"I know no safe depository of the ultimate powers of the society but the people themselves; and if we think them not enlightened enough to exercise their control with a wholesome discretion, the remedy is not to take it from them, but to inform their discretion by education. This is the true corrective of abuses of constitutional power." - Thomas Jefferson 1820

"There is a growing technology of testing that permits us now to do in nanoseconds things that we shouldn't be doing at all." - Dr. Gerald Bracey author of Rotten Apples in Education

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Wednesday, May 11, 2011

Voices from Both Sides of the Fence Unite in Standing Against Common Core Standards.

"Closing the Door on Innovation Why One National Curriculum is Bad for America" was issued May 5th and signed by more than 100 leaders in education, business, and politics, as a response to a document issued in March by the Albert Shanker Institute, which argued for common curriculum for the standards. The May 5th document also criticizes the U.S. Department of Education's $360 million investment in the development of assessments for the common standards (the money that was awarded to the two consortia of states in the Race to the Top competition.)

The group of signers argue that shared curriculum and tests will stifle innovation, threaten local and state control of education decisions, and standardize learning for students with diverse needs. Specifically its points are:

  • First, there is no constitutional or statutory basis for national standards, national assessments, or national curricula.
  • Second, there is no consistent evidence that a national curriculum leads to high academic achievement.
  • Third, the national standards on which the administration is planning to base a national curriculum are inadequate.
  • Fourth, there is no body of evidence for a “best” design for curriculum sequences in any subject.
  • Fifth, there is no evidence to justify a single high school curriculum for all students.

It also argues that shared curriculum and tests are prohibited by federal law. Arguments for a common curriculum are flawed, the signatories argue, because there is no evidence that it would lead to higher student achievement or that there is one "best" approach to curriculum for all students. Additionally, they say, the standards on which they are based are not sound enough to serve as the foundation for such a curriculum.

The one area where they agree with the Shanker Institute is in that curriculum should be developed before assessments, but such efforts should be decentralized and varied, not "centrally controlled" by an "elephantine, inside-the-Beltway bureaucracy."

Read the critical response to Common Core Standards and sign your name if you agree with their assessments.

1 comment:

  1. For MORE INFORMATION, please read:


    It is now clear, according to the U.S. Department of Education’s own description, that the Department is in violation of the law by which it was created.

    The 1979 law by which the U.S. Department of Education is authorized in its current form clearly prohibits these activities. It states (in section 103b): “No provision of a program administered by the Secretary or by any other officer of the Department shall be construed to authorize the Secretary or any such officer to exercise any direction, supervision, or control over the curriculum, program of instruction, administration, or personnel of any educational institution, school, or school system, over any accrediting agency or association, or over the selection or content of library resources, textbooks, or other instructional materials by any educational institution or school system, except to the extent authorized by law.”



    Historically, national control of education has come up as an issue about once every ten to fifteen years. In the past, it has usually produced a lot of fireworks but burned out pretty quickly. This year is very different. The nationalizers have learned from their past mistakes; they understand now that the American people don’t want the federal government to control schools. So they’ve adopted clever tactics to disguise what they’re doing and misdirect public attention, and as a result, they are already dangerously close to getting everything they want.

    The Department of Education is forbidden by law from developing a national curriculum. This reflects the clear judgment of the people and their congressional representatives, expressed forcefully on all the previous occasions when this issue has come up, against handing over control of education to a single national body.


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