Tuesday, July 22, 2014

#CommonCore and #Sovereignty

Let's start with a couple of recent quotes - (discovered here)

“I can’t think of anything that has had this much controversy,” said Linda Johnson, who served on Louisiana Board of Elementary and Secondary Education from 1999-2011.

“This is the first time there has been anything like this,” said Leslie Jacobs, another former Louisiana BESE member, who played a major role in creating Louisiana’s public school accountability system.


When [Diane Ravitch] testified to the Michigan legislative committee debating Common Core in Aug. of 2013, she told them to "listen to their teachers and be prepared to revise the standards to make them better"

When asked if states were "allowed" to change the standards, Ravitch responded, "Why not? Michigan is a sovereign state. If they rewrite the standards to fit the needs of their students, who can stop them? The federal government says it doesn't 'own' the standards. The federal government is forbidden by law from interfering with curriculum and instruction"


By now, you must be wondering "What's your point?"  It's strange that relatively few people, throughout the political spectrum, have been very concerned about the sovereignty of states, or that of individuals and communities, throughout the FedLed Common Core Standards *Initiative* process. 

If there is a silver lining, it is that growing numbers of citizens are becoming concerned and engaged in education issues.  The "sleeping giant" has awaken just in time, in my opinion, "little dictators" and "social engineers" have infiltrated every political party. 


In March of this year, Ravitch explained...

The reason to oppose the Common Core is not because of their content, some of which is good, some of which is problematic, some of which needs revision (but there is no process for appeal or revision).

The reason to oppose the Common Core standards is because they violate the well-established and internationally recognized process for setting standards in a way that is transparent, that recognizes the expertise of those who must implement them, that builds on the consensus of concerned parties, and that permits appeal and revision.

The reason that there is so much controversy and pushback now is that the Gates Foundation and the U.S. Department of Education were in a hurry and decided to ignore the nationally and internationally recognized rules for setting standards, and in doing so, sowed suspicion and distrust. Process matters.

The Common Core lacks most of the qualities [of the ANSI core principles for setting standards] — especially due process, consensus among interested groups, and the right of appeal — and so cannot be considered authoritative, nor should they be considered standards.  (emphasis added by me)

Another fabulous recent article on this issue can be found here.

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