SUNACRW Formally Opposes Common Core State Standards

Resolution on Common Core State Standards and Assessments

WHEREAS, The Common Core State Standards Initiative (“Common Core”), and its Pennsylvania implementation now known as Pennsylvania Academic Standards, are a set of academic standards, promoted and supported by two private organizations, the National Governor’s Association (NGA) and the Council of Chief State School Officers (CCSSO) as a method for conforming American students to uniform (“one size fits all”) achievement goals to make them more competitive in a global marketplace; and,

WHEREAS, Common Core was financed by funds from private third parties to advocate for and develop the Common Core strategy, subsequently created the Common Core through a process that was not subject to any freedom of information acts or other sunshine laws, and never piloted the Common Core; and,

WHEREAS, Common Core binds us to an established copyright over standards, from which we cannot subtract, replace or add to – beyond an additional 15%; and,

WHEREAS, the NGA and CCSSO in concert with the same corporations developing the Common Core ‘assessments’ have created new textbooks, digital media and other teaching materials aligned to the standards which must be purchased and adopted by local school districts in order that students may effectively compete on Common Core ‘assessments’, and,

WHEREAS, the General Educational Provisions Act  prohibits federal authority over curriculum and testing, yet the U.S. Department of Education’s “Cooperative Agreements” confirm Common Core’s test building and data collection is federally managed;  and,

WHEREAS, Common Core violates state and federal privacy law by requiring the storage and sharing of private student and family data without consent; using a pre- school through post-graduate (P-20) tracking system and a federally-funded State Longitudinal Database (SLDS), creating surveillance capability between states and federal agencies, in accordance with funding mandates;  and,

WHEREAS, the Common Core program includes federally funded testing and the collection and sharing of massive amounts of personal student and teacher data, and  “student behavior indicators” – which include testing for mental health, social and cultural (i.e. religious) habits and attitudes and family status – are now being used for Common Core tests and assessments; and,

WHEREAS, Common Core violates constitutional and statutory prohibitions by pressuring states to adopt the standards with financial incentives tied to President Obama’s Race to the Top, and if not adopted,  penalties including loss of funds; and,

WHEREAS, the federal government is imposing yet another unfunded mandate on our Commonwealth for unproven Common Core instruction, training and testing platforms, without any pledge of financial support from federal, state or local governments; and,

WHEREAS, unproven experiments on our children, lacking empirical data to support them, are removing traditional math, replacing classic literature with increased technical reading, and prohibiting teachers from reviewing the tests to know what they ought to be teaching; and,

WHEREAS, this top-down process and the principles behind Common Core undermine the teacher’s role and do not support American ideals of local control, parental choice in education, standards and testing; and,

WHEREAS, Common Core effectively removes educational choice and competition since all schools and all districts must use Common Core ‘assessments’ based on the Common Core standards to allow all students to advance in the school system and to advance to higher education pursuits;

THEREFORE, BE IT RESOLVED, that we call on Governor Corbett and the Pennsylvania Department of Education to withdraw from and cease implementation of Common Core Standards / Pennsylvania Academic Standards; and we ask the Pennsylvania Legislature to discontinue funding programs in association with The Common Core State Standards Initiative/Pennsylvania Academic Standards.

Passed unanimously on August 1, 2013 by SUN Area Council of Republican Women.

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