clinical behavioral methods have been used to change their goals and values, the teacher is then expected to utilize those methods with future students. The focus is to expose students to non-Western thought and values, thus “sensitizing them to their own…inherent cultural biases.” This strategy was designed to influence prospective teachers to accept alternate social, political and economic value systems.

Federal government interference into education IS the main reason schools are continuing to fail in large numbers. The solution is to get federal dollars out of education, reallocate those dollars to the states, and reinstate local control of schools.

This article provided courtesy of Advocates for Academic Freedom blog.

COMMON CORES STATE STANDARDS ARE FEDERALIZING EDUCATION

The American educational system is being federalized through implementation of Race to the Top and Common Core State Standards. Once CCSS are completely implemented, the federal government will have total control of assessment tools and textbooks used in core subjects. Also, a national data collection system called State Longitudinal Data Systems (SLDS) will be used to determine a child’s educational opportunities. The federalization of education will turn all school-choice programs into federally approved programs.

The International Baccalaureate is a set of standards which are shaped by several United Nations treaties. The International Baccalaureate Organization explains that IB and CCSS share the values and beliefs of the UN’s Universal Declaration of Human Rights with emphasis on Article 26.

This means that CCSS and IB programs are teaching beliefs and values contained in treaties that the United States does not support.  Among these values are the surrender of the American Constitution, of national sovereignty, and of individual rights so students will accept becoming members of the “world community”. The CCSS standards focus on changing the social and political values of American children so they will embrace a world view of history and value systems. Few goals address academics; math standards actually lower expectations. What had been required from a fourth grade student is now required from a fifth grader.

The national data collection system will follow a child from Kindergarten to adulthood. A student’s IQ scores, test scores, Social Security number, and medical records will become part of the collected data which will be used to help determine educational and job opportunities afforded each student.

Once these systems are in place, all students in every educational setting will have to meet these state standards if they are going to pass the state-created assessment tools. Therefore, the education provided in every setting must include the curricula presented in state schools.

To accomplish these goals, the federal government and the United Nations have cooperated to write textbooks that meet the goals of CCSS and IB. The federal government is in the process of creating testing tools to assess the student’s progress in accepting the social and political ideologies being taught in the classroom. Implementation of CCSS is expected to be completed within the next two to three years.

The only effective means of preventing international control of the American educational system is to eliminate the federal funding of education. Advocates for Academic Freedom is an educational consulting firm working with legislators across the United States to organize a conservative movement to eliminate federal control of education. Visit the Advocates for Academic Freedom home page, find the Petition for Progress button on the left side of the page, click on that button and sign the petition. To stop the federalization of education, we must have proof that there is sufficient support from the electorate. Please sign the petition and become a member of the grassroots movement to limit federal governmental control by removing federal funding of education and reallocating those funds to the states.

This article is provided courtesy of Advocates for Academic Freedom blog.

States Should Move Swiftly to Protect Student Data

States and schools are signing over private data from millions of students to companies and researchers who hope to glean secrets of the human mind.

Nine states have sent dossiers students — including names, Social Security numbers, hobbies, addresses, test scores, attendance, career goals, and attitudes about school —to a public-private database, according to Reuters. Standardized tests are beginning to incorporate psychological and behavioral assessment. Every state is also building databases to collect and share such information among agencies and companies, and the U.S. Department of Education has recently reinterpreted federal privacy laws so schools and governments don’t have to tell parents their kids’ information has been shared.

Promises of researchers’ and governments’ good intentions are not enough to justify this, especially when spending tax dollars, directing government energy, and invading privacy without parent or even school officials’ knowledge. Anything conducted in this manner should be immediately tabled and publicly examined. Stop. Collaborate. And listen to how parents and taxpayers react, after explaining what’s happening.

Very few U.S. citizens want to move even gradually toward a government like that of China, which keeps dossiers on all citizens’ performance and attitudes. These records influence work, political, and school opportunities. Because “everything they do will be recorded for the rest of their life … the dossier discourages any ‘errant’ behavior,” says Chinese professor Ouyang Huhua.

This is not to say big databases equal communist oppression, but here in the United States we do things differently because we believe in self-rule. When the government we are supposed to control has amassed a thicket of data about how we think and can thus manipulate our actions and opportunities, self-rule ends.

Any researcher or organization wanting to plumb data to potentially help kids learn more, faster, can do so without trampling individual rights. Here’s how.

First, historic practice with student records has been to keep them anonymous when shared outside schools. Researchers and even government accountability gurus don’t need to know Sally Smith failed Algebra 1. Her parents and teacher do. Researchers do not need personally identifiable information such as names, Social Security numbers, and addresses. They just need to know, for example, whether lots of students are failing Algebra 1, and in what context. Schools and states should check these privacy firewalls.

Second, students and their guardians should have full access to their records, with the ability to correct false information. They also should be informed of and able to opt out of all data-sharing involving their records. Schools need parent consent to give children an aspirin. They should get consent to share a student’s psychological evaluations or test performances.

Third, agencies should be required to explain exactly how they will keep the sensitive information in their hands from being hacked or exposed. The more people and organizations with access, and the bigger a treasure trove these databases become, the more likely security breaches will be. Hundreds of thousands of people were put at risk of identity theft in 2012 because of security breaches in government databases, including one affecting three-quarters of South Carolinians. And child identity theft is often not discovered until adulthood, which makes their records even more attractive to thieves.

Because the U.S. Department of Education has unilaterally knocked down federal privacy protections, lawmakers should rebuild that wall. Alabama, Georgia, Oklahoma, and Oregon are a few states considering such legislation. They should act swiftly, and so should others.

By Joy Pullmann (jpullmann@heartland.org), a research fellow of The Heartland Institute.  Reposted from this article with permission of the author.