“Yes, Common Core is a federal takeover of education!”

By: Joshua Cook
28
School


Last week activists in South Carolina voiced their opposition to the expansion of Common Core in their state. They believe that Common Core is another federal overreach that takes away yet another freedom in America.

There has been a growing battle in American over education for decades.  The “right” has advocated school choice and parental involvement – like in charter schools – and educator accountability as solutions to the problem of diminishing standards.  Meanwhile, the progressive “left” has promoted increased centralization, teachers unions and related policies. 

School Building

Common Core is another step toward the centralization and complete takeover of education under the federal government.  Education has always been controlled at the state level.  Curricula, educational standards, and teacher accountability have all been regulated at the state level, and each state had its own institutions and structures to govern those regulations. 

Common Core will eliminate all of that.  The program is a set of academic regulations set by the federal government.  Technically, states adopt the standards voluntarily, but financial incentives and changes to related policies – like SAT, ACT and GED tests – make it difficult for states to continue following their own programs.  South Carolina opted into the program in 2010, but it won’t be fully implemented until the 2014-2015 school year. Concerned citizens are demanding their state withdraw immediately.

The first, most basic problem with Common Core is that it’s expensive.  South Carolina, like many states, was motivated to implement it by the possibility of additional federal funds.

Philip Bowers is the 2012-2015 S.C. Speaker of the House’s Business Appointee, and was part of the Board of Education when Common Core was implemented. 

Bowers told Benswann.com, “Common Core came along around the same time as the Race to the Top and they dangled the money in front of the state and said ‘If you’ll adopt the Common Core, we’ll give you some money, or potentially give you some money.’ That changed our priorities …this is a federal overreach and I was concerned for many reason… I voted against it.”

Bowers listed some of the expenses of the program.  Common Core tests are administered via computer, whereas South Carolina’s standardized tests are currently administered via paper and pencil.  State schools currently lack the computers and bandwidth to administer the tests at one time.  This will not only create the tremendous financial burden of adding many new computers to every school in the state, but before that happens, tests could be administered over the course of 12-20 weeks every year.  This will not only create unequal situations for different students, it would also disrupt classroom time.

The bigger problem, though, is that Common Core is, indeed, a federal takeover of education.  America is a country founded on the principle of separate states, and this has been very beneficial for the country.  States can learn from each other’s policies, what works, what doesn’t.  The people who implement policies remain more accountable, so the policies remain closer to the people.  Perhaps most importantly, states can maintain cultural diversity and a sense of closeness to their unique roots.

All of these benefits will be lost with the Common Core system.  The more standardized education is – particularly when it “teaches to a test” the way Common Core would encourage – the less intellectual diversity will exist.  On a more personal level, as Bowers put it “why should we be common when every child is special?”

 

Bowers states that there is no evidence that Common Core standards will be higher.  In fact, some of these standards have been very controversial.  For instance, the Language Arts standards state that 70% of texts read by high school seniors (and 50% over the course of their educational careers) must be “informational texts” instead of classic literature.  Not only would this fail to teach students basic literature and poetry analysis, it opens the doors for blatant propaganda.

These standards were largely written by special interest groups behind closed doors in Washington, D.C.  These groups only spoke about the actual standards in vague terms, and gave minimal information before the decision was made to implement the program.

Governors had a two month window to adopt the policies, and those two months occurred while state legislatures were out of session.  As previously referenced, this adoption was heavily incentivized using taxpayer money, but that wasn’t the only motive to adopt the policies.  In fact, the head of the College Board, which administers college admissions tests as well as Advance Placement exams, was a key figure in the development of Common Core, and those tests will change to fit the standards.

This will not only force students at public schools in states which adopted Common Core to learn to those criteria, it will also force anyone who wants to go to college, whether they went to public, private or home school, in or out of a state which adopted the program to adhere to them.  It’s not difficult to see how this will affect the intellectual landscape of the country and force unwilling people to alter their educational programs.  This centralization occurs at a time when the U.S. is seeing more and more diversity in education, such as the rise of charter schools, it would stop that progress.

Another freighting aspect of Common Core is that it will involve gathering data from students and their families.

Recently international criminals hacked into South Carolina’s IRS records that resulted in over 3.6 million Social Security numbers being compromised. The idea of allowing the state to collect sensitive and personal information into a database is something South Carolinians vehemently opposes. This information will include religion, beliefs, income, voting status of their parents, competencies, biases, medical information, psychological information, and a history of school discipline.  Few of these are related to education, and none should be tracked.

As Philip Bowers said “We changed simply because we thought we might get a little money from Race to the Top, and now we’ve started down this path and no one wants to stop and take a second look.”

Benswann.com asked Sheri Few, President/CEO  of South Carolina Parents Involved in Education if she thought that Common Core was indeed a takeover of education, and if so, what can other states do to oppose this federal program.

“Yes, it is a federal takeover of education!” Few said. “The Common Core testing consortia funded by the US Department of Education (by “shovel ready” stimulus money) are developing the assessments for Common Core, which will drive classroom instruction. We all know teachers are forced to teach to the test because assessments are intended to reflect their performance. States were also coerced into committing to Common Core standards before they were even finished writing the standards with federal grant opportunities (also funded with stimulus money) and No Child Left Behind Waivers. Data mining is one of the greatest concerns along with the costs associate with the assessments. States would be wise to withdraw from the Smarter Balanced and PARCC testing consortium if they don’t want to incur huge expense and if they want to protect personal student level data. The consortia’s contract with the feds requires them to provide student level data to the federal government. States need to work with their legislatures (who were bypassed in the process of adopting CC) to repeal the adoption of the standards and to protect student data.”

 

 

 

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Joshua Cook

Joshua Cook is a writer and a political activist. His work has appeared on DrudgeReport, InfoWars, Reason.com, WND.com, Breitbart.com, DailyCaller and FreedomOutPost.com. If you have any tips please email him at [email protected]

  • http://rationalmathed.blogspot.com Michael Paul Goldenberg

    As a dedicated opponent of the Common Core and all similar top-down deforms of education, I object to your gross generalization of where “the Left” stands on these issues. Many progressives are, like I am, vehemently opposed to this greedy, corporate-driven takeover of public schools. This is not a partisan political issue. It is a simple matter of money. It’s not a socialist or Communist plot. It is a well-organized corporate takeover of education by people and groups with a clear ideology: acquisition of enormous wealth.

    • Joseph C. Carbone III

      Dear Mr. Goldenberg,

      There is considerable support for Common Core on both sides of the Democrat and Republican mockery of the American people. There is some trickery going on trying to establish Jeb Bush as a supporter, and there is some strong Democratic opposition.

      Democrat, Republican, that is why we are where are we are today; they both serve money not their people.

      Sincerely, Joseph C. Carbone III; 11 August 2013

    • Iconoclast

      Wealth AND power, that is. When one has the power, the wealth follows. This is a power grab, with the expectation that the money will come after it.

  • Educator

    Right on Michael! Rotten to the Core! It’s pure monopoly.

  • NinaSeifertBishop

    Parents have no rights to their own children anymore. We are not involved in the curriculum decisions, testing decisions, nor can we protect our MINOR children from an invasion of their privacy. I agree with Michael Paul Goldenberg in the comment below; it’s about profit not education. Our elected officials are in bed with corporations; it’s incestuous and damaging to children and to the future of this country.

    • Robert Zraick

      Common core is not about profits, although on some levels it might be true. It is about control. It is about standardization (not about standards). The government wants control over what is being taught in schools. Ask yourself why?
      Is it because they have the best interests of the future slaves at heart, or is it because they simply want to standardize the obedience and compliance level of all the future wards of the State?
      They certainly do not want history or political theory taught. They want no one who might question their total control over everything.
      They do not want creative thinkers of any sort. Thinking is a threat to their power.

  • GiveMeLiberty

    Unfortunately it’s not just education. For some reason the politically elite, either due to their position in society or their percieved superior intellect, feel that they should be telling the rest of us how to live our lives.

    • Marbran

      This is no different than throughout all of human history. The upper echelons of any society have always dictated to the masses what is and is not permissible. In America, we’ve cloaked such a hierarchy within a shroud called ‘representative democracy,’ yet it still allows for those at the top to control what impacts those at the lowest levels of society.

      Let’s use Eric Holder’s announcement today as an example. The so-called ‘War On Drugs’ has been going on for more than 40 years. No positive changes in our society have resulted from this specious ‘war.’ Instead, we’ve increased the prison population 800% over that time period while the nation’s population has increased just 30%. We still have drugs; we still have violence. But we also saw a decrease in the prosperity of minority groups (those lowest in our society) and the lining of the pockets of those who run the prison-industrial complex. Now Holder wants to stop all of that. Why?

      He gives lots of reason, to be sure. But the truth is that the WoD model is starting to cost Dems politically, as minorities put pressure on the politicians to relieve their suffering. So with the stroke of a pen, Holder and Obama are essentially “telling the rest of us how to live our lives” without any well-discussed input from the populace on the subject. Same with Obamacare. Same with the DREAM Act; same with immigration reform. Examples are everywhere.

      This is why we need term limits for all elected politicians. A man or woman in office for 30-40 years is not a representative. They are an aristocrat.

    • Paul Osborn

      This makes them exceptionally dangerous. People who think they are operating in your best interest will never stop meddling until every aspect of life is firmly under their control. Choking out every ounce off imagination from the individual until nothing is left but another mindless drone for the hive.

  • Paul Osborn

    Don’t know what a technocratic oligarchy is? You should.

    • GiveMeLiberty

      Got it. Unfortunately we now appear to be ruled by a
      “Celebritocracy”. Our current commander in chief had no experience other than a lackluster state government and a less than stellar few years in the US Senate. Everyone wants to refer to his college pedigree but I don’t think that information has been made public other than he graduated. His celebrity put forth by the likes of Oprah and the MSM is what got him elected. I often wonder if a vast majority (enough to elect a president) has just said “Screw It!”, I lack the will or the motivation to run my own life so I think i’ll elect a government that’ll do it for me. I believe that there should be a constitutional ammendmant that says, “If I choose to accept government assistance to live off of then i forfeit my right to vote.” It seems like a clear conflict of interest.

      • Paul Osborn

        All of this is nothing new, the concept of Liberty, however, is relatively new. Liberty is the revolution against the oligarchy. Man’s demand for natural laws that govern not only the people but the system of government the people have chosen. Liberty is expense though. It’s costs are blood and eternal vigilance. Blood, well Americans are good at spilling blood, but vigilance, I’m not so sure.

      • skepticalways

        I couldn’t agree more with the loss of voting rights if you choose to be on the government teat! Voting is a privilege of CITIZENSHIP, and let’s not let them get away with giving that away, either! And no more ballots in languages other than ENGLISH!
        The insane are running the asylum. … Why can’t we get some lawmakers who actually make laws that make sense?

        • NinaSeifertBishop

          This country is a melting pot of people. No more ballots in languages other than English? Do you realize how many American citizens would be denied the PRIVILEGE of voting? The whole southwest was settled by Hispanic and Chinese people; not to mention the fact that Native Americans were already here. Being an American should not be defined by language, a flag, God, or anything else. Our country was founded on freedom. Something we are losing because poorly educated people don’t know what they’re voting for and some don’t care because they’ve been diverted from the real issues. That’s how government works; create a distraction over here so they can commit a crime over there.BTW, in Canada there are three official languages. Ballots should be in as many languages as possible so everyone can understand what they’re voting for.

          Regarding living off the government teat; most people don’t want government assistance. There are bad apples in every bunch but to make a general statement that everyone living on assistance should not be allowed to vote is prejudice. There are many ‘working’ people who couldn’t survive without government assistance. Women make less than men do; should single mothers be denied the PRIVILEGE of voting? How about the college student who is deep in debt with student loans who can’t find work in his/her field because the jobs were OUTSOURCED. How many jobs should a person work? If they work two or three jobs; who’s minding the kids? That takes us back to education. Education is EVERYTHING AND A RIGHT. An education citizenry is an informed citizenry so we should oppose state testing and watered down, corporate driven, data tracking and sharing Common Core curriculum, and refrain from prejudice behavior.

          • skepticalways

            Nina, obviously you & I disagree, but can arguably agree on the outcome for which we are aiming — freedom & a well-educated, homogenous & equal-opportunity society, with neither Capitalists nor Progressives shuffling jobs & government (taxpayer) monies to their well-connected, campaign-donor cronies! Your last statements prove we agree that, once in place, Socialistic OR corporate-driven, top-down laws (as is Common Core) are very difficult to get rid of. But I’d like you to cite your source for the information “The whole southwest was settled by Hispanic and Chinese people.” There were Native Americans there, for sure, & the fledgling U.S. nation DID expand into “their” territories (which they fought each other for, as well). All kinds of immigrants went West & settled those territories. That’s history. But, millions of educated Americans LOVE immigrants who come here legally, & want to be AMERICAN CITIZENS. I believe NO American citizens would be denied the privilege of voting, because SPEAKING ENGLISH WAS, & should be, a requirement of citizenship, just as learning about our civic process is! If they cannot understand English, then, they are not citizens; therefore should not BE voting. That’s why no ballots should be in other languages. You do immigrants NO FAVORS by allowing them to remain in their limited circle of menial job availability for those who don’t speak or understand English — and that goes for Spanish, Arabic, Eubonics & gang-speak, too. It shouldn’t be considered “sounding” or “acting white,” but sounding educated & civilized, so as to understand & be understood, & be a productive citizen. I don’t feel that’s being intolerant; that’s being practical & realistic. But let me be clear about my agreement with the person who said people
            living off Welfare shouldn’t have the vote. I didn’t mean someone who is in a rough patch in their lives, who needs a TEMPORARY hand up. Nor do I mean totally disabled folks — they need compassionate programs to help them. But I saw a physically fit, youngish guy on TV yesterday, who said he’d continue to “get by,” CHOOSE not to seek work, & live off of food stamps, because he LIKED being free like that. Uh, what about the hard-working folks who’re paying the taxes that support that deadbeat? That guy is a menace in the voting booth; he’d vote for whoever would continue to GIVE him money earned by others– forced charity! Yeah, he has the “right” to vote, but he’s a leech on the butt of any society.

          • NinaSeifertBishop

            http://history-world.org/hispanics.htm The Chinese/Japanese came to work on the railroad but were entering the US around 1800.http://www.goldenventuremovie.com/Chinese_Immigration.htm and http://www.loc.gov/teachers/classroommaterials/presentationsandactivities/presentations/immigration/japanese.html. Yes, all kinds of immigrants went west and found the Spanish, Mexicans, and Native Americans already there with cultures and language well established. Immigrants moving from east to west; primarily English speaking, since England establish a settlement at Roanoke in the latter 1500′s, expected the people already living in the southwest US (and elsewhere) to adopt English. My my…the door swings both ways. Immigrants to North America didn’t speak the local language; they shouldn’t have been allowed to vote, settle, write the Constitution or fight King George for the land already owned by other people. And, if I’m not mistaken, Columbus spoke Italian. The Portuguese probably discovered Florida; they didn’t speak English. The Vikings were in the US 500 years before Columbus and they didn’t speak
            English either.

            Regarding the ‘youngish guy’ mooching off the government teat; can you list the site where this information exists? Also, as I said, there are bad apples in every bunch but MOST people don’t want to live on Welfare; would you? I wouldn’t. I was a single mom at one time in my life and receive state aid for a short while and it was the most embarrassing experience I have ever had. Most people don’t WANT to beg. http://blogs.marketwatch.com/encore/2012/03/08/they%E2%80%99re-not-moochers-and-it%E2%80%99s-not-welfare/. Haters going to hate.

          • NinaSeifertBishop

            I’d also like to point out that the English speaking settlers very nearly starved to death had the Native Americans not given them FREE food (welfare) and showed them how to plant. Geez, and they didn’t allow real Americans to vote after stealing their country. There are at least 10 US states with Spanish origin names or Native American because they were ALREADY CULTURALLY AND LINGUISTICALLY ESTABLISHED. That doesn’t even include the cities, towns, parks, mountain ranges, waterways, etc… http://www.spainiacs.com/2010/09/15/u-s-state-names-and-the-spanish-language/ .

            Back on education topic; poverty is the real problem in education. Most of the southern states rely heavily on welfare because they’re poor, uneducated and poverty spans generations. Not to mention, our elected officials have out sourced jobs effectively closing down entire towns. I used to be a debt collector; I once phoned a customer to ask for a payment and she wanted to pay but the factory shut down in the town they lived in and they had no money to send. The card company I worked for knew which areas of the country had jobs leaving states but they issued credit cards through the mail anyway; knowing those people couldn’t afford to pay. So to eat, they charged, and the credit card company charged interest. Eventually, those people reached a limit they couldn’t pay and they piled on the interest and late and over limit fees. Most of those people tried to pay. I eventually quit. The company, a really large bank in the US, was unethical. Most people want to work and do. They’ve paid into welfare and shouldn’t be considered bums when their jobs are shipped to China or they have a life changing event in their lives. Haters going to hate. Walk a mile in their moccasins before judging.

  • jac

    Common Core is a huge movement w/ massive funding from private foundations, the most notable being the Bill & Melissa Gates Foundation, and federal agencies, but states everywhere are fighting it. CC is trying to take over public private, charter, home school, everything. States that reject it often get hit with its cousin, C-Scope, another federal education program. Here’s a couple sites fighting CC:

    http://stopcommoncorenc.org/

    http://truthinamericaneducation.com/

  • Andi

    homeschool if you can. that’s how I opt out.

    • skepticalways

      You will no longer be able to “opt out,” so you’d better help STOP this travesty & invasion of privacy! You, too, will be made to use THEIR “approved” texts (with their version of history, no doubt), because the mandated tests will follow the lesson plans of their texts! They’ve also put into place an Obama appointee who’s in charge of changing the SAT’s to fit Common Core.This must stop, or only the elites (like Obama’s kids, whose school said they will not have to comply) will be able to get into the best schools.They will require your home-schooled kids to be “assessed” like the other kids, & they will store the results of their assessments K-12, & on to age 20, if they continue with a post high-school education. They don’t even claim it will prepare kids to be “college ready” for a premier school, but only for “Junior College” level, and then they call them “ready for the global workforce”! BTW, the “Assessments” include peer reviews, so if some kid is a nasty bully, & wants to ruin your kid’s life, they have the power to say anything they want, & it can be a part of your kid’s permanent record. One of the worst parts is that Obama’s Sec. of the Ed. Dept., Arne Duncan, stripped the parental rights in the FERPA privacy laws, to let third-party commercial interests get to your kids’ records, without your permission. No one had a chance to READ THE BILL — sound familiar?

  • LetsTryLibertyAgain

    Please proofread the articles posted to BenSwann.com.

    “There has been a growing battle in American (sic) over education”

    “Freighting” instead of “frightening”.

    Etc.

    The lack of editing is particularly embarrassing on an article concerning education.

    • lexguy

      I noticed that too. Not good in an article about education. Then again, most news articles any more contain loads of grammatical and spelling errors. It’s almost as if journalists were educated by common core!

  • Waco Britt

    Common sense dictates
    that a “one size fits all” approach to millions of students across varied
    communities is an instant failure. Teachers spend time and money to get
    degrees, and for the most part have the best of attentions to reach as many
    students as they can. The idea being, in my opinion, is that they are trained
    for many possibilities and can adapt to the specific and unique situation that
    each student presents.

    The Idea of reaching
    a student is there because they know that everyone is different and has certain
    needs that need to be addressed. Most things in life or situational. There are
    many instances where a teacher has to try to find the right approach to teach a
    certain subject or process based on the given strengths and weaknesses of the
    student. Its seems very simple to me. Common core kills the teachers ability to
    reach as many minds as possible without a doubt.

  • xdereksmithx

    Here are some highlights over the main concerns of this article.
    1) Informational Texts could be used for propaganda.
    2) Data Mining that has little to do with education.
    3) Creating workers, not thinkers.
    4) Yet another push for “equal results” instead of “equal opportunity”.
    5) Too costly in implementing the assessments.

    If you haven’t read about CSCOPE in Texas, it is most certainly CC. Admittedly, it is a pretty strong curriculum with more depth in the assessments, but it also has some questionable lessons.

  • Tony

    Common Core is brainwashing our kids to think how the government wants them to think, instead of being free thinkers base on the actual facts, not facts made up by the gov’t. Perfect examples of this is that the kids are being taught the five pillars of Islam (there are six, bu they conveniently leave out Sharia Law),and all the other religions are lumped together an skimmed over. They are taught that there is only one God and his name is Allah. They are also taught that Muslims founded this country and invented things like Algebra, and other things which are just downright false. Research the supporters of this and you will find the Middle Eastern countries support this and of course dictator muslim brotherhood man himself, Obama. They want to turn our future generations into liberal robots, less chance of people speaking out against the gov’t and being complicit with everything.

    • Roz

      You mention thinking based on actual facts but then you provide no evidence in your argument. Common Core Standards have only been written for Math and Language Arts – not Social Studies.

      No where in the Common Core standards does it mention any religion. Old state adopted Social Studies standards are still being used across the country in which different religions are taught because in order to understand many ancient societies you must look at their religious beliefs. Yes schools teach what Islam is because it’s a part of history! Schools also teach about Greek mythology, Confucianism, etc. because they are all apart of history.

      Here is a history lesson on Algebra you might find helpful… https://www.khanacademy.org/math/algebra/introduction-to-algebra/overview_hist_alg/v/origins-of-algebra

      Here is a link to read the actual standards.
      http://www.corestandards.org/read-the-standards/

  • JG687

    One of the most hated laws ever is No Child Left Behind, which mandated that all children be educated above average. (Any law backed by both Ted Kennedy and George W. Bush was guaranteed to be a disaster.) So one thing the Obama administration did was dangle this carrot — adopt Common Core and we’ll let you off the hook on No Child Left Behind. This is a good example of how arbitrary enforcement of arbitrary laws lets the state play its citizens like a fiddle.