Monday, August 26, 2013

16 Reasons to Oppose the Common Core

From a parent's MyIncliveVillage blog with scores of references.

The post does not go into the cronyism behind the creation of the standards. The architect of the standards has been identified as David Coleman. He was the leading writer of the two writers of the English standards. His fellow 1991-1993 Oxford alum, David Zimba, now a professor at Coleman's mother's college, was the lead writer among the three main writers of the mathematics standards. For more on the controversies surrounding the creation of the standards, see The Common Core and Gates' Education Commercialization Complex (updated to include Coleman and Zimba's shared background).

16 Reasons I am against the Common Core State Standards

First posted 7/24/13, updated 8/24/13

I am a former K-12 teacher and father of four school aged children.

Common Core State Standards are the biggest proposed change to education in the United States in our lifetime, yet most people have never heard of them!  The name itself is misleading because they are not "state standards" they are "federal standards."  The Common Core State Standards have been adopted by 45 states. 

I am against the Common Core (CC) for the reasons below.  The math and English language standards were released in the summer of 2010.  The science standards were released in the summer of 2013.  I’m not sure when the social studies standards will be released.  It is my hope that anyone who reads this with an open mind comes to the same conclusion I have, Common Core State Standards are not good for education in the United States and should be stopped.

I view CCSS are a "one size fits none" way to deal with problems in education! 

Public Broadcasting Service (PBS) (seven below) introduces CCSS like this: "A major experiment is underway in American public education."
Nevadans against Common Core State Standards on Facebook

QUICK SUMMARY - WHAT IS COMMON CORE?:Accurate three minute Reality Check news story - watch video here,
By reporter Ben Swann.

In the video Mr. Swann discusses how Common Core was created, who is behind CC, who funded CC, and why stated adopted CC so quickly.
1) MATH STANDARDS ARE A DOWNGRADE - they put us two years behind high achieving countries

a) Dr. James Milgram is a Professor Emeritus Stanford University, Department of Mathematics.  Dr. Milgram is one of the authors of the California Mathematics Standards and the California Mathematics Framework.  Dr. Milgram has worked with a number of states, and with the Achieve Mathematics Advisory Panel on standards in education.  Dr. Milgram is a member of the National Board for Education Sciences, and he has worked with the U.S. Department of Education on the math that pre-service K-8 teachers need to know and understand.

Dr. Milgram was on the Math Feedback Group,  and the Validation Committee, for the Common Core State Standards. 
Dr. Milgram would not sign off on the math standards because he says, the math standards put us "two years behind high achieving countries."

Milgram went on to say, "In a number of the high achieving countries, calculus is actually a high school graduation requirement, but where it is not, typically, half or more of the high school graduates will have had calculus."

In February, 2013 Trevor Packer, the senior vice president of the College Board (AP and SAT), confirmed what Dr. Milgram said using different words. 
"AP calculus sits outside of the Common Core, calculus is not part of the CC sequence."
What Mr. Packer omitted is that trigonometry and pre calculus are not part of the standards either.

Dr. Milgram is correct, the Common Core State Standards in math, put us two years behind other high achieving countries!  Why would we implement "national math standards" that put us two years behind high achieving countries? 

Dr. Milgram's Testified in Arkansas before the Senate and House Committees on Education, meeting joitly
In his testimony Dr. Milgram gets into some detailed objections to the actual standards but he also states:
"One of the main authors of the Core Math Standards, Jason Zimba, testified at a public meeting of the Massachusetts State Board of Education in 2010 that Common Core is only designed to prepare students for an entry level job or a non-selective community college, not a four year university.
Most educators would agree that mathematical education in the US is in crisis, and that the reason is the way math is currently taught here. But Common Core does nothing to address this problem. And in fact, in many areas the national standards are fully as poor as the standards of the weakest states.

I cannot emphasize enough that Common Core is using our children for a huge and risky experiment, one that consistently failed when tried by individual states such as California in the early 1990's and even countries such as the old USSR in the 1970's."

b) Professor William McCallum was on the Math Work Group for the Common Core State Standards,
Professor McCallum says, "The overall standards would not be too high, certainly not in comparison with other nations, including East Asia, where math education excels."

c) Jonathan Goodman, a professor of mathematics at the Courant Institute at New York University, found: “The proposed Common Core standard is similar in earlier grades but has significantly lower expectations with respect to algebra and geometry than the published standards of other countries.”

d) A somewhat balanced article about the math standards by Ze'ev Wurman and Steven Wilson titled, The Common Core Math Standards, are they a step forward or backward?

2) ENGLISH LANGUAGE ARTS STANDARDS ARE FUNDEMENTALLY FLAWED - Some of the suggested reading is inappropriate

Dr. Sandra Stotsky - Endowed Chair in Teacher Quality at the University of Arkansas’s Department of Education Reform and Chair of the Sadlier Mathematics Advisory Board.  Stotsky has abundant experience in developing and reviewing ELA standards.  As senior associate commissioner of the Massachusetts Department of Education, she helped revise pre–K-12 standards, which have proven to become among the highest in the country.  She also served on the 2009 steering committee for NAEP reading and on the 2006 National Math Advisory Panel.

Dr. Stotsky was on the Validation Committee; she would not sign off on the English language arts standards.  Her reasons include:
a)     mediocre quality of Common Core reading standards, especially in grades 6-12
b)     non-transparent process that was used to develop CC standards
c)     the non-transparent process now being used to develop a national curriculum and national tests.

In Dr. Stotsky’s own words,

Dr. Stotsky wrote this article titled, More Than One Fatal Flaw in Common Core's ELA Standards.
Stotsky writes,
"There isn’t just one fatal flaw in Common Core’s English language arts standards: its arbitrary division of reading standards into two groups: 10 standards for 'informational' text and 9 for 'literature' at all grade levels from K to 12. Based on these numbers, school administrators have told English teachers to reduce literary study to less than 50% of reading instructional time. And their interpretation of this 50/50 division in ELA reading standards has not been contradicted by the chief architect of Common Core’s literature standards, now head of the College Board, who has managed to confuse everyone by insisting that literature remains the focus of the English class.
A second flaw is Common Core’s writing standards. They are an intellectual impossibility for the average middle grade student. Nor are they linked to reading standards that would require students to read models of what they were being asked to compose."

By 11th and 12th grade only 30% of the reading will be literary, the other 70% is to be informational.  Much of the 70% is political. 
Huffington Post Article titled - Common Core Nonfiction Reading Standards Mark The End of Literature, English Teachers Say,

CC does not mandate teaching of cursive handwriting.  This article written by Jamie Menard M.A. Reading and Reading Specialist is titled, How Does Cursive Fit Into The Common Core State Standards, in Reading Horizons states:
"Researchers state that learning to write in cursive improves student's moror and visual skills.  They express that practicing cursive handwriting improves and develops dexterity in our hands and fingers.  These are the same skills that are required of a surgeon, dentist, computer technicians, and artist.  It also improves our hand-eye coordination and the connection between our hand and brain.  Even more impressive is the fact that learning to write in cursive positively affects brain development."

An article in Psychology Today titled, What Learning Cursive Does for Your Brain,
Will CC be the end of handwriting? 

There are other issues with CC English language arts discussed in this article titled, The best explanation of why Common Core ELA standards are rubbish,

Inappropriate Books:The Bluest Eye, by Toni Morrison, is on the suggested reading list for Common Core, grades 11 and 12 (Page 11)

Page 162-163
"A bolt of desire ran down . . . . His soul seemed to slip down his guts and fly out into her,  . . . then provoked the only sound she made. Removing himself from . . . . She appeared to have fainted.”

For more quotes from the book click here,
or here,
If you find these quotes offensive imagine how some of the 16 year olds forced to read this book will feel.
On top of the borderline pornography the book is written at a 5th grade reading level.
I wonder what classic this book will replace in CC classrooms?
3) THE SCIENCE STANDARDS (NGSS) ARE MEDIOCRE AT BEST - Some groups object to the way controversial issues are taught The Fordham Institute strongly supports CC.  In Fordham's own evaluation of the NGSS the new standards only receive 5 out of 10 possible points, numerous states had from 7 to 10 points.  According to Fordham NGSS rank about mid-range when compared to the 50 states, and below the ACT, TIMSS, and NAEP frameworks.

So about half the states that adopt NGSS will be downgrading or at minimum not improving their state's own science standards.  The publishing companies will profit immensely.

NGSS starts in the earliest grades teaching evolution and man made global warming as fact.  The problem is not that these are taught, but that they are taught as fact with no opposing viewpoints taught.  It is in an apparent attempt by the creators of CC to indoctrinate our youngest students into only seeing only one side of the issue.

Searching evolution at the NGSS website you get four pages of standards

Searching natural selection at the NGSS website you get three pages of standards,

If you search global warming on the NGSS website you get one page with these standards

If you search intelligent design or creationism at NGSS website you get nothing.

One of the groups that opposes the new standards is COPE, Citizens for Objective Public Education.  In reference to NGSS teaching of evolution Robert Lattimer Ph.D writes:
Our key concern is that the Framework and Standards address ultimate religious questions and then use a doctrine or 'Rule' that permits only materialistic or functionally atheistic answers.  That is, NGSS requires a materialistic explanation for any phenomenon addressed by science.  This is neither educationally objective nor religiously neutral.

The religious questions children will be exposed to are: Where do we come from and what is the nature of life
? The only answers provided by NGSS will be functionally atheistic. U.S. courts have ruled on numerous occasions that religion includes both theistic and non-theistic beliefs.  In our view the promotion of a materialistic/atheistic worldview by public education is not consistent with First Amendment principles of religious neutrality.

The Framework and Standards utilize a variety of devices to achieve this non-theistic religious effect. One is to begin to imbue the immature minds of impressionable children at the age of six in Kindergarten and to continue that program for 13 years. Another device is omission. The Standards fail to include material about legitimate scientific critiques of materialistic narratives of the origin of the universe, of life and its diversity.

COPE is not interested in banning the teaching of evolution. Rather it seeks to have origins science taught objectively so that the effect is religiously neutral. Instead of promoting only a materialistic/functionally atheistic explanation about where we come from and the nature of life, science education should focus on teaching the actual state of our scientific knowledge regarding the subject."

In reference to NGSS teaching of global warming Robert Lattimer Ph.D writes:
"COPE’S analysis also shows that the Framework and Standards seek to imbue students with particular political views regarding climate change, sustainability, renewable energy, and other environmental matters. They fail to present these controversial issues objectivity. For example, NGSS focuses on the negative
effects of human interactions with the environment, while downplaying activities which show responsible stewardship of the Earth. NGSS also promotes the view that manmade greenhouse gas emissions are a major contributor to global warming.  This (like other aspects of climate change) is debatable, but NGSS coverage of the issue lacks the needed balance. The promotion of particular political opinions and positions should not play a role in science education."

The NGSS were just released but I have found other documents opposing NGSS because of the way they teach evolution and global warming.  My Thoughts:
In the months to come, as people study NGSS other prominent originations and individuals will come out against the new science standards.  If we are going to implement national standards they should be high caliber, not average.  The NGSS are mediocre at best, controversial, and expensive to implement.  The main beneficiary of these new standards is the publishers.  Why should states, districts, schools and teachers jump through these hoops, take time away from student learning, to implement standards that are no better, and in many cases worse than the standards they currently use? 

According to The Fordham Institute it will cost between $3,000,000,000 and $12,000,000,000 to implement CC.
Education Week said it would cost as much as $8,300,000,000 to implement CC.

Some estimates are as high as $30,000,000,000

According to this article in Education News: The total seven year cost for CC would be $15,800,000,000 for the United States.  Of that $15.8 billion, the federal government will pay a total of $5.4 billion (in grants).  That leaves the states to pay $10.4 billion.  The bottom of the article, table one, breaks down how much each of the 45 states involved in CC will have to pay.
I live in Nevada.  The article says CC will cost NV $151,000,000.  The NV State Board of Education approved CC in 2010 with no public input.  On 7/26/13 I emailed all members of the board;
I asked if this figure was accurate, if not what will the actual cost be, and who would be paying?  I also requested they check this article for accuracy.  To date no one on the board has responded to these questions/requests.

Spending an incredible amount of money to downgrade the math standards and not improve (possibly downgrade) the English language arts standards simply does not make sense.


There were two Work Groups - one for English language arts and one for mathematics. 
There were two Feedback Groups - one for English language arts and one for mathematics. 

There was one Validation Committee.

The English Language Arts and Mathematics Work-Group Committees were “composed of content experts from Achieve Inc. (14 below), ACT, and the College Board (SAT and AP).”
Some CC opponents say they were state lead.  In reality they were lead by Achieve Inc. and the testing companies - ACT and College Board.  I am not sure how anyone could say this was “state” led.

This article in Education Week written by Anthony Cody is titled, The Secret Sixty Prepare to Write Standards for 50 Million,
Mr. Cody writes,
"Sixty individuals, ONE teacher among them, will write national education standards in the next five months, in a secret process that excludes effective input from students, parents or teachers."

Truth in American Education writes,
"The CC standards were initiated by private interests in Washington, DC, without any representation from the states. Eventually the creators realized the need to present a façade of state involvement and therefore enlisted the National Governors Association (NGA) (a trade association that doesn’t include all governors) and the Council of Chief State School Officers (CCSSO), another DC-based trade association. Neither of these groups had a grant of authority from any particular state or states to write the standards. The bulk of the creative work was done by Achieve, Inc., a DC-based nonprofit that includes many progressive education reformers who have been advocating national standards and curriculum for decades. Massive funding for all this came from private interests such as the Gates Foundation." (More on this in item 14)

The committee meetings were held with little/no input from: parents, teachers, the states education experts, or elected officials.  According to one observer, “all of the standards writing and discussions were sealed by confidentiality agreements, and held in private.” 

No minutes of any of the meetings were ever published.

Five members of the 29 member Validation Committee*
Alfino Flores PhD
Barry McGaw PhD
James Milgram PhD
Sandra Stotsky PhD
Dylan William  PhD
would not sign off on the Common Core Standards (page 8) **

Comments submitted by the five members who would not sign off on the standards were never published.


This article titled, Common Core: Something Rotten in Education, was written by four concerned mothers, Jenn Jones, Jaime Mumms, Darlene Eulie, Gwen M. Clark.
“In February 2009, The American Recovery and Reinvestment Act (Stimulus) provided the carrot to dangle in front of the states to get them to commit.  An earmark of $4.35 billion was created for states that, ‘made significant progress’ in meeting four education reform objectives.  These objectives included improving state standards and improving the quality of academic assessments.  A month after the Stimulus bill was passed, the Department of Education announced the Race to the Top – a competition of the states to qualify for Stimulus money.

Race to the Top was conducted in two phases:

Phase 1 – November 1, 2009.  …states had to commit to implementing the standards in order to be considered for the grant.  This was expected with-out ever seeing a draft of what the standards were.  This phase had a due date of January 19, 2010.
In March 2010, two months after states were required to show their commitment to Common Core in order to be eligible for Race to the Top funding, a draft of the Common Core Standards was released.”

Phase 2 – April 2010.  States had to show proof of steps they had taken to comply with requirements.  Deadline June 1, 2010.  On June 2, 2010 the final draft of the K-12 Common Core Standards were released.  States were then given an extension of the deadline until August 2, 2010, to amend their submissions to show evidence that they had adopted Common Core Standards.  Nine states won Phase 2 funding; FL, GA, HI, MD, MA, NY, NC, OH, and RI.

By Phase 2, 46 states had adopted Common Core."

As of July, 2013 - 45 states are still "in" Common Core, that will likely change. (See 10 below)

States signed onto CCSS to obtain federal funds and to obtain waivers to No Child Left Behind.

Lindsey Burke writes,
"The strings associated with the waivers (to NCLB) are significant, and include states agreeing to adopt 'standards that are common to a significant number of states' in order to be competitive for a waiver. In the case of all but one state—Virginia—that has meant adopting the only common standards option available: the Common Core State Standards Initiative."

Nevada - in October, 2010 the Nevada State Board of Education approved CC with no attempt to get input from teachers, parents, or the public.  Note - Nevada did not get any of the Race to the Top stimulus money.
If you click on the link, it brings you to the NV Board of Education website.
On this page there is a link titled, Engaging Parents and Public About Common Core.  When you click on it you get a pdf with links where you can learn more about CC.  I guess that is Nevada and the BoE’s version of “Engaging Parents and Public About Common Core.” 

I have four school aged children, I’m very involved in my local schools.  No one from my local school district, the BoE, or the state of Nevada ever attempted to educate me about CC.

The Nevada State Board of Education considered four candidates to be the next superintendent of schools.  One was "automatically disqualified" because he does not support Common Core.  The board submitted three names to Governor Sandoval.

Standards must be adopted "100 percent verbatim," and
Loss of local control:

States that adopt CC must adopt them in full, if states desire they can add "up to 15%."  Standards added by states under the 15% rule will not be tested on either one of the two national tests, SBAC or PARCC (paragraph nine below). 

A few people in Washington DC decide the standards for all CC students in the country.
This article, “is sponsored wholly, or in part, by the U.S. Department of Education, under Contract Number ED-06-CO-0023.”
The introduction - 15% Rule:
“The CCSSI defines adoption of the Common Core standards to mean that an authorizing body such as a state board of education, has accepted 100 percent of the standards verbatim.  States are ‘allowed to add an additional 15 percent on top of the core’ (CCSSI, March 2010).”

Page 23 of this Achieve Inc. document.
“For states considering common assessments aligned to the common core standards, possible scenarios to consider when adding content to state standards include:
ü The standards added are not content that would typically be assessed on a large-scale assessment, and might therefore have minimal implications on a common assessment effort…”

Two private trade originations hold the copyright for CC.

Since the standards have become available, states learn the ramifications of adopting CC including loss of local control, and the state costs have become clearer; many states, parents, and leaders now have second thoughts about "staying in" Common Core.  (See 11 below)


Valerie Strauss education reporter for the Washington Post states,
"Written mostly by academics and assessment experts—many with ties to testing companies—the Common Core standards have never been fully implemented and tested in real schools anywhere."

The introduction to this PBS story by John Merrow sums it up by stating, "A major experiment is underway in American public education."

My thoughts:
From an educational point of view, it makes absolutely no sense to roll out these standards to the entire United States prior to ever testing them in even one school.  Implementing the standards in this manner is only good for one thing - the profits of the publishing/testing companies.  Unfortunately it is our children and country that could ultimately pay the price.

Lamar Alexander, Secretary of Education from 1991 to 1993,
opposes Common Core,

Diane Ravitch, Assistant Secretary of Education 1991 to 1993,
Ms. Ravitch's article titled, Why I Cannot Support the Common Core Standards,

In this article titled, Exploring the Origins of the Common Core, Ms. Ravitch writes:
"Given the ambition of a national educational policy it seems that the best policy makers could come up with are some 'best practices' that have achieved some success. It is very helpful to publicize that kind information, however, we have to ask: Is it useful to claim that a patchwork quilt of research underlying a set of standards is a framework for a solution to the educational challenges this country faces?
When teachers are asked to implement standards that they feel 'do not make sense' it is not that teachers are simply ignorant and require professional development, it is in my opinion, the initial reaction of a person engaged in a craft/practice that is highly dependent and responsive to local conditions.
The Common Core standards are derived, in part, from an abstraction (the patchwork quilt of research) and are being pushed on to practitioners."

Susan Ohanian who received George Orwell Award for Distinguished Contributions to Honest and Clarity in Public Language from the National Council of Teachers of English is against the CCSS.
Joanne Yatvin, past president of the National Council of Teachers of English, opposes the Common Core.
Washington Post, education reporter Valerie Strauss writes this article titled, The Common Core’s fundamental trouble

Ms. Strauss states,
"For starters, the misnamed Common Core State Standards are not state standards. They’re national standards, created by Gates-funded consultants for the National Governors Association (NGA). They were designed, in part, to circumvent federal restrictions on the adoption of a national curriculum, hence the insertion of the word state; in the brand name. States were coerced into adopting the Common Core by requirements attached to the federal Race to the Top grants and, later, the No Child Left Behind waivers."

Math and English language arts experts have testified against Common Core at the request of state legislatures and state boards of education.  Here is partial list of where three of them have testified:

Dr. Sandra Stotsky - English Language Arts
Numerous states including: KY, AR, MI, MO, KS, WI, IN, and TX

Dr. James Milgram - Mathematics

Dr. Ze’ev Wurman - Mathematics


Fair Test, National Center for Fair & Open Testing, wrote this article titled, Common Core Assessments: More Tests, But Not Much Better.  The article states,
Two multi-state consortia—the Smarter Balanced Assessment Consortium (SBAC) and the Partnership for Assessment of Readiness for College and Careers (PARCC)—won federal grants to develop tests to measure the new standards (Common Core). These tests will be in full use in the 2014-15 school year. Since most states have joined a consortium, it is important to understand what the new exams will mean for our school children.
NCLB triggered an unprecedented testing explosion. The Common Core will compound the problem.

The new tests do not yet exist except for a few carefully selected sample items, so it is not possible to judge their quality. Nevertheless, states are committing large sums of taxpayer money for the equivalent of ‘vaporware’—much hype, little substance….There’s no guarantee that they will function as advertised and many reasons to believe they will not.

The new tests will only assess a narrow slice of what students need to know and be able to do. Mostly administered by computer, the proposed tests will remain largely multiple-choice.

Under Race to the Top and NCLB waiver rules, states must use exam results to evaluate both schools and teachers. As a result, the Common Core tests will still control, distort and corrupt the curriculum….Under NCLB, control over teaching and learning largely passed from local districts to the federal government.  Under the new tests, parents, communities and even states will lose even more power….The negative consequences land most heavily on low-income students, those of color or with a disability, and English language learners (FairTest, 2012).

The same old firms, including Pearson***, Educational Testing Service and CTB/McGraw- Hill, will produce the tests. These corporations have long histories of mistakes and incompetence. The multi-national conglomerate Pearson, for example, has been responsible for poor-quality items, scoring errors, computer system crashes and missed deadlines. Despite these failures, Pearson is sharing $23 million in contracts to design the first 18,000 items in the PARCC’s test bank (Gewertz, 2012).

Poor districts will have to cut instructional staff and other basic services to divert money to testing.
The move to new standards and tests sets the stage for a huge transfer of resources from cash-strapped schools to testing companies (Samtani, 2012).  States and districts will have to invest in expensive new equipment, wiring and broadband. Costs will greatly exceed benefits. This money would be better spent on educational essentials such as teachers and books.       

Enormous amounts of time will be wasted.
Too few computers are available in many schools. To accommodate all students, testing will have to go on for weeks.”
Valerie Strauss, from the Washington Post writes,
"The bottom line is that there are tremendous financial interests driving the agenda about our schools — from test makers, to publishers, to data management corporations — all making tremendous profits from the chaotic change. When the scores drop, they prosper. When the tests change, they prosper. When schools scramble to buy materials to raise scores, they prosper. There are curriculum developers earning millions to created scripted lessons to turn teachers into deliverers of modules in alignment with the Common Core..."

In initial CC tests given in KY and NY “student proficiency” dropped dramatically. 
My Thoughts:I believe test makers are intentionally setting the baseline very low.  From such a low starting point, test scores, not student learning, will likely improve.  As test scores increase CC will be credited for the improvement.
In November 2012 Rick Hess education policy maven and writer for Education Week, predicts what will happen...
"First, politicians will actually embrace the Common Core assessments and then will use them to set cut scores that suggest huge numbers of suburban schools are failing.  Then, parents and community members who previously liked their schools are going to believe the assessment results rather than their own lying eyes….  Finally, newly convinced that their schools stink, parents and voters will embrace ‘reform'."

In November 2011, Education Week reports, Scores Drop on Ky.’s Common Core Aligned Tests,
In August 2013, The NY Times reports, Test Scores Sink as NY Adopts Tougher Benchmarks,

In August 2013, Superintendent of Voorsheesville Central School District, Dr. Teresa Thayer Snyder, summarizes what is happening and why in her article titled, Commentary on Math & ELA Results

Dr. Thayer Snyder states,
These tests were intentionally designed to obtain precisely the outcomes that were rendered….

If you establish a baseline this low, the subsequent growth over the next few years will indicate that your plans for elevating the outcomes were necessary.  However, it must be recognized that the test developers control the scaled scores—indeed they have developed a draconian statistical formula that is elaborate, if indecipherable, to determine scaled scores.  I would bet my house on the fact that over the next few years, scores will ‘improve’—not necessarily student learning, but scores.

The tragic part of this story is the collateral damage—the little children who worked so hard this year, who endured so many distressing hours of testing, who failed to reach proficiency, all because of the manipulation of the scaling.”

In April 2013, Randi Weingarten the President of the American Federation of Teachers,
"called for a moratorium on the consequences of high-stakes testing because new standardized assessments aligned to the Common Core State Standards are unfairly being given to students before teachers have had time to properly absorb and create curriculum around the standards."

In June 2013, The New York Times writes this article titled,
Education Chief Lets States Delay Use of Tests in Decisions About Teachers’ Jobs,The article states,
"Mr. Duncan (Secretary of Education) wrote in a letter to state education officers that they could delay using teacher evaluations that incorporate test results for 'personnel determinations' by another year, until 2016-17."

My Thoughts:
CC ups the ante on high stakes testing. 
By the 2016-17 school year, sooner in some states,
teacher evaluations will be tied to student results on CC tests.

Nevada, and over 20 other states,
will be using the tests designed by Smarter Balanced Assessment Consortium (SBAC).

This PBS news story by John Merrow on Common Core testing, gets interesting at the 2:35 minute mark, Barbara Capernes from SBAC states, "the ways they (policy makers) want to use the data on this test are evidence that they do not trust the teachers."

Paragraph 4 above - The Common Core State Standards were developed by Achieve Inc., College Board (AP-classes and SAT-testing), and ACT (testing).  The meetings were private, no minutes were taken.  No Teacher, parent, or community input was solicited.  Five out of 29 people on the CC Validation Committee objected to the standards, but their objections were ignored; in addition their written comments on why they would not sign off on the standards were never published.  My Thoughts:It seems absurd that a majority of the teachers in our country will likely teach to these new, ill conceived, never tested, standards.  In other words, everyone will be teaching to the same test.  I don't see how this improves education in the United States!
All college bound students will be affected by CC. 
Catherine Gewertz reporter for Education Week wrote this article titled,
Incoming College Board Head Wants SAT to Reflect Common Core,
“One of the chief architects of the Common Core
State Standards was named the next president of the College Board today and said one of his top priorities is to reshape the organization’s influential college-admissions test, the SAT, to better reflect the new standards.”

From this Washington Post article titled, How Common Core could affect every state - even those that reject it.
"Students in every state take the high-stakes college admissions exams, the SAT and the ACT, as well as the newly designed GED, the high school equivalency test used as an alternative way to get a high school diploma. And all of those exams are going to be aligned to the Common Core standards, at least that is what their respective owners say.
David Coleman, one of the co-authors of the Common Core English Language Arts Standards and now the head of the College Board, which owns the SAT, has said that the exam will be Core-aligned, though when is not known. ACT, the organization that owns the ACT test, is an “active partner” with the Core initiative and says that the exam is already aligned to the standards. Meanwhile, the for-profit corporation owned jointly by Pearson and the American Council on Education that is developing the new GED says it, too, will be aligned to the Core when it is unveiled next year."

So private school and home schooled students that want to attend college can not escape CC.
Five states did not adopt CCSS.  In at least 20 states there is controversy over CC: some have litigation to withdraw from CC, some don't want to fund CC, some want to hold public hearings and discuss CC, and some states have grassroots fights.

Education Week, "Track the development of in various states of legislation seeking withdrawal from the Common Core State Standards" here,

States are withdrawing from CC testing
Of the 45 states "in" CC, eight have withdrawn, will withdrawn, or will not fund CC testing.
The Foundry writes,
"Alabama, Oklahoma, and Georgia have withdrawn from Partnership for Assessment of Readiness for College and Careers (PARCC), Florida and Indiana are close behind, Pennsylvania is signaling departure, Ohio has stripped funding for the assessments.  In 2012 Utah stepped away from the other CC aligned testing regime, the Smarter Balanced Assessment Consortium (SBAC)."


Two former counsels general to the U.S. Department of Education, Robert Eitel and Kent Talbert wrote an article titled, The Road to a National Curriculum - The Legal Aspects of the Common Core Standards, Race to the Top, and Conditional Waivers. 
They write:
"Despite three federal laws that prohibit the federal government from directing, supervising or controlling elementary and secondary school curricula, programs of instruction and instructional materials, the U.S. Department of Education (USDOE) has placed the nation on the road to a national curriculum."

To download the 38 page article go to this link and click download,


Spring of 2013 the RNC writes a resolution that states - "the Republican National Committee rejects this CCSS plan which creates and fits the country with a nationwide straitjacket on academic freedom and achievement."

Wyoming Republican State Central Committee uses same language as RNC in their resolution rejecting Common Core.

West Virginia Republican Party Platform, 2013 uses similar language to RNC to reject CCSS.

Utah Republican Party Platform, 2013 states,
"We call on the governor and the Utah State School Board to withdraw from, and we ask the Utah State Legislature to discontinue funding programs in association with Common Core State Standards Initiative..."

Georgia GOP State Central Committee Passes Anti-Common Core Resolution, it states,
"The Georgia Republican Party delegates to the 2013 Convention resolve that state leaders should: Withdraw Georgia from the Common Core State Standards Initiative..."

Missouri Republican Party Platform 2012, Resolution 2
"...We reject President Obama's Race to the Top and Common Core Curriculum to establish a national curriculum."

Alabama Republican Party Executive Committee, February 2013
"We request the Alabama Legislature to (1) repeal and defund Common Core..."

Oregon State Republican Party Central Committee, August 2013,
"The Oregon State Republican Party Central Committee opposes the implementation of Common Core State Standards in Oregon school districts..."


Here you will see what Glenn Beck, Mary Grabar PH.D., and Dean Kalahar (American Thinker) have to say,

Education in the United States should not be influenced by political ideology, unfortunately Common Core probably is!
15) PEOPLE OBJECT TO THE COLLECTION, STORAGE, AND SHARING OF STUDENT DATACarole Hornsby Haynes, PhD writes this article for American Thinker titled, Common Core's Data Mining Trojan Horse. 
Ms. Hornsby-Haynes writes,
“In 2011the U.S. Department of Education reinterpreted the Family Educational Rights and Privacy Act to permit a student's academic record to be shared with virtually anyone including non-governmental organizations without prior written parental consent!
Beginning with the 2014-2015 school year, students in states that have accepted Common Core standards will begin taking state standardized tests that are aligned with the Common Core learning standards.
The state tests will glean student-specific data to be stored by the states in their new longitudinal data systems that are designed to track a student from pre-school through college and even further.
The range of data that can be collected includes hobbies, psychological evaluations, medical records, religious affiliation, political affiliation, family income, behavioral problems, disciplinary history, career goals, addresses, and bus stop times and locations.
A nonprofit corporation called inBloom will operate the data base and control the information.
The inBloom website states that security of the stored student data cannot be guaranteed: ‘While in this day and age no security protections can be 100% guaranteed, inBloom has greatly improved student data protection beyond the measures currently used by most school systems.’  
This admission that security of student files cannot be guaranteed has the public riled up. Parents from Louisiana and New York have written state officials in protest, as have the Massachusetts chapters of the American Civil Liberties Union and Parent Teacher Association.  A growing number of Republican lawmakers nationwide have expressed concern about Common Core data mining and are considering introducing legislation to stop the sharing of student data with outside groups.
The Electronic Privacy Information Center in Washington is suing the USDOE in an effort to stop the illegal collection, storage, and sharing of student data.  President and executive director Marc Rotenberg said that, ‘Once the data gets out there it has all sorts of ramifications. It weakens the [FERPA] structure Congress put in place because Congress understands that a lot of student data can be stigmatizing, keeping people out of jobs, for example'."

This article in Truth In American Education,
refers directly to this United States Department of Education document
The article explains why the federal government will have access to all your child's data if they take either of the Common Core aligned exams written by the SBAC or PARCC.

According to this article in SchoolBook titled, NYC Parent Sounds Alarm on Student Privacy, written by Leonie Haimson,
"At least nine states originally planned to share student data with inBloom.  After protests, four states have withdrawn or claimed they never intended to share data in the first place: Louisiana, Kentucky, Delaware, and Georgia. Two states, Massachusetts and North Carolina, are on record as reconsidering their plans...."
"InBloom Inc. is planning to collect about 400 student and teacher data points, going back as far as 2006.  Some of these data points are highly sensitive."


Website named, Left-Right Alliance for Education, from their website on 8-5-13,
"We oppose the CCSSI because it continues the failed education reforms of the past and violates privacy rights as it builds a system for centrally managed student training for the future workforce of the 'Global Economy.' 

The Left-Right Alliance for Education has concluded that there is a solid foundation for multi-partisan opposition to the Common Core State Standards Initiative.  Below are our statements of opposition to the CCSSI and the rationales for them.

1. We oppose the philosophy of standardization built into all federal education initiatives, including the Common Core State Standards Initiative.
2. We oppose high-stakes testing.
3. We oppose a national student data system..."

Politically, the Brookings Institute is described in a lot of different ways, most common are center-left, left, or liberal.  "The board of trustees includes mainly prominent Democrats."

Brookings Institute's report on Common Core and National Assessment of Education Program, is written by Tom Loveless.  On the first page of the report Mr. Loveless writes,
"Despite all the money and effort devoted to developing the Common
Core State Standards—not to mention the simmering controversy over
their adoption in several states—the study foresees little to no impact on
student learning. That conclusion is based on analyzing states’ past experience with standards and examining several years of scores on the National Assessment of Educational Progress (NAEP)."

NY Times,
"Tea Party-like groups have been gaining traction in opposition to the program, arguing that it is another intrusion into the lives of ordinary Americans by a faceless elite. While we don’t often agree with the Tea Party, we’ve concluded that there is more than a grain of truth to their concerns."

Liberal Media - Huffington Post:
The Common Core Nightmare That Awaits Us,
Protest Builds Against Pearson, Testing, and Common Core,


Michelle Malkin's article, Rotten to the Core: Part 3 Lessons from Texas and the Growing Grassroots Revolt,
"Claims that Common Core bubbled up from the states are bass-ackward. A shady nonprofit group called Achieve Inc. stocked with federal-standards advocates who’ve been around since the Clinton years, designed the materials. They were rubber-stamped by the National Governors Association and the Council of Chief State School Officers (CCSSO) and subsidized by the Gates Foundation."

Mary Grabar writes,
"Common Core basically is the 'student-centered' learning based on the ideas of progressive education theorist John Dewey, and disproven by the numerous studies analyzed by Jeanne Chall."

In Mary Grabar's article titled, Common Core: Teaching to the New Test - Part 3, she writes.
"Common Core replaces individual excellence with collectivism. The rigorous debates between two individuals or two teams are replaced by consensus-building in 'democratic' discussions in groups. Short in-class Internet research projects of less than two hours replace the in-depth research papers written individually, and over many days. There is barely time to form one’s own thoughts."

Liberals and Conservatives find common ground opposing Common Core:
Finding Common Ground on Common Core
A Progressive and a Conservative Find Common Ground Opposing the Common Core

If these standards could truly improve education in the United States why didn't we; take our time developing them, get appropriate feedback from all stakeholders, test them in a limited area to see if they really improve student performance, modify as necessary, then roll out the standards on a national level?

Most Americans have no idea what is about to happen to our education system. 

I believe most reasonable people presented with the facts above would come to the same conclusion many of us have already have; Common Core is a waste of time and money, is too controversial, will not improve student learning, and should be stopped.

Please share this article with your sphere of influence.

John Eppolito

The states that did not sign on to Common Core are:
Alaska, Minnisota (English only, not math), Nebraska, Texas, Virginia

Here is a partial list of elected officials who have come out against CC through 7/28/13.  Note, most of these elected officials are from states that have adopted CC.

Blaine Luetkemeyer (MO), Rob Bishop (UT), Kerry Bentivolio (MI), Michele Bachmann (MN), Thomas Massie (KY), Steve Stockman (TX), Rick Crawford (AR), Jason Chafffetz (UT), Ann Wagner (MO), Vicky Hartzler (MO), Paul Broun (GA), Tim Huelskamp (KS), David McKinley (WV), Same Graves (MO), Jim Jordan (OH), Paul Gosar (AZ), John Duncan (TN), Randy Neugebauer (TX), Marsha Blackburn (TN), Kevin Yoder (KS), Dan Benishek (MI), Bill Johnson (OH), Andy Harris (MD), Richard Nugent (FL), Scott Garrett (NJ), Jack Kingston (GA), Doug Lamborn (CO), Trey Radel (FL), Scott Rigell (VA), Ted Yoho (FL), Brad Wenstrup (OH), Pete Olson (TX), John Fleming (LA), Lynn Jenkins (KS)

Chuck Grassley (IA), Tom Coburn (OK), Ted Cruz (TX), Deb Fischer (NE), James Inhofe (OK), Mike Lee (UT), Rand Paul (KY), Pat Roberts (KS), Jeff Sessions (AL)

Lamar Alexander (TN), Secretary of Education 1991 to 1993, 

Marcio Rubio (FL),

Rick Perry (TX), Mike Pence (IN)

Stephen Bloom (PA), Rob Kauffman (PA), John Lawrence (PA), Will Tallman (PA)

Al Graff (NY), David McDonough (NY), Michael Montesano (NY), Ken Giglio (NY), Blankenbush (NY), Joseph Borelli (NY), Edward Ra (NY), Chad Lupinacci (NY), John Ceretto (NY), Bill Reilich (NY), Christopher Friend (NY), Brian Curran (NY), Claudia Tenney (NY), Jane Corwin (NY), Tom McKevitt (NY), Stephen Hawley (NY), Andrew Garbarino (NY), Lierna Michael Lalor (NY), Clifford Crouch (NY), Annie Rabbit (NY), Andy Goodell (NY),Janet  Duprey (NY), Steven McLaughlin (NY), Steve Katz (NY), Andrew Raia (NY)

Eric Bedingfield (SC), Mike Burns (SC), Bill Chumley (SC), Heather Crawford (SC), William Crosby (SC), Craig Gagnon (SC), Stephen Goldfinch (SC), Dwight Loftis (SC), Samuel Rivers (SC), Mark Willis (SC), Donna Wood (SC), Lee Bright (SC), Kevin Bryant (SC), Larry Grooms (SC)

Dick Brewbaker (AL), Pike Road (AL), Cam Ward (AL), Clay Scofield (AL), Gerald Allen (AL), Jerry Fielding (AL), Tom Whatley (AL), Trip Pittman (AL), Scott Beason (AL), Paul Sanford (AL), Shadrack McGill (AL), Rusty Glover (AL), Bill Holtzclaw (AL), Phil Williams (AL), Slade Blackwell (AL), and Majority Leader J.T. "Jabo" Waggoner (AL), Jim Barton (AL), Wes Long (AL), David Sessions (AL), Ed Henry (AL)

Rhonda Rhoads (IN), Robert Behning (IN)

John Lamping (MO), Brian Nieves (MO)

Scott Beason (AL), Phil Williams (AL), Shadrack McGill (AL), Rusty Glover (AL)
Ligon (GA), Loudermilk (GA), Hufstetler (GA), Hill (GA)
Bolin, Campbell, Craig, Greenfield, Haggar (Don), Hickey,
Kopp, Latterell, Miller, Nelson, Olson (Betty), Rasmussen, Schaefer, Stalzer,
Steele, and Verchio and Senators Begalka, Jensen, Omdahl, and Otten (Ernie) - all from South Dakota (SD)

Kelly (KS), Bradford (KS), Dove (KS), Ghandi (KS), Lunn (KS), Highland (KS), Hedke (KS)

McMillin (MI), Hooker (MI), McBroom (MI), Somerville (MI), Howrylak (MI)

Banks, Grooms, Merritt, Tomes, Becker, Head, Miller, Pat, Walker, Boots, Hershman, Miller, Pete, Waltz, Bray Holdman, Mishler, Waterman, Buck, Hume, Nugent, Wyss, Charbonneau, Kenley, Paul, Young, Crider, Kruse, Schneider, Young, Delph, Landske, Skinner, Zakas, Eckerty, Leising, Smith, Glick, Long, Steele - All from Indiana (IN)

Thompson, Becker, Hood, Lynch, Young, Adams, Wachtmann, Maag, Boose, Roegner, Beck, Retherford, Perales, Sprague - All from Ohio (OH)