"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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Tuesday, January 22, 2013

Secrecy Abounds in Common Core Social Standards Development. These are NOT "state led"

The CCSSO is not disclosing the names of people on the writing team and tightly controls information about how and what business is being conducted.  Who are the writers?  Why don’t they want the public to know who they are?  Why such secrecy?  The CCSSO is a non-government organization and is not subject to the federal Freedom of Information Act .  This non-government organization has set out to produce a document that likely will highly influence state social studies standards, textbook development, textbook selection and adoption, and professional development.  Ultimately, this will affect what (as well as how) will be taught in public classrooms across the country (and possibly private schools, charter schools, and in home school settings).  Shouldn’t the public have a right to know who will have such an influence on the education of the children in their local community?
Read more here.
More from the author on the Social Studies Standards, Science standards and "A Crucible Moment" : 

We know about the ELA and math standards.  Will the same happen with the science? social studies?  The second draft of the common core science standards is available for review until January 29, 2013.  These standards are called the Next Generation Science Standards.   The final set of standards will be released later this year.

Most states adopted the CCSS ELA and math before they were finalized and some before they were even written or before the first public draft was released.  Seven school districts in WA banded together, applied, and received a RTTT grant of $40 million.  In the grant application, all seven districts committed to adopting the new science standards and corresponding assessments. 
 Watch legislation as well as state and local school board agendas to see if plans in your local district or state are underway to adopt science standards that have not been finalized.  Or perhaps your state adopted them before they were written?
In the article I did not even touch on the content of the  Vision for the College, Career, and Civic Life (C3) Framework for Inquiry in Social Studies State Standards.  At quick glance there are many red flags in terms of where our current administration is leading social studies/civics education.  The Civics Lessons article will give an overview of the A Crucible Moment report.  While I haven't read the Crucible report, a quick glance indicates it is alarming.  I am surprised it hasn't been exposed.  Maybe no one is watching.  Even though it appears the CCSSO's social studies framework is in concert with the Crucible, I find nothing linking the two.
A Crucible Moment: College Learning and Democracy’s Future By The National Task Force on Civic Learning and Democratic Engagement

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