"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 20, 2013

Common Core State (sic) Standards

"Whoo Hoo!" The word that started a revolution in opting out of Common Core State (sic) Standards testing.

Susan Ohanian writing in the Daily Censored Whoo-Hoo! Occupy the Schools! about Common Core State (sic) Standards, details how the standards are not state led, a vehicle to establish a Global Work Force, funded primarily by Bill Gates, bipartisan in nature and a quest for a national curriculum/national test:

In response to a poverty rate that tops 90% in many urban and rural schools –and 1.6 million homeless children—many in schools with no libraries–education reformers at the White House, the Bill and Melinda Gates Foundation, and the National Governors Association call for a radical, untried curriculum overhaul and two versions of nonstop national testing to measure whether teachers are producing workers for the Global Economy.

They call this upheaval the Common Core State (sic) Standards (CCSS) and there are two things to remember: The Common Core did not originate with the states and it is speculative and experimental–in a word, cuckoo. I use the (sic) in its title because putting the word “state” in there is a political move, a public relations ploy. Learning from President Bill Clinton’s failure to get the national test he wanted, corporate leaders and their political allies try to keep this school remake as distant from the White House as possible, insisting over and over that it’s a “grassroots initiative” –what the people asked for. Every time they say this, the press repeats it. The Common Core reality is about as far from Mom and apple pie as a zombie invasion.

The Gates connection and funding is stunning and who can deny the fact that this money is driving the current educational reform?

The Common Core State (sic) Standards are the result of hundreds of millions of dollars disbursed in carefully distributed grants from the Bill and Melinda Gates Foundation accompanied by the threat from U. S. Secretary Arne Duncan to withhold federal funds if individual states did not sign on the dotted line. I looked at two months worth of press citations praising the CCSS –August and September, 2012–and then looked up the Gates money given to those who come to praise CCSS. The list ranges from the American Federation of Teachers ($1,000,000) to the Wisconsin Department of Public Instruction ($823,637), from the neo-liberal Center for American Progress ($2,998,809) to the neo-conservative Thomas B. Fordham Institute ($5,711,462). The PTA got money ($2,005,000); so did the National Writing Project ($2,645,593). And so on and so on. He who pays the piper calls the tune, and with money in their pockets, many are eager to sing the Common Core song and eat the funeral meats.

Although these groups all play a cheerleading role, here are the significant players in deforming school curriculum and testing and their Gates haul.

• Achieve, Inc.: $25,787,051
• The Council of Chief State School Officers: $71,302,833
• National Governors Association Center for Best Practices: $30,679,116

Chief architects of the literacy content for the Common Core content are a lawyer and David Coleman, an education entrepreneur. Coleman gained the most notoriety as he barnstormed the country preaching the importance of nonfiction and a bastardized form of New Criticism, a literary theory abandoned long ago by just about everybody except Mr. Coleman. In his presentation at the New York State Education Building in April 2011, Coleman declared that teachers must tell students: “When you grow up in this world you realize people don’t give a shit about what you feel or what you think.” Student Achievement Partners, an outfit Coleman co-founded is now churning out Common Core curriculum. They’re bankrolled by $6,533,350 from the Bill and Melinda Gates Foundation and $18,000,000 from the General Electric Foundation. Coleman has moved on to head the College Board ($31,178,497 in Gates funds).

My state education department in Vermont urged every teacher to watch a video produced by the Council of Great City Schools ($8,496,854 from Gates) in which Coleman offers advice to the student who reads several grade levels below the complex text assigned to his class: “You’re going to practice it again and again and again and again. . . so there’s a chance you can finally do that level of work.”
Gates is taking advantage of the bipartisan push for this reform and the Federal Government's involvement in these Common Core State (sic) Standards:

Lots of school watchers believe the sole purpose of the Common Core State (sic) Standards is to drive the national test which has been on the corporate agenda for more than two decades. Although the Bill and Melinda Gates Foundation paid for the CCSS, the new, super-duper assessments traveling with those standards are funded by you and me. The U. S. Department of Education gave $335 million to the Partnership for Assessment of Readiness for College and Careers (PARCC)and the SMARTER Balanced Assessment Consortium to develop computer-based tests for grades 3-12. They both plan a lot of testing, and costs of hardware and software requirements, of rewiring school buildings and buying computers that meet the specifications are on the backs of local taxpayers. The Florida state department of education recently announced an infusion of nearly half a billion dollars to develop the necessary technology infrastructure capable of delivering the tests. New York City estimates the same amount.

Although hubris seems to drive Bill Gates’ education reform ideology, it is no surprise that his foundation would find the Common Core’s huge reliance on technology attractive. Technology and the desire to put schools under the oversight and domination of a national test also motivated education reformers in September 1989, when President George H.W. Bush convened a meeting in Charlottesville, Va., for the first-ever National Education Summit. Teachers were also absent from that meeting, Instead, IBM CEO Lou Gerstner joined hands with Arkansas governor Bill Clinton to lead the effort. Gerstner and his Business Roundtable cronies got to name the problem and define the solution, which was a relabeled Business Roundtable plan calling for school choice, competition, and a massive infusion of technology. It was signed into federal law as America 2000. When it morphed into Goals 2000, President Clinton was foiled in his attempt to add a national test. Then came No Child Left Behind under President Bush the Younger and Race to the Top and the Common Core under President Obama. With each residency change at the White House, the name of ed reform has changed and the content has become more destructive to the needs of public schools and the children in them.

Ohanian provides information on how Common Core State (sic) Standards impact children.  When these theories and untested standards/assessments are used on real human beings, the results are injurious to children.

Read the entire article here and discover why "whoohoo" may be the battlecry against the educational reformers and the spark which started a parental revolt against Common Core State (sic) Standards.


  1. National PTO just got another $25,000,000 from the GE foundation to push CCSS.

    You might enjoy my latest https://vimeo.com/60214843

  2. Paul,I will repost this wonderful video.

    Did you mean the PTA got a $240,000 grant vs $25 Million?


    It all runs together....:)

  3. It was signed into federal law as America 2000. When it morphed into Goals 2000, President Clinton was foiled in his attempt to add a national test.

    Public Relations


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