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Common Core = Conditions + Coercion + Conflict of Interest

commitment-choice-coercionWDW – FL received an email from a frustrated parent in Florida who was tired of the “script” being repeated to her. Her opposition to Common Core came after months of research and really trying to understand all of it.  She is just one voice among many parents that feel the same way. . In her email she states, “Please see attached doc[cument] that I have been working on. The concept of the doc[ument] was to take all those quotes that came from [Secretary of Education Arne] Duncan, [Microsoft founder Bill] Gates, [President] Obama, etc and to put them all into a doc[ument] that helped to clearly debunk the standards and all the claims that are being made in regards to them … from the original source. ”

Read  the report titled “Welcome to the new Common Core fuzzy math: CC = Conditions + Coercion + Conflict of Interest“.

The following are excerpts from her document:

We also changed the way we do business at the Department of Education. Instead of issuing top-down edicts, we provided incentives for and supports for states districts, schools and local communities to undertake reform themselves, including offering more flexibility to states in the form of waivers from No Child Left Behind … The Obama Record in Education, Secretary Duncan’s Remarks to the Mom Congress, April 30, 2012

bush obama duncan

President Obama, former Florida Governor Jeb Bush and Secretary of Education Arne Duncan in Miami. Photo courtesy of the Miami-Herald.

“Why deal with pesky Congress when you get to make all the rules?” said Michael Petrilli, executive vice president of the conservative Thomas B. Fordham Institute. The department doesn’t have the authority to declare waivers high-risk, he said, and one of the states should call Duncan’s bluff.

States are awarded points for their compliance with a rubric of standards on issues like teacher evaluations and the number of charter schools, and applicants compete for a share of the $3.4 billion pool. The program, which began with $4.6 billion in stimulus funds, has been credited with galvanizing almost every state to either make significant changes to education laws, gain support of teacher unions, or to raise education standards across the board—all without distributing a penny in federal money. Education reforms spark ‘quiet revolution’ By ABBY PHILLIP, July 27, 2010.

Read the full document here.

“While sometimes I’ve been called an architect of their standards, I think their true architecture is evidence,” Coleman said. “That’s the binding secret of the standards.” Coleman, Zimba and Sue Pimentel, an education consultant, made sure the standards reflect the skills students need to succeed after high school.

National Governors Association:

According to the latest IRS 990 form for the NGA’s Center for Best Practices, the nonprofit arm of NGA that shares “a common pool of cash and investments” in 2010 received 80 percent of its $14.8 million annual income from taxpayers. Tax documents also show that back in 2004, the earliest available documents traced, NGA received $31 million from taxpayers. Tax funding has made up most of NGA’s income every year in between.

Despite its heavy tax support, NGA is not required to make meetings, votes, and materials public like government bodies, and it has not done so for its work on Common Core.

NGA is a private trade organization whose actions have no legal binding on states. Governors do vote during NGA’s two annual meetings to express shared priorities, former Virginia Gov. George Allen (R) told School Reform News, but “by the time they vote on a position the [resolutions] get watered down so much any objections are already accommodated. It’s unlike legislatures, with committee hearings and votes.”

Previous School Reform News reports have revealed state and federal tax money provide approximately half of CCSSO’s operating funds, and that Bill and Melinda Gates Foundation money has been intimately involved in this behind-closed-doors process. ‘State-Led’ Common Core Pushed by Federally Funded Nonprofit, By: Joy Pullman, Heartland Institute, April 24, 2013.

When the tests are aligned to the common standards, the curriculum will line up as well—and that will unleash powerful market forces in the service of better teaching. For the first time, there will be a large base of customers eager to buy products that can help every kid learn and every teacher get better. Imagine having the people who create electrifying video games applying their intelligence to online tools that pull kids in and make algebra fun. Bill Gates – National Conference of State Legislatures, July 21, 2009

Dr. Richard Swier

Dr. Rich Swier is Publisher of www.DrRichSwier e-Magazine. Twitter: @drrichswier He holds a Doctorate of Education from the University of Southern California in Los Angeles, CA, a Master's Degree in Management Information Systems from the George Washington University, Washington, D.C., and a Bachelor's Degree in Fine Arts from Washington University, St. Louis, MO. Richard is a 23-year Army veteran who retired as a Lieutenant Colonel in 1990. He was awarded the Legion of Merit for his years of service.

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