"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, February 13, 2013

Common Core Claims Aren't Factual and Questions Remain Unanswered

Diane Ravitch makes some valid points and raises serious questions about Common Core standards and why the business community is so keen on seeing them implemented. The claims are bolded; the questions are highlighted. From 15153:

Yesterday, 72 business corporations published a full-page advertisement in the New York Times supporting the Common Core State Standards.
The ad asserts that the CCSS will prepare all children "to be successful in a competitive global economy." How do they know that since the standards are only now being implemented and have never been demonstrated to be successful?
The ad says that "the need for a strong employer voice is greater than ever." Why would that be? Is it because so many educators are concerned that the Common Core standards will bust the budgets of their district?
The ad says that the big corporations support "these new, tougher academic standards that are currently being rolled out in classrooms across the country." Are they concerned that tougher standards might widen the achievement gap?
The ad gives no indication that any of its signatories has ever read the CCSS.
This ad is very curious.
Why would business leaders take out a full-page ad to urge support for something that 46 states and the District of Columbia have already agreed to do?

I am reminded of the wacky report from a task force of the Council on Foreign Relations a year ago (co-chaired by Joel Klein and Condoleeza Rice), which claimed that the public schools posed a "very grave threat to national security." Its three recommendations: 1) open more charters and vouchers; 2) adopt the Common Core standards; and 3) create a "national security readiness audit" for every school. Thus: privatization and the Common Core are necessary for our survival as a nation.

All very puzzling. How will the Common Core standards protect our national security?

Why are 72 corporations lined up to pledge support for standards that are already adopted but never field-tested?
Do they sell products that have never had a trial?
What gives?

It would be nice if these 72 companies would truthfully and transparently answer these questions Ravitch (and others) have posed about the standards.  Why won't they answer them? 

An aside:  The article states, The Common Core State Standards (CCSS) Initiative, led by the National Governors Association Center for Best Practices and the Council of Chief State School Officers, has produced Kñ12 standards in the foundational subjects of math and English that meet the business community's expectations: they are college- and career-ready, grounded in evidence and internationally benchmarked.   

Why is education geared toward the business community's expectations?  Schools are supposed to be state/locally controlled with taxpayer money and input, not education  becoming the vehicle to create a managed workforce and private corporations directing public education.  The standards are NOT grounded in evidence (they were never field tested before they were adopted and they were adopted before they were even written) and the educational reformers/ business communities have never produced evidence of the standards being internationally benchmarked.   

And one more tidbit these companies didn't bother to mention: The NGA and the CCSSO are private trade organizations who have created standards/assessments that are privately copyrighted and held unaccountable to the taxpayers who have paid for them.

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