"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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Monday, March 11, 2013

Common Core Consortia Written Testimony Supporting MO SB 210 and HB 616

A businessman explains how consortia work and why they are not suitable in written testimony for MO SB 210 and HB 616:


I am Thomas A Byrne, a resident of Greene County. My background in not in education but in Business Management and it from that background that I come here today to raise my concerns about Common Core.
A business is not staffed with people with Management, Accounting or Engineering Degrees. Most are people who can run a lathe, drive a forklift, assemble an engine, and drive the delivery truck. In my day this area of “education” in high school was called Industrial Arts. Is there room for this type of education in the Common Core Program? There are students who want to learn how to be a good carpenter. Where do they fit in this new scheme?

The cost of this program is another concern. I have not been able to find a budget line for this cost nor have I been able to see a good estimate of what the cost will be. Furthermore, when one joins a Consortia you take on part of the front end costs. As States drop out, and they will and have, more of that cost falls on the States remaining. Whiteboard Advisors did a recent study where 83% of the people in education felt that more States would leave the Consortia. Are we going to be left with an unknown cost in this time of tight educational budgets? There has got to be high cost to implement this program; where is that money coming from?

I am always concerned when something as important as Education is turned over to national organizations. Do they really know what the children of Missouri educational needs are? Do you, as legislators, want to give up your say in what is taught to the children of Missouri? Do you want to take away from local school boards a say in what is taught in their schools? It seems to me that if the assessment document is copy righted; then we on the local level have little say is what is taught.

Common Core sounds like the time a salesman came to sell me a new system. It had all the bells and whistles, but the research had not been done and the project ran way over cost. What research is there that backs up Common Core? Has the research been done that this will be worth the cost? What comments I have seen, wonder if we will get much “bang for the buck.”

Before you allow Missouri to continue to be wedded to Common Core, you have many things to consider. I have tried to mention a few; others will offer more points for you to consider. Please give them you careful consideration.

If you or your staff would want reference and documents that I have drawn on, I will be happy to provide them.

Thank you for your time and consideration.


For MEW readers, here is a Whiteboard Advisors article with predictions of the failure of Common Core:
Not going to happen on time and it's a disaster if you believe in accountability.
The opting out of Alabama just the start of a trend.  You heard it here first: the astonishing success of Duncan's first term unravel in the second as implementation of teacher evals, common core, and common assessment fail.  Sound and fury ultimately signifying nothing. 
While everyone is worrying about Smarter Balanced but PARCC is starting to have internal troubles of its own.  More states will go, and that's OK.  But if more states go and they can't deliver a coherent product, that's a big problem.

This Missouri resident's common sense and practical experience is borne out by the educational insiders raising concern about both SBAC and PARCC.


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