Concerns About Common Core

1. Unconstitutional federal oversight of education

“It is an unconstitutional overreach of the Federal government. Federal control over education has been expanding ever since the 60′s with steadily decreasing student achievement results. The Obama Administration not only has taken control over banking, the automobile industry, and health care…it has now taken over education by the promise of funding and the threat of withholding funding.”1

2. Expanded data mining without privacy protections

“The Department of Education has eviscerated the Family Educational Rights and Privacy Act (FERPA) by issuing new regulations that allow nonconsensual tracking and sharing of this personal data with other federal agencies, with government agencies in other states, and with private entities.”2

“Massive new databases are already being built. In 2012, the Gates Foundation used $17 million to launch inBloom, a company that has built a $100 million database to track students from kindergarten through college. The databases identify students by name, address, and sometimes Social Security number. Per the revised version of FERPA, information collected on students can be shared with third parties such as education product companies.”3

3. Cost of implementation

“CCS adoption is expensive and will add more strain to state budgets already at the breaking point. It is less clear how states will afford to pay for this massive education overhaul.”4

4. Untested Program w/o a Pilot

“This was done with insufficient public dialogue or feedback from experienced educators, no research, no pilot or experimental programs — no evidence at all that a floor-length list created by unnamed people attempting to standardize what’s taught is a good idea.”5

Effects to States

1. Inclusive changes to curriculum as publishers react to economic and social drivers
“Some advocates of Common Core insist that Common Core is ‘not a curriculum’ and that it will promulgate ‘an academic curriculum based on great works of Western civilization and the American republic.’ But the standards are being used to write the tables of contents for all the textbooks used in K-12 math and English classes. This may not technically constitute a curriculum, but it certainly defines what children will be taught, especially when they and their teachers will be judged by performance on national tests that are aligned with these standards.”6

2. Redesigned tests that reflect CCSS (SAT, ACT, GED)
David Coleman, one of the co-authors of the Common Core English Language Arts Standards and now the head of the College Board, which owns the SAT, has said that the exam will be Core-aligned, though when is not known. ACT, the organization that owns the ACT test, is an “active partner” with the Core initiative and says that the exam is already aligned to the standards. Meanwhile, the for-profit corporation owned jointly by Pearson and the American Council on Education that is developing the new GED says it, too, will be aligned to the Core when it is unveiled next year.7

3. One size fits all approach disregarding individual differences prevents school districts from meeting the needs of their students as well as concerns of their communities.

“The best way to produce high academic standards and better student learning is by decentralizing the process of determining standards, curriculum, and assessments. When we have choice and competition among different sets of standards, curricula, and assessments, they tend to improve in quality to better suit student needs and result in better outcomes.”8

4. Imposes federal & state standards on all students of all schools, including private and parochial schools and homeschoolers.

“Common Core eliminates local control over K-12 curriculum in math and English, instead imposing a one-size-fits-all, top-down curriculum that will also apply to private schools and homeschoolers.”9

5. PA Academic Standards / PA Core Standards are based on and include most aspects of Common Core State Standards.

“Pennsylvania’s new academic standards and revised high school graduation requirements are based on the National Common Core Standards.”10

Footnotes:

1 Johnnelle Raines, “Common Core is an Unconstitutional Overreach of the Federal Government,” The Greenville Post, April 4, 2013, http://www.thegreenvillepost.com/2013/04/04/common-core

2 Evidence of a National Education, Utahns Against Common Core, http://www.utahnsagainstcommoncore.com/evidence/

3 HSLDA, “Does the Common Core include a national database?” HSLDA, July 23, 2013, https://www.hslda.org/commoncore/topic10.aspx

4 Shannon Younger, “Common Core Standards Could Cost States,” November 15, 2012, statebudgetsolutions.org, http://www.statebudgetsolutions.org/publications/detail/common-core-standards-could-costs-states

5 Valerie Strauss, “Eight Problems with Common Core Standards” The Washington Post, August 21, 2012, http://www.washingtonpost.com/blogs/answer-sheet/post/eight-problems-with-common-core-standards/2012/08/21/821b300a-e4e7-11e1-8f62-58260e3940a0_blog.html

6 Joy Pullman, “The Common Core: A Poor Choice for States,” May 2013, http://heartland.org/sites/default/files/05-15-13_common_core_revised_policy_brief_version.pdf

7 Valerie Strauss, “How Common Core Could Affect Every State — Even Those That Reject It”, The Washington Post, July 23, 2013, http://www.washingtonpost.com/blogs/answer-sheet/wp/2013/07/23/how-common-core-could-affect-every-state-even-those-that-reject-it.

8 Matthew Taborr, “Jay P. Greene to US House: Common Core Will Stifle Reforms,” Education News, October 7, 2011, http://www.educationnews.org/education-policy-and-politics/jay-p-greene-to-us-house-common-core-will-stifle-reforms/#sthash.3TNOqAwn.dpuf

9 Rachel Alexander, “Common Core: What’s Hidden Behind the Language?” Townhall, March 18, 2013, http://townhall.com/columnists/rachelalexander/2013/03/18/common-core-whats-hidden-behind-the-language-n1537017/page/full

10 Mary Robb Jackson, “Pennsylvania Introduces New Academic Standards, Graduation Requirements,” KDKA, September 13, 2013, http://pittsburgh.cbslocal.com/2013/09/13/pennsylvania-introduces-new-academic-standards-graduation-requirements

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