Explaining and Condemning the Common Core State Standards

Two centuries ago Mark Twain said, “I have never let my schooling interfere with my education.” In 2009 in a proposal on education reform, Bill Gates said “When the tests are aligned to the common standards, the curriculum will line up as well – and that will unleash powerful market forces in the service of better teaching. For the first time we will have a large base of customers eager to buy products that can help every kid learn and every teacher get better.

” When I hear this, I hear market. I hear a large base of customers. I hear buy products. Specifically I hear, buy MY products. There is nothing that speaks to the wellbeing and success of children.

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This is not the kind of man I want spearheading education. So what is Common Core? The National Common Core State Standards are nationwide educational goals that place an emphasis on homogeneous education and producing career-minded, competitive high school graduates. What it doesn’t emphasize is the well being of a child, of intellectual health, one on one instruction, and caring to the individual. When I have children, I would like to know that my child is thought of as the unique creation that they are and not as another employee that is being pushed through an assembly line. Now, everyone’s opinions on what the purpose of education is are different.

So, stepping away from that let us look at the standards from a legal perspective. The Common Core Standards are illegal. They violate four federal statutes. First, The General Education Provisions Act prohibits- the Department of Education from exercising any direction, supervision, or control over curriculum, program of instruction, administration, or personnel of any school, or the selection of…textbooks, or other instructional materials used in any school. Similar clauses exist in both the Department of Education Organization Act and the Elementary and Secondary Education Act of 1965. Moreover, the federal government has conducted a well funded campaign to force the states into adopting the CCSS.

In effect, if states do not adopt and implement the CCSS, they are ineligible for federal funding. Lastly, the standards are fast tracking State Longitudinal Database Systems that are used to track and catalog the personal information of students from preschool all the way to college. The SLDS tracks every move of students, their enrollment, test scores, transcripts, grades, enrollment in remedial classes, uses this data to determine whether a student is prepared to succeed in college and can share this data with preschool through postsecondary education data systems. This system violates the Family Educational Rights and Privacy Act. We are building the infrastructure for a way of putting children in slots at very young ages. No one deserves to be stripped of their chance to thrive before they’re even in high school.

The estimated total of additional costs to taxpayers that is associated with adopting these standards is 15.8$ billion dollars and 6.9$ billion of that will go to technology infrastructure, straight into Bill Gates’ expensive pockets. I believe in education reform. I believe that the system we have now is not as lucrative as it could be but I do not think common core is the answer. Any system where the writers involved with it are without answers to hard questions and are ashamed by the mediocre quality of the standards that they wrote, where parents are escorted out of meetings for standing up for their children’s rights to an education, any system that is solely focused on profit is not a educational system I can rightfully support.

We will strangle out the best of our students and teachers. I would love to find a solution but the National Common Core State Standards are just another problem.