Monday, May 30, 2011

Common Core $tate $tandards

Common Core $tate $tandards

What Parents, Taxpayers, and School Boards Should Know...

and perhaps they aren't being told

Citizens United for Responsible Education of Washington State, Missouri Education Watchdog, Mathematically Sound Foundations, The Underground Parent, and the U.S. Coalition for World Class Math independently object to the adoption and implementation of the CCSS.

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National Education Standards

Monday, May 23, 2011



You know - the people who actually know and use math!


A Summary Report from the Conference “Moving Forward Together: Curriculum & Assessment and the Common Core State Standards for Mathematics

Pentagon City, Arlington, VA

April 29-May 1, 2011

Organized by: Sol Garfunkel (Chair), Chris Hirsch, Barbara Reys,

Jim Fey, Eric Robinson, and June Mark


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Just say "NO" to National Standards and Streamline U.S. DoE

Education Department Violates Law, and States Say “No” to National Standards

The Foundry, Heritage Foundation

Ceding greater power over what children are learning to D.C. bureaucrats is not the path to improving education in the United States. Rather, the federal government should give states more flexibility to implement policies that they deem best fit the needs of their students. States also must work to raise academic standards and heighten the transparency—and thus accountability—of school performance to those to whom it rightfully belongs: parents and communities.

Education and the Workforce Committee Moves

to Streamline Department of Education

Clearly, the problem isn’t how much money we spend on education, but how we’re spending it—and right now, far too many taxpayer dollars are dedicated to ineffective, redundant K–12 programs. Rep. Hunter’s legislation will reduce the federal role in education and help set the stage for increased flexibility on the state and local level.

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Saturday, May 21, 2011

Common Core - Closing the Door on Innovation!

Breakin' the Law!  Breakin' the Law!  (And we say NO!)

Read and sign the Manifesto!  Created by a coalition of educational and other leaders which opposes the stealth campaign to impose a single curriculum and a single test on the nation’s schools. Here's an except:

 First, there is no constitutional or statutory basis for national standards, national assessments, or national curricula. The two testing consortia funded by the U.S. Department of Education have already expanded their activities beyond assessment, and are currently developing national curriculum guidelines, models, and frameworks in accordance with their proposals to the Department of Education (see the Appendix). Department of Education officials have so far not explained the constitutional basis for their procedures or forthcoming products. The U.S. Constitution seeks a healthy balance of power between states and the federal government, and wisely leaves the question of academic standards, curriculum, and instruction up to the states.3 In fact, action by the U.S. Department of Education to create national standards and curricula is explicitly proscribed by federal law, reflecting the judgment of Congress and the public on this issue.4

Even if the development of national curriculum models, frameworks or guidelines were judged lawful, we do not believe Congress or the public supports having them developed by a self-selected group behind closed doors and with no public accountability. Whether curriculum developers are selected by the Shanker Institute or the U.S. Department of Education’s testing consortia, they are working on a federally funded project to dramatically transform schools nationwide. They therefore ought to be transparent and accountable to Congress and the public.

Critical Common Core Concerns (To be addressed by YOUR Representatives!)

Texas Considers State Sovereignty (Has YOUR state?) 


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Saturday, May 14, 2011

High Quality Education is America's Best Defense!

U.S. Dept. of Ed. is Breaking the Law, Jay P. Greene

The 1979 law by which the U.S. Department of Education is authorized in its current form clearly prohibits these activities. It states (in section 103b): “No provision of a program administered by the Secretary or by any other officer of the Department shall be construed to authorize the Secretary or any such officer to exercise any direction, supervision, or control over the curriculum, program of instruction, administration, or personnel of any educational institution, school, or school system, over any accrediting agency or association, or over the selection or content of library resources, textbooks, or other instructional materials by any educational institution or school system, except to the extent authorized by law.”

Public Discourse:  Ethics, Law and The Common Good, Greg Forster

Historically, national control of education has come up as an issue about once every ten to fifteen years. In the past, it has usually produced a lot of fireworks but burned out pretty quickly. This year is very different. The nationalizers have learned from their past mistakes; they understand now that the American people don’t want the federal government to control schools. So they’ve adopted clever tactics to disguise what they’re doing and misdirect public attention, and as a result, they are already dangerously close to getting everything they want.

The Department of Education is forbidden by law from developing a national curriculum. This reflects the clear judgment of the people and their congressional representatives, expressed forcefully on all the previous occasions when this issue has come up, against handing over control of education to a single national body.

A coalition of educational and other leaders released “Closing the Door on Innovation,” which opposes this stealth campaign to impose a single curriculum and a single test on the nation’s schools. The over 100 signatories include numerous leaders in the education world, as well as such nationally known figures as Abigail and Stephan Thernstrom, Shelby Steele, Richard Epstein, and Edwin Meese.

You can read it and add your signature at

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Sunday, May 8, 2011

The Voice of the People - Unraveling Common Core

Legislation Moves to Unravel Common Core Standards


[p25] The commissioner is prohibited from adopting common core in the subject and school year listed in the revision cycle in paragraphs (a) to (f)

New Hampshire

(b) The “common core state standards” developed jointly by the National Governors Association Center for Best Practices and the Council of Chief State School Officers shall not be adopted by rule pursuant to RSA 541-A, or included or implemented in any way in the New Hampshire curriculum frameworks, or used as a measure of an adequate public education, without prior approval of the general court.

South Carolina

The State Board may not adopt and the State Department may not implement the Common Core State Standards developed by the Common Core State Standards Initiative. Any actions taken to adopt or implement the Common Core State Standards as of the effective date of this section are void ab initio."


A district may not meet this requirement through the use of national curriculum standards.  (c-2) The State Board of Education may not adopt national curriculum standards to comply with its duties under Chapter 28.  For purposes of this section and any other section of this code, national curriculum standards include any curriculum standards endorsed, approved, sanctioned, or promoted by the United States Department of Education, the National Governors Association, or the Council of Chief State School Officers.

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Hugely Important Matter!

Stotsky Testifies Before Texas Legislature on Education Standards Bill

May, 2011

University of Arkansas professor Sandra Stotsky testified last month before the Texas Legislature in favor of a proposed law that revisits the centuries-old issue of states' rights.  The bill was drafted in response to the Common Core standards.


"This is a hugely important bill and a hugely important matter," said Stotsky, who holds the Twenty-First Century Chair in Teacher Quality in the College of Education and Health Professions. "It has implications for the entire country. The high school curriculum and assessments in mathematics and English language arts based on Common Core standards will lower educational attainment in the United States."



Stotsky served as senior associate commissioner in the Massachusetts Department of Education from 1999 to 2003. During that time, she led the development or revision of all of the Massachusetts K-12 standards. She reviewed all states' English language arts and reading standards for the Fordham Institute in 1997, 2000 and 2005. She co-authored Achieve's American Diploma Project high school exit test standards for English in 2004 and the 2008 Texas English language arts and reading standards. She served on Common Core's Validation Committee from 2009 to 2010.


"Texas has the best English language arts and reading standards in the country, now that the first-rate standards that Massachusetts, California and Indiana once had have been dumped and these states have adopted Common Core's. Texas is also developing the best K-12 math standards in the country," Stotsky said. "The Common Core standards in English language arts and reading do not aim for a level of achievement that signifies readiness for authentic college-level work."



Stotsky was one of five members of Common Core's Validation Committee who voted against accepting the final version of the standards.


Link to Stotsky and Milgram's Testimony in the article.

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