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 History and philosophy behind nationalized standards.  What is the Common Core State Standards Initiative?  Where did the Common Core come from and.

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Presentation on theme: " History and philosophy behind nationalized standards.  What is the Common Core State Standards Initiative?  Where did the Common Core come from and."— Presentation transcript:


2  History and philosophy behind nationalized standards.  What is the Common Core State Standards Initiative?  Where did the Common Core come from and how did it get here so fast?  The Core Concerns:  Nationalization of education.  Standardization of education and children.  What can I do to fight the Common Core?

3  Children were educated at home or by tutors.  From the dawn of public schooling until recently, every local public school district decided on its own what children would learn. Education was considered a sacred local right.  Funding was exclusively local.  Localities paid for their schools, controlled what kids learned, and controlled the selection of teachers.  High literacy rates.

4 “It being one chief project of that old deluder, Satan, to keep men from the knowledge of the Scriptures... and that learning may not be buried in the graves of our fore-fathers in Church and commonwealth, the Lord assisting our indeavors: it is therefore ordered by this Court and Authoritie therof; “That every Township in this Jurisdiction, after the Lord hath increased them to the number of fifty Housholders, shall then forthwith appoint one within their town to teach all such children as shall resort to him to write and read, whose wages shall be paid either by the Parents or Masters of such children, or by the Inhabitants in general, by way of supply, as the major part of those that order the prudentials of the Town shall appoint. “... And it is further ordered, that where any town shall increase to the number of one hundred Families or Housholders, they shall set up a Grammar-School, the Masters thereof being able to instruct youth so far as they may be fitted for the Universitie.”

5  Karl Marx (1818–1883).  Communist Manifesto (1849) outlined 10 ways to turn a free nation into a communist nation.  Tenth Plank:  Free education for all children in public schools.  Abolition of children’s factory labor in its present form.  Combination of education with industrial production. Photo Credit: Flickr,

6  Progressive educator John Dewey argued for a standardized curriculum to prevent one student from becoming superior to others and envisioned a workforce filled with people with “politically and socially correct attitudes” who would respond to orders without question. Photo Credit: Flickr,

7  During the early 1900s, states began to increase control over education. Immigration and nationalism were two primary reasons for this.  Blaine Amendments (no government aid to religious schools), regulation of private education.  In 1918, federal legislation was introduced to create a federal Department of Education, in part to make sure that federal funds only went to states that enforced English-only education.  Conflict began between parents, teachers, and this new, standardized approach to education.

8 Nebraska passed a law regulating education in foreign languages: “No person, individually or as a teacher, shall, in any private, denominational, parochial or public school, teach any subject to any person in any language other than the English language.” It also prohibited foreign language instruction of children who had yet to successfully complete the eighth grade. Robert Meyer, a teacher in a one-room school house, was charged with violation of the act while reading the Bible to students in German. The U.S. Supreme Court struck down the law: “His right thus to teach and the right of parents to engage him so to instruct their children, we think, are within the liberty of the [14 th ] amendment.”

9 Oregon’s compulsory education law required nearly all children ages 8–16 to attend public school. (Homeschooling was allowed if monitored by the local school district.) When this law was amended to eliminate a private school attendance exemption, a nonsectarian private school and a Catholic private school sued. The U.S. Supreme Court unanimously struck down the prohibition on private schools: “The fundamental theory of liberty upon which all governments in this Union repose excludes any general power of the State to standardize its children by forcing them to accept instruction from public teachers only. The child is not the mere creature of the State; those who nurture him and direct his destiny have the right, coupled with the high duty, to recognize and prepare him for additional obligations.”

10  Elementary and Secondary Education Act of 1965—federal government began to get involved.  Around this time, homeschooling began to see a renaissance.  1979—U.S. Department of Education created.  1983—“Nation at Risk” (a report commissioned by the U.S. Department of Education) brought public attention to declining performance in public schools. Our “... once unchallenged preeminence...” is being “... overtaken by competitors around the world…” and a “…rising tide of mediocrity...”  Produced rush of “fixes” but there was no improvement by end of 1980s.  Federal government began to put more mandates on states in exchange for federal funds. States responded by taking more power over education away from local communities and centralizing it in the state.  Academic improvement was weak or nonexistent.

11  Marc Tucker, president and chief executive officer of the National Center on Education and the Economy.  Wrote an 18-page letter to Hillary Clinton in 1992, days after Bill Clinton was elected president of the United States.  Known as the “Dear Hillary” letter. Photo Credit: Google Images,

12  Bypass elected officials in school boards and state legislatures by making federal funds flow to state governors and their appointees on workforce development boards.  Have school personnel use a computer database to store information about every student and his/her family, identified by the child’s Social Security number. This would include academic, medical, mental, psychological, behavioral data, along with interrogations by counselors. This data would be available to the school, the government, and future employers.  Use “national standards” and “national testing” to cement national control of tests, assessments, school honors and rewards, financial aid, and the Certificate of Initial Mastery (CIM), designed to replace the high school diploma.

13  Tucker envisioned a school system based on the German system, full of top-down control. The Tucker plan would train children in specific jobs to benefit the workforce and the global economy instead of educating them to make their own life choices.  Tucker’s plan would change the mission of the schools from teaching children academic basics and knowledge to training them to serve the global economy in jobs selected by workforce boards. Nothing in this comprehensive plan has anything to do with teaching schoolchildren how to read, write, or calculate.  Sound similar to the Common Core? (continued)

14  Hillary Clinton’s premise: It takes a village to raise a child.  Can parents be trusted to raise kids on their own? Photo Credit: Flickr,

15  Melissa Harris-Perry is an MSNBC host and Tulane University Professor.  In an ad for her TV show on April 4, 2013, she said: “We have to break through our kind of private idea that kids belong to their parents or kids belong to their families and recognize that kids belong to whole communities ” (emphasis added). Photo Credit: Flickr,


17  Harvard professor Paul Reville is a former Massachusetts secretary of education.  Topic is the Common Core during a February 2014 roundtable.  Why should states have different academic standards “when the children belong to all of us and we’ve moved, and the same logic applies to the nation, and it makes sense to educators, it makes sense to policy makers, and it’s why people voluntarily entered into [the Common Core]”? (emphasis added) Photo Credit: Flickr,

18  In 2007, the National Governors Association’s Center for Best Practices jumped in with support.  In 2008, “Benchmarking for Success” was published from the National Governors Association (NGA), the Council for Chief State School Officers (CCSSO), and Achieve, Inc. The report called for a “common core” of national standards and advocated following Germany’s example of adopting “common, jointly developed ‘national education standards.’”

19  According to Sandra Stotsky, Ph.D: “Drafting began by three private organizations in Washington, D.C.—the National Governors Association (NGA), the Council for Chief State School Officers (CCSSO), and Achieve, Inc.—all funded for this purpose by a fourth private organization, the Bill and Melinda Gates Foundation.”  29 education experts were on the validation committee which oversaw the drafting and which was supposed to sign off on the standards.  Members of the validation committee had to sign a nondisclosure agreement.  5 members of the validation committee, including James Milgram and Sandra Stotsky, refused to sign onto the final draft.  The Common Core is content standards for math and English.

20  President Obama’s very first legislative agenda item. It passed the House and Senate.  Created Race to the Top and a slush fund of $4.35 billion for competitive grants to states that adopted certain education reforms.  One reform was the Common Core.  Signed into law on February 17, 2009.

21  Immediately after Race to the Top was created, the Common Core started moving quickly.  June 1, 2009—The Common Core State Standards Initiative was launched with 48 states coming on board and signing a memo committing to the development of Math and English Language Arts standards, sight unseen!  September 2009—The first draft of the Common Core was released.  June 2, 2010—The Common Core is finalized and publically released.  By end of 2010, 40 states had adopted the Common Core, and by the end of 2011, 45 states had fully adopted it.  TX, VA, NE, AK, and MN (adopted only ELA) held out.


23 1. The Common Core nationalizes our education system. Control over education shifts from parents and local decision makers to Washington bureaucrats. 2. One-size-fits-all standardization. “College and career ready” goals push for greater testing and data collection. Children are treated like assembly-line products instead of individuals with unique, God-given identities. Common Core is the antithesis of individualized education that has proven so effective in homeschooling.

24  Decision making is far removed from parents, teachers, and voters!  Easily influenced by politically-correct norms, social engineering. Is DC out of touch with the rest of America?  Last nail in the coffin of local control over education.  Doesn’t take into account rich diversity and needs of each state.  If the U.S. were to truly adopt a national set of standards, curricula, and tests, and no states were exempted, it would only be a matter of time before pressure built for private schools and homeschools to conform.

25  Three sets of laws prohibit the federal government from prescribing the content of state curricula and assessments: 1. The General Education Provisions Act (1974), 2. The Department of Education Organization Act (1974), and 3. Elementary and Secondary Education Act—as amended by the No Child Left Behind Act in 2001.  In 2001, HSLDA fought hard to get Congress to include the language in the next image and other important amendments in NCLB:

26 Section 9527 [20 U.S.C. 7907]: No federal funds to create national curriculum SEC. 9527. PROHIBITIONS ON FEDERAL GOVERNMENT AND USE OF FEDERAL FUNDS (a) GENERAL PROHIBITION.—Nothing in this Act shall be construed to authorize an officer or employee of the Federal Government to mandate, direct, or control a State, local educational agency, or school’s curriculum, program of instruction, or allocation of State or local resources, or mandate a State or any subdivision thereof to spend any funds or incur any costs not paid for under this Act. (b) PROHIBITION ON ENDORSEMENT OF CURRICULUM.—Notwithstanding any other prohibition of Federal law, no funds provided to the Department under this Act may be used by the Department to endorse, approve, or sanction any curriculum designed to be used in an elementary school or secondary school. (c) PROHIBITION ON REQUIRING FEDERAL APPROVAL OR CERTIFICATION OF STANDARDS.— (1) IN GENERAL.—Notwithstanding any other provision of Federal law, no State shall be required to have academic content or student academic achievement standards approved or certified by the Federal Government, in order to receive assistance under this Act.

27  Race to the Top was a competition for federal education grants authorized by the 2009 Stimulus Bill. Feds used money to incentivize what they could not use force of law to accomplish.  In order to even be competitive, states had to promise: 1. That they would fully adopt a set of common college- and career-ready standards supplemented with only 15% of their own standards. 2. That they would expand their state’s longitudinal data system to be compatible with the format of other states’ data systems and to contain new data including student health, demographics, and success in postsecondary education.

28  Race to the Top was more than just a state-by-state competition that drove the adoption of the Common Core standards.  The Department of Education held the Race to the Top Assessment Competition in which consortia of a majority of states promised to create and implement identical K–12 assessments.  The Department of Education also created Race to the Top Early Learning Challenge and Race to the Top District Competition.

29 2. National Assessments: Race to the Top wasn’t only a state-by-state competition that drove them adoption of the Common Core standards. The Department of Education also held a competition in which consortia of a majority of the states promised to create and implement identical K-12 assessments. A program officer at the Department of Education monitors all of the assessment content and has the authority to redirect consortia activity if the “outcomes are inconsistent with the intended project outcomes.”

30  This concern goes to the heart of the standards. The Common Core standardizes mediocrity across the nation. Some states truly did have poor academic standards. Other states, however, had strong academic standards. This set up a healthy competition among states where they competed for families. Now they’re all the same. No incentive to strengthen standards.  The philosophy driving the Common Core is now moving into testing (ACT, SAT), national databases, and college admissions. These all have the potential to impact homeschoolers.

31 From HSLDA’s analysis paper, “The Dawning Database: Does the Common Core Lead to National Data Collection?” September 10, 2013  Forty-six states currently have databases that can track students from preschool through the workforce (P-20).  States that competed in the Race to the Top state competition and members of the assessment consortia are committed to gathering P-20 (preschool through the workforce) data about each student.  This includes student-specific data: student enrollment, demographics, transfers, teachers, test records, transcripts, and sometimes Social Security numbers and home addresses.

32  The Family Educational Rights and Privacy Act (FERPA) formerly guaranteed that parents could access their children’s personally identifiable information collected by schools. Schools, however, were barred from sharing this information with third parties.  However, in January 2012 the Department of Education reshaped FERPA through regulations. Now any government or private entity approved by the Department of Education has access to students’ personally identifiable information. (Lawsuit by Electronic Privacy Information Center (EPIC) against this was thrown out due to lack of standing September 2013.)  Additionally, the Department of Education has funded and overseen the development of guidelines for building data systems. These systems can collect and link personally identifiable information across state lines.  Educational data collection is now concentrated around a few models, meaning that states are getting closer and closer to keeping the same data and using the same interoperable technology to store it.


34 The Common Education Data Standards, a division of the Department of Education, says, “The State Core Model will do for State Longitudinal Data Systems what the Common Core is doing for Curriculum Frameworks and the two assessment consortia.”  The Data Quality Campaign, a private sector program that has accepted federal funding, explains that the Common Core’s emphasis on evaluating teachers based on their students’ academic performance and tracking students’ college and career readiness requires broader data collection.  The authors and funders of the Common Core have been heavily involved in developing data models and overseeing data collection:  National Governors Association started an initiative to collect data on states’ postsecondary institutions.  Bill and Melinda Gates Foundation currently funds the Data Quality Campaign, one of the leading voices on database expansion and alignment.  The Council for Chief State School Officials now oversees the federal National Education Data Model.

35  The Common Core ends up establishing the lowest common denominator as the academic standard in the public schools and any other schools that adopt the Common Core.  The Story-Killers, a book by Hillsdale Professor Terrence Moore.  Erin Tuttle and Heather Crossin, private school moms in Indiana, were appalled at the illogical math problems.

36 AN INSIDER CRITIQUES THE STANDARDS Sandra Stotsky Member of the Common Core validation committee THE FOLLOWING 11 POINTS ARE DIRECT QUOTATIONS, with minor edits, excerpted from an article by Sandra Stotsky first published by the Pioneer Institute in 2013

37 1. Who developed the Common Core standards and selected the members of the Standards Development Work Groups? Three private organizations in Washington, D.C.: the National Governors Association (NGA), the Council for Chief State School Officers (CCSSO), and Achieve, Inc.—all funded for this purpose by a fourth private organization, the Bill and Melinda Gates Foundation. In the absence of official information, it seems that Achieve, Inc., and the Gates Foundation selected most of the key personnel to write the high school–level college-readiness standards.

38 2. Who was represented on the Standards Development Work Groups that wrote the college-readiness standards? Chiefly test and curriculum developers from ACT, the College Board, Achieve, and the National Center on Education and the Economy (Marc Tucker’s group!).

39 3. Who was not represented on the Standards Development Work Groups? High school English and mathematics teachers, English professors, scientists, engineers, parents, state legislators, early childhood educators, and state or local school board members [were not represented in the Standard Development Work Groups].

40 4. Are records of the work group meetings available? No. These groups had no open meetings and have never provided access to any public comment or critiques they received.

41 5. What were the qualifications of the people selected to write the language arts standards? The two “lead” writers never taught reading or English or majored in English or had a doctorate in English. Neither has published serious work on K–12 curriculum and instruction. They were unknown to English and reading educators and to higher education faculty in rhetoric, speech, composition, or literary study.

42 6. What were the qualifications of the people selected to write the math standards? The only member of the three-person team with K – 12 teaching experience, Phil Daro, was an English major. He was also on the staff of the National Center on Education and the Economy. None had ever developed K – 12 mathematics standards before.

43 7. Who recommended these people, why, and how much were they paid? The organizations that funded and developed the standards will not tell the public.

44 8. What was the ostensible purpose of the Validation Committee? NGA and CCSSO created their own Validation Committee ostensibly to evaluate the soundness, rigor, and validity of the standards they were developing. They have never provided a rationale for those they chose to serve on the Validation Committee.

45 9. Who were members of the Validation Committee? One high school English teacher, one mathematician, no high school mathematics teachers, some testing experts and school administrators, and many mathematics educators (people with doctorates in mathematics education, or in an education school, or who work chiefly in teacher education, and who usually do NOT teach college mathematics courses). The one mathematician (James Milgram) and the one ELA standards expert (Sandra Stotsky) on the committee declined to sign off on the standards.

46 10. What was the real purpose of the Validation Committee? To have members sign a letter by the end of May 2010 asserting that the not-yet-finalized standards were (1) reflective of the core knowledge and skills in ELA and mathematics that students need in order to be college- and career-ready; (2) appropriate in terms of their level of specificity and clarity; (3) comparable to the expectations of other leading nations; and (4) informed by available research or evidence.

47 11. What are the chief deficiencies of the Common Core standards?  They are not internationally benchmarked.  They are not research-based.  They are not rigorous.  They omit mathematics standards leading to STEM careers.  They stress writing over reading.  They reduce literary study in grades 6–12.  They use an unproven approach to teaching geometry.  They defer completion of Algebra I to grade 9 or 10.  They are developmentally inappropriate in the primary grades.  Half of teaching time in English is to be spent on “informational texts” (Obama Executive Order).  They reduce opportunities for development of critical thinking skills.

48 HSLDA believes that:  Children—whether homeschooled, private schooled, or public schooled— do best when parents are fully engaged.  Top-down, centralized education policy does not encourage parents to be engaged.  The Common Core State Standards Initiative moves education standards from the purview of state and local control to being controlled by unaccountable education policy experts sitting in a boardroom far removed from the parents and teachers — who are the most critical to a student’s educational success.

49  CCSS do not apply to private schools or homeschools, unless they receive government dollars (online charter school programs have no such protection).  Powerful amendment in No Child Left Behind Act of 2001. HSLDA worked with Congress in 2001 to include powerful protections in federal law ensuring that homeschools are not controlled by the federal, state, or local governments.

50 (a) APPLICABILITY TO NONRECIPIENT PRIVATE SCHOOLS.— Nothing in this Act shall be construed to affect any private school that does not receive funds or services under this Act, nor shall any student who attends a private school that does not receive funds or services under this Act be required to participate in any assessment referenced in this Act. (b) APPLICABILITY TO HOME SCHOOLS.—Nothing in this Act shall be construed to affect a home school, whether or not a home school is treated as a home school or a private school under State law, nor shall any student schooled at home be required to participate in any assessment referenced in this Act. (c) RULE OF CONSTRUCTION ON PROHIBITION OF FEDERAL CONTROL OVER NONPUBLIC SCHOOLS.—Nothing in this Act shall be construed to permit, allow, encourage, or authorize any Federal control over any aspect of any private, religious, or home school... (d) RULE OF CONSTRUCTION ON STATE AND LOCAL EDUCATIONAL AGENCY MANDATES.—Nothing in this Act shall be construed to require any State educational agency or local educational agency that receives funds under this Act to mandate, direct, or control the curriculum of a private or home school, regardless or whether or not a home school is treated as a private school under state law, nor shall any funds under this Act be used for this purpose.” Section 9506 [20 U.S.C. 7886]: Protection of home schools SEC. 9506. PRIVATE, RELIGIOUS, AND HOME SCHOOLS.

51  Diane Ravitch: “ No one will escape [the Common Core’s] reach, whether they attend public or private school.”  National standards lead to national curriculum and national tests, which subsequently pressures homeschool students to use the same curricula.  Big Brother is growing: the expansion and connection of statewide longitudinal databases.  College entrance examinations are being aligned to the Common Core, and new nationalized assessments are being implemented.  Postsecondary conceptions of college-readiness are changing.

52 CCSSO Conference, June 19–22, 2011: At least some education officials are looking to include homeschoolers in these expanded databases.

53  The SAT, ACT, GED, and the Iowa Test of Basic Skills have all been rewritten or modified to implement the approaches to learning emphasized by the Common Core State Standards.  Right now, the tests have basically been dumbed down. But in the future, could test makers try to grade students on their responses to progressive ideologies including social engineering and alternative lifestyles?  According to research up to this point, homeschool students on average tend to score much higher on standardized assessments than public school students.

54  Institutions of higher education are being pressured to align their undergraduate classes with the Common Core standards.  The National Governors Association, one of the authors of the Common Core, emphasizes that the Common Core standards for college readiness will be used by institutions of higher learning to determine whether a student is ready to enroll in a postsecondary course.  The public pushback against the Common Core is definitely helping to make institutions of higher education leery of the new standards.

55  Alaska, Nebraska, Texas, and Virginia never adopted the Common Core. Minnesota only adopted the ELA standards.  Furthermore, Texas has taken the significant step of nearly unanimously passing legislation saying that Texas will “never” adopt the Common Core.  Michigan, Pennsylvania, and Indiana “paused” the Common Core. It was temporary, but shows it can be done.  Indiana just became the first state to officially withdraw from the Common Core, and has now released its own standards.  Oklahoma’s governor recently signed H.B. 3399 into law, rejecting Common Core.  Many states have withdrawn from the testing and database consortia.  Nearly every state has held legislative hearings on the Common Core. Many states have “tweaked” the Common Core. People are rising up!

56  H.R. 5, an official rewrite of the ESEA and NCLB reauthorization, ends any federal funding for the Common Core. It passed the U.S. House of Representatives in 2013.  Members of the House and Senate are pushing appropriators to stop any current or future funds from going to advance the Common Core.  Resolutions have been introduced in both the House and Senate condemning the Common Core and arguing for the return of local and state control over education decisions.  Look at history. Goals 2000 took years to defeat, was only finally defeated in 2001 when President Bush and the Republican Party took control of the White House, Senate, and House of Representatives.

57  On Monday, April 21, 2014, inBloom, the national database company started with a $100 million grant from the Bill and Melinda Gates Foundation, shut its doors.  This database would have included over 400 points of data on every student, including all behavioral history/discipline issues, ethnicity, any disability including any special needs, family situation, health issues, whether they left public school to be homeschooled, etc.


59 1. Contact your state legislators immediately. State legislatures can defund the implementation of the Common Core. State legislatures can also prohibit school districts from basing curricula or tests on the standards. 2. Contact your federal representatives. Let them know about your opposition to the Common Core. Urge them to defund it! 3. Spread the word. As the dangers of the Common Core and its corresponding databases and national testing are exposed, it is vital that you inform your friends and ask them to join you in speaking out against the Common Core. 4. Stay in touch with HSLDA. We will alert you to important legislation pending in your state. 5. Join a local group. Visit to find anti-common core Facebook groups in your state.

60  Analysis  Research on the Common Core and related efforts, such as national databases and Race to the Top.  Frequently updated news and analysis  Breaking News  State-by-state Common Core status pages  Research  In-depth examination of the issues  Resources  Download and print 35-page analysis. Read online or order FAQ booklets.  Action  Talking points and sample letters for contacting your state officials.  Downloadable infographics and Facebook images to get people talking and thinking. To host a screening of Building the Machine, go to:

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