By Pamela Goode
Common Core made its debut in 2009 when the Obama administration had $4.35 billion of Race to the Top federal funds, and states had to adopt “college-and-career ready standards (Common Core)” if they wanted to be eligible to compete for those funds. Common Core compliance also allowed states and school districts to be granted waivers from their “No Child Left Behind” requirements which they were having difficulty meeting.
Two consortiums, Partnership for Assessment of Readiness for College and Careers (PARCC) and Smarter Balance Assessment Consortium (SBAC), 46 states, and all of this driven from a central location at a national level clearly puts the U.S. on the fast track to a nationalized education system.
That alone should stop everything from the legislators, school board members and the educators who have all taken an oath to the U.S. and Alaska Constitutions. Nowhere in the U.S Constitution is education even mentioned, therefore it is the responsibility of the states or to the people. Article 7 Section 1 of the Alaska Constitution states that the legislature is responsible for establishing and maintaining an education system. The legislature did not approve common core being brought into this state but still have done little to remove it. The founders and framers never wanted, and actually feared having, a strong centralized government. Their powers were to be extremely limited and being anywhere near the education of the children was definitely not one of them. It has long been proven that authoritative totalitarian leaders know the importance of having control of the education system starting at the youngest age possible.
Common Core is a well-planned integrated system with many parts. The standards, the assessments (tests), curriculum (text books), teacher evaluations, data collecting on the children, etc are all based on Common Core. The standards are merely the drivers and fairly innocent if that is all one chooses to look at.
So do we have any idea who wrote and designed Common Core? On the corestandards.org website we are informed they are authored and published by the National Governors Association (NGO) Center for Best Practices and Council of Chief State School Officers (CCSSO) which basically tells us very little. The odd thing about these standards is that they seem to be written in stone. Who is in charge of revising them? No one knows. What we do know is big corporations are involved in their implementation, along with several non-profits, Bill Gates Foundation, Tides Foundation, such individuals with less than stellar backgrounds like William Ayers who is associated with Achieve, Inc and many more. Let’s not forget this is a multi-billion dollar endeavor that is very disruptive to most states, communities, schools, teachers, parents and students and nowhere is there any evidence of its success. That’s a lot of your money going towards a whole lot of control including the future of America.
If Common Core was indeed a great program, parents would overwhelming want their children common core educated and the promises of funding and coercion from the federal government would not had been necessary. Perhaps this is why home schooling is on the rise. With a national education system, where are parents to go if they choose to not want their children common core educated? Not all parents can independently home school their children. Where is a teacher to go if they ethically have issues with teaching common core material and refuse to participate in the collecting of data on the children (MAP testing)? Is data also being collected on the teachers as well as the students, most likely? If the students are not passing those standardized tests it reflects on the teacher’s retention and promotion. Where will be the choices for parents and teachers even if they are willing to relocate to get away from Common Core? Eventually, there will be none. And what about the taxpayers who do not want their money supporting such a system? The time to speak up is now.
The good news is, people are gradually starting to wake up and states are pulling away from Common Core, either partially or all together. Alaska did leave the Smarter Balance Assessment Consortium (SBAC) but that happened only because of the hard work from many Alaskans from around the state that are opposed to Common Core. More voices are needed. Alaska should get rid itself of Common Core all together but as we invest more of our limited and decreasing funds towards this very expensive program it will become more difficult to do so in the future. I’m sure that is what the creators of Common Core are counting on. If the legislators will not rid us of Common Core in Alaska, then it’s up to all of us and the local districts to do everything they can to stop this. They can start by not spending one dime implementing the newly proposed common core curriculum math books or anything else Common Core which they have control over.