Wednesday, March 7, 2012

Not Federally led??

Think Common Core State Standards are State led? Get the facts:

(Click here to get a 2 page flier you can print or email to share with others)
• 1988: Marc Tucker became the president of the National Center for Education and the Economy (NCEE) where he joined up with Hillary Clinton, Mario Cuomo, and Ira Magaziner to get states to move away from local control of their schools and migrate to national standards. (link)
• 1990: George H. W. Bush signed an international agreement entitled, “World Education for All (EFA), the result of a United Nations “World Conference on Education for All” summit. (link)
• 1991: Tucker and Lauren Resnick created New Standards that pushed standards-based reform. (link)
• 1992: Tucker writes “Dear Hillary Letter.” This letter, written to Hillary Clinton, addressed Tucker’s ideas for radical education reform after Bill Clinton’s presidential win. The goal is “to remold the entire American system” into “a seamless web that literally extends from cradle to grave and is the same systems for everyone,” coordinated by “a system of labor market boards at the local, state and federal levels” where curriculum and “job matching” will be handled by counselors “accessing the integrated computer-based program.” (link)
• 1994: Tucker’s ambitious plan was implemented in three laws passed by Congress and signed by President Clinton: the Goals 2000 Act, the School-to-Work Act Opportunities Act, and the reauthorized Elementary and Secondary Education Act (ESEA) called “Improving America’s Schools Act of 1994.” (link)
• 1996: An organization called ACHIEVE, Inc. was formed by the nation’s governors and corporate leaders. (Many of them tied to Marc Tucker and the NCEE). The goals from an Education Summit in Palisades, NY were to ACHIEVE the goals of the 1994 school reform bills. (link)
• 1998: Tucker and Judy Codding created America’s Choice, a comprehensive school reform program, that made sure the national standards were further implemented into schools. (link)
• 2001: George W. Bush renames ESEA “The No Child Left Behind Act” and signed it into law. (link)
• 2004: Microsoft (Bill Gates) contracts with UNESCO (the United Nations Educational, Scientific and Cultural Organization) to fulfill part of UNESCO’S Millennium Campaign Goals—universal education and educating for a global economy. A “master curriculum” for teacher training in information technologies based standards, guidelines, benchmarks, and assessment techniques is to be developed. (link)
(UNESCO / Gates Foundation Agreement)
• 2005: Bill Gates funds the New Commission on the Skills of the American Workforce—created by Tucker. States begin adopting its education reform initiative, “Tough Choices or Tough Times.” In 2008, Utah’s Governor Huntsman touts it (see video in link below) and joins with 5 others states (Massachusetts, Delaware, Arizona, New Mexico, and New Hampshire) who adopt it in order to “reinvent their educational systems.” (link)
• 2008: Gates Foundation, along with two other foundations, created Strong American Schools (a successor to the STAND UP campaign launched in 2006, which was an outgrowth of UNESCO’s Millennium Campaign Goals for Universal Education). It calls for American education standards. (link 1) (link 2)
• 2008: Gates Foundation funds the International Benchmarking Advisory Group report for Common Core Standards on behalf of the National Governors Association, Council of Chief State School Officers, and ACHIEVE, Inc. titled, “Benchmarking for Success: Ensuring U.S. Students Receive a World-Class Education.” This report shows the United Nations is a member of the International Benchmarking Advisory Group for Common Core Standards. The member of mention is the Organization for Economic Cooperation and Development (OECD) which developed UNESCO’s Millennium Declaration—partnering with the World Bank and the International Monetary Fund. (link)
The report states: While states must take the lead, the federal government can help. And the federal government can do that best by playing an enabling role grounded in a new vision for the historic state-federal partnership in education. (link)
• 2009:  Marc Tucker writes a chapter in the book “Change Wars: The Inspiring Future for Educational Change.” One chapter is called International Benchmarking as a Lever for Policy Reform. The book says the UN’s OECD launched Programme for International Student Assessment in 2000 to monitor the outcomes of education. Linda Darling-Hammond also contributes a chapter. Darling-Hammond heads the SBAC (see 2009, December below) (link)
• April, 2009: Gates Foundation members, along with a few dozen others, participate in a Washington conference and produce “Smart Options: Investing the Recovery Funds for Student Success.” These ideas were funded by the 2008 Stimulus (ARRA-American Recovery and Reinvestment Act) and supported Race to the Top. Priority 1: Develop Common American Standards—also called Career-Ready Standards—in most states by January 2012. (link)
• 2009 (summer): Council of Chief State School Officers, National Governors Association, and ACHIEVE, Inc. agree to partner on a common core standards project. (link)
• 2009 (fall): The U.S. Dept. of Ed signals it will fund $360M for summative assessments aligned to Common Core Standards and begins planning meetings. Two consortia begin competing for this funding: Smarter Balanced Assessment Consortium and Partnership for the Assessment of Readiness for College and Careers. States begin adopting Common Core Standards and join one of the consortia in order to receive No Child Left Behind waivers from the U.S. Department of Education Secretary, Arne Duncan. (link)
• 2009 (December): Utah becomes a governing member state of Smarter Balanced Assessment Consortium (SBAC) and is obligated to use the online assessments created by the SBAC which is led by Bill Ayers’ friend, Linda Darling-Hammond. Judy Park, Associate Superintendent, Utah State Office of Ed, eventually co-chairs the Consortia. (link 1)(link 2)
• 2009 (December): Gates Foundation gives the National PTA a $1 million grant to mobilize parents for Common Core Standards. (link 1)(link 2)
• June, 2010: National Governors Association and State Education Chiefs launch Common State Academic Standards. (link)
• April 2011: The SBAC Overview Curriculum and Assessment Conference issues a report stating that CCSS member states must adopt their assessments by Dec. 31, 2011. Further, they must develop tests to be administered in 2014-2015. (link)
• 2011: The American Legislative Exchange Council’s (ALEC) education task force calls for the demise of the Common Core Standards, but puts it on hold after receiving a $376,635 grant from the Gates Foundation. (link)
• 2011: Bill Gates speaks at the November G20 Summit in Cannes and issues his report, “Innovation With Impact: Financing 21st Century Development” stating, “My report will address the financing needed to achieve maximum progress on the Millennium Development Goals, and to make faster progress on development over the next decade.” (link)
• 2011: Obama Education Secretary Arne Duncan announces “Today, I promise you that [the Department of Education] will be a committed partner in the national effort to build a more environmentally literate and responsible society… We must advance the sustainability movement through education… Education and sustainability are the keys to our economic future-and our ecological future.” (link)
• 2012: States begin to recognize the loss of local control and enormous cost of implementation of the Common Core Standards. Many states begin pushing back. The Heritage Foundation and the Cato Institute call the standards unconstitutional per federal education law.
• 2012: States not on Common Core and not meeting the Annual Yearly Progress requirements of NCLB petition congress for relief. Lawmakers working on options are undercut when the Obama White House circumvents congress to grant waivers from NCLB if states adopt Common Core. (link)
Texas Education Commissioner Robert Scott stated that the common standards movement amounted to a “desire for a federal takeover of public education.” Now, additional states (who originally signed on), including Massachusetts, Iowa, Kansas, and Virginia, are expressing concerns about the common standards initiative. (link)
Gov. Nikki Haley just signed a letter supporting legislation in South Carolina to block CCSS implementation stating, “South Carolina shouldn’t relinquish control to a consensus of states any more than the federal government.” (link)
Larry Shumway, Utah state superintendent, a member of the CCSSO Board of Directors, a member of the Board of Directors at West Ed which is the project management partner for SBAC assessments, recommends Utah retain its relationship as a governing member of the SBAC (thus forcing Utah to use their tests).
“I am personally opposed to any changes in Utah’s public education governance, either by constitutional amendment or by statutory revision, that would have the effect of centralizing power and decreasing representation.  I oppose changes that would decrease the ability of local boards of education, elected by the citizens of that district, to guide their own schools to meet the needs of their communities as they see it, or that would diminish the ability of 104 elected legislators and 15 elected State Board members to fulfill their responsibilities to lead Utah public education as they represent their constituencies.” -Larry Shumway–State of Education Address October 11, 2011
This seems to me a clear conflict of interest for Mr. Shumway to testify to the Utah legislature on anything related to Common Core or the SBAC.
Gates’ Foundation other contributions during the time frame of consideration and development of the Common Core initiative.
Counsel of Chief State School Officers (CCSSO): 2009–$9,961,842, 2009–$3,185,750, 2010–$743,331, 2011–$9,388,911
National Governor’s Association (NGA): 2008–$2,259,780
Mark Tucker’s NCEE: 2009–$1,500,000
Total: $27,000,000

To any who still harbor the illusion that Common Core State Standards were the product of the states simply coming together, I have a bridge in Brooklyn I’d like to sell you.
Special thanks to the many people involved in digging this information up. Much work has been done by people all around the country to put this information together and help follow the money trail. Please do your part now in passing this information on to everyone you know so they can be educated about what the Common Core Initiative is really all about.


Shirlyn H. said...

Alisa - Your sweet caring voice is being heard and understood. Unlike so many other's who raise their voices to get their point of view across, but don't educate themselves like you have done and I know you are only voicing your concerns because you care and want other's to educate themselves so that they can see the real issues and act responsibly. I admire your courage and your ability to follow prompting when you feel something isn't quite as it seems.

Heidi said...

I’m a friend of Mandy’s and I would like to add my 2 cents about the Common Core State Standards (CCSS).
Some background information: I’m a Republican. I’m also a teacher. I’ve devoted my life to nurturing young minds. I believe teaching is a sacred profession. I do not invite practices or influences (resources, textbooks, philosophies, etc.) into my classroom that won’t help each little one reach his/her potential as a happy, ethical, contributing member of society.

And I support the Common Core State Standards.

With the adoption of any curriculum, there are questions that arise. And there ought to be. The education of future generations is not an issue to be trifled with. Which is why I think the CCSS are a huge step forward. Teachers, administrators, and education experts pooled their expertise to come up with the levels of basic competence a child should have in each grade. And yes, it is basic. That is what a core is. At the center of an apple is its core. It holds it together, it gives it a foundation. But what gives an apple its apple-ness is not the core, but all the rest around it. And with the CCSS, the rest--the interventions, the enrichment, the implementation-- is still open to district, school, and individual teacher interpretation. It was the same with the previous core. The state set the outline. The districts decided the format. And the teachers, the women and men who know the children, were able to make the best decisions for their classrooms.

Yes, UNESCO/Gates Foundation may have contributed to the development of the curriculum, but that did not put them in control of the product. Yes, the federal government may have a stake in this. But nearly every other major world economy has a national curriculum. In this modern mobile society it is in the best interest of children. One of my little girls is moving to Colorado on Friday. If in Colorado’s curriculum a skill is taught in January in 2nd grade and Utah doesn’t teach it until 3rd, when will she learn it? She will have missed her chance in both states! And when we look to see which teaching practices have the greatest impact on student learning, how can we measure that without a common measure? If (hypothetically) California reports that 40% of their first graders leave first grade on grade-level, and Utah (hypothetically) says 85% of their first graders do, does Utah truly have a better first grade program? Not if they’re assessing different things! This sort of discrepancy becomes particularly pernicious when we’re tackling issues like the “4th Grade Slump.” How can we know which students are in need of intervention, which are soaring, and which programs are most helpful if everyone has a different definition for “On Grade-Level?”

Heidi said...

[Part 2]

As parents, teachers, and lawmakers we all have the same goal: to do what is best for children. And Common Core State Standards are what is best for our children. I mean all of our children. The sweet babies in inner-city Chicago, the ones in rural Mississippi, and the ones in suburban Utah. Some may have more advantages than others, but how is it fair to say, “Oh, you don’t have the same opportunities so you only need to succeed at this certain level. But these kids over there, with the involved parents and homes full of books, we want you to reach this level up here.” At best that sort of attitude is callous. At worst it is immoral. The foundation of America is to offer all of her people the chance to pursue happiness. We know that education is the only way to rise above the challenge of poverty. If America’s poor are held to a lower standard, how will any of them gain the skills to compete in our cutthroat global economy? American students already underperform their international peers, we cannot afford to hinder them any further by muddying the educational waters with political power plays and murky expectations. We need the clear, research-based guidelines of the CCSS.

Some argue that switching our curriculum will require unnecessary expense. That is not true. Switching to a common curriculum will actually SAVE the state money in the long run. That is because, while educators are not in the money-making business, textbook companies are. They tailor their resources to the needs of the biggest states: California and Texas. If a state adopts a curriculum that is not similar to that in the larger states, districts must bear the expense of developing all their own materials or, what commonly happens, adopt a program that only partially meets their standards and then buy supplemental resources. With the CCSS, publishers can produce materials suited to any classroom. Districts can invest in one program freeing up funds for remediation and enrichment. Teachers don’t have to spend their free time looking for classroom resources. (And believe me, it takes a lot of time!) Instead, they can focus more on individual student achievement.

This may all sound like rose-colored hyperbole, but having implemented the CCSS in my classroom this year has made me a much more focused teacher. The new core allows me up to take a reflective look at my students. My classroom looks vastly different this year than it did last year. That’s because the CCSS gives me the freedom to differentiate my practice for the individuals in my care. I’m not tied down to drilling dozens of indicators. I have the time to teach to mastery—what a luxury! I can meet the students where they are and help them achieve more. Instead of teaching to the middle of the pack, for the first time I am effectively and consistently able to offer challenges for the children that are ready for them. And I am more available to support those that still struggle. I know who is at what level, what the next step is, and I have the time to get them there. For me, and for the sweet little ones in my classroom, the Common Core State Standards are truly a gift.

SJ said...

I completely agree with "Heidi". Thanks for posting:)
As a science teacher we have national standards that all students should be proficient in. How can you have an educated, functioning work base to draw from if our students can not compete with other students from other states or country. It is the same for math and english. I have researched this as a new teacher. As much as I have tried I just can't buy into the consiracy theory. What if Utah decided not to teach the scientific method? or how about learning how to summarize and analyze data? Having a common base of standards is crucial.

Marshall B said...

I'm grateful for the teachers who truly care about our children. Common Core brings several aspects of good and improvement for the educational system. This is why it is attractive to many teachers and those who have received the marketing. They make it good for the teachers & administrators in order to get their support. Common Core is not the best for America's children because of where it's coming from. 1) Education was never meant to be run by the Feds. Common Core only furthers the socialization of America's educational system. Giving up local control only makes it easier for those with evil intents in high places to accomplish their designs. Common Core gives the illusion of local control but at its heart it is not. 2) Whoever puts the money into it gets to teach what they want. This is very scary and dangerous understanding who is behind it. Supporting Common Core means giving away more freedom. 3) Obama is pushing this - everything he pushes is about getting more Federal control. Common Core is about the government getting more control and power and taking away freedom and options from families. If any of this sounds false I urge you to please do more research. Alisa, thank you for all your time into this!