Jenni White, President of Restore Public Education in an email states, “I received an email forward from an Oklahoma legislator today that took me aback a bit I must say. This email was apparently sent to at least some Oklahoma legislators from the Foundation for Educational Excellence (FEE) – established and run by Jeb Bush out of Florida – in support of the Common Core State Standards (CCSS), called “Debunking Common Core State Standards Myths”. To read the FEE email click here.
“Recent evidence shows our State Superintendent, Janet Barresi (a member of the Chiefs for Change, an offshoot of the FEE) and Governor Fallin have been utilizing the FEE to write educational ‘reform’ measures for use here in Oklahoma. I just recently wrote about that phenomena and the ramifications for our state.” White stated.
Governor Rick Scott, the Florida legislature and school boards have embraced CCSS. But is this good for parents and public school students?
White notes that a number of organizations have raised red flags about CCSS. The following national organizations have come out against the Common Core State Standards: The Heritage Foundation, The Goldwater Institute, The Friedman Foundation, The Pioneer Institute, The Eagle Forum, CATO Institute, Home School Legal Defense Association and Reclaiming America for Christ.
The CCSS have never been state-led. The initiative was designed from the outset to be a set of national standards that would not be directly labeled as such to avoid violating federal law. Individual private groups (the NGA and the CCSSO) facilitated the writing of the standards, and the Obama Administration pushed them to cash-strapped states by offering buckets of stimulus funds (RTT). The NGA and CCSSO developed alliances with gigantic book publishers (Pearson), suppliers of CCSS materials (Achieve) to cover the needs of states for CCSS materials and the Gates Foundation to provide software and bribe money to organizations (ALEC) to help facilitate their use and moved one of the architects of the standards into position to become president of the college board where he could align the most widely-used college admissions test (ACT) to the CCSS.
Finally, the Obama Administration offered NCLB Waiversfor states implementing the CCSS and their idea of an A-F system of ‘accountability’ specifically for the CCSS. C’est voila! All Oklahoma schools ( including charter schools) must now teach the CCSS because they must take the expensive PARCC (state) tests that assess them. If students make poor grades on the PARCC tests, school A-F scores could drop to the D or F category, causing the State Department of Ed to take over the school. Smaller textbook companies must align with the CCSS or lose market share, causing the textbook market for home schools to contract. Even private schools are now beginning to use the CCSS in order to keep their student’s ACT scores from falling.
For decades proponents of school reform have pushed for a top down model such as No Child Left Behind under President George W. Bush and Race to the Top/Common Core standards under President Obama. With the help of former Florida Governor Bush and Bill Gates states have adopted these federal standards and the money that comes with it.
But have any of these programs actually increase student performance? The answer is no!