"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, March 27, 2013

Common Core Adoption/Implementation. "This is the Hotel California that Smarter Balanced Assessment Consortia Built"

Private trade organizations NGA/CCSSO say:   This is the house that we built via our specifications that you have to pay for and live in.  Just call it the "Hotel California"

Think of Common Core standards and adoption this way.  States can check in but they can never leave.  (At least not without the approval of the Federal Government).  Here's how CCSS evolved:

A contractor contacts you and says he will you build you a house in a subdivision of other homes.  He will give you $100,000 toward the construction, but he will build the house of his dreams, not yours.  He promises it will be a mansion and the best on the market.  It will be just as beautiful and quality constructed as the other homes in the subdivision.  He can't show you a blueprint and can't give you an idea of your final cost, but trust him.  It will be great.

You also don't know his credentials and his subcontractors but you decide his promise of giving you some money toward the initial construction is worth a gamble as you have been led to believe your living situation is dire and his offer holds the promise of a better home.  The meeting between all the construction vendors are held in secret and you don't have an idea of how big the house will be, what it will look like or if it suits your living style, but again, you have signed the MOU/contract so these decisions are out of your hands.

Only after signing on the dotted line do you realize:
  • the contractor has never spent a day constructing a house
  • the contractor has no finished blueprint 3 years after you have signed the contract or MOU
  • the contractor has subcontracted out the work to firms that also have no contracting experience but they are really nifty in the IT business
  • the contractor has mandated many items in your house are necessary that you can't afford to pay for (or want)
  • the contractor's funds are being depleted and he will have to look to you for more money to finish the house plan that you didn't choose 
  • if you are unhappy with the procedures and progress, the contractor will make it extremely difficult to rescind the contract

If a local building permit official told you that was how your house would have to be built and this was the process by which you must abide by to have a house built,  you would probably laugh him/her out of the room and insist he/she was delusional.   Any sane person would walk away from such a legally binding contract.  It is fraught with the unknown in terms of product, quality and cost and control of building your own house for your own needs within your own budget is out of your hands.

This parallels the process and issues in the CCSS adoption/implementation:

Questions:  Is this an acceptable way to build a house?  Is this an acceptable way to institute educational reform?

If you don't think houses should be built in this manner or educational policies should be adopted circumventing legislative approval which contain unfunded and continually evolving mandates, please sign the petition of rid Missouri of Common Core standards.


Welcome to the Hotel California
Such a lovely place (Such a lovely place)
Such a lovely face
They livin' it up at the Hotel California
What a nice surprise (what a nice surprise)
Bring your alibis

Mirrors on the ceiling,
The pink champagne on ice
And she said "We are all just prisoners here, of our own device"
And in the master's chambers,
They gathered for the feast
They stab it with their steely knives,
But they just can't kill the beast

Last thing I remember, I was
Running for the door
I had to find the passage back
To the place I was before
"Relax, " said the night man,
"We are programmed to receive.
You can check-out any time you like,
But you can never leave! " 

Full lyrics here.


  1. I love the analogy but yet...I am sad it is reality.

  2. It would be more like going to your veterinarian to get your house built, and the vet asking the florist how to do it.

  3. I think you may have forgotten "While you live in the house, your every move is tracked and recorded in a database that will be used for behavior modification."


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