Parents, teachers and “stakeholders” (we don’t actually know who those “stakeholders” are in all the contracts and verbiage we see on various documents with the FDOE and websites belonging to universities, ed-tech companies, and the many, many corporations currently invested in or are investing in education). If you have any doubt – check it out on http://news.muckety.com/ to see all the corporations, companies, ed-techs, think tanks, venture capitalists and even politicians (such as Jeb Bush, Bill Gates and Hillary Clinton) who fund MILLIONS of dollars into the education of our children in our schools that are driving the curriculum, digital on-line learning, teacher evaluations, schools being graded A-F, 3rd grade mandatory retention, etc.
Parents and friends – we have been duped. Duped and lied to by the NGA (National Governors Association) and the CCSSO (Chief Council of State School Officers) and our own state departments of education. The NGA & CCSSO both hold the copyright to the Common Core State Standards (CCSS) and at this point in time – have made billions from the implementation of CCSS. Duped by Arne Duncan, Secretary of Education during the Obama administration who opened the floodgates when RTTT (Race To The Top) was initiated in 2009. The gutting of FERPA to allow for the data collection and data gathering (creation of the Statewide Longitudinal Database Systems or SLDS in every state) going on in our classrooms now without parental consent or knowledge. The plan was perfectly executed and all the states were forced to adopt the Common Core – it was NOT a state-led initiative like they stated and wanted the public at large to believe. All states were forced to adopt the CCSS because they had to and the CCSSO and NGA saw to that by putting the ‘chiefs’ in place in the state department of education. The feds (Duncan/US DOE) dangled the CCSS carrot (lots of cash) in front of the money starved states to accept and adopt the CCSS (they were unwritten, un-vetted, unpublished and non-peer reviewed and most importantly un-validated) “state standards” at the time of adoption. States were forced to adopt the CCSS blindly (you can read the stunning admission by Joanne Weiss who worked for the US DOE at the time here: http://www.breitbart.com/big-government/2015/09/16/feds-admit-u-s-education-department-forced-states-accept-common-core-start/
The states had NO IDEA what the impact would be on their individual states, the children and students, the teachers or the schools. Also in the mix of the RTTT was the creation of the “Testing Consortium” where they were given $330 MILLION to create the new standardized tests that would be used across the U.S. in alignment with the CCSS. Remember – the goal of the CCSS is to create “critical thinkers” and prepare our kids for “college and careers” all while making untold amounts of money to make kids smarter by increasing the level of standards beyond their age limitations. Here is an excerpt from the Brown Center on Education Policy at Brookings Institute: “Results of standardized tests are used for high-stakes decisions, ranging from which schools to close to which students to hold back a grade to which teachers to fire.” https://www.brookings.edu/wp-content/uploads/2016/06/Standardized-Testing-and-the-Common-Core-Standards_FINAL_PRINT.pdf This has not changed as that is EXACTLY what they use the test results for, however, the article was written in October 2013 by Matthew Gringos before some states adopted the harmful Bush policies like the A-F school grading and 3rd grade mandatory retention law. Matthew Gringos also fails to mention the “membership fees” that states must pay to the testing consortium which is upwards in the millions since the calculation is based on how many students are being tested. The bigger the state – the bigger the consortium “membership fee” is because that is how they sustain the consortium. States are required to pay the fee for the actual test along with the membership fee. This information came from this 24 page report titled “Standardized Testing and the Common Core Standards: You Get What You Pay For”. At the time of this article 45 states were forced to adopt the CCSS and the harmful policies by Bushes foundation the Foundation for Excellence in Education (FEE). They ignored YEARS of sound research and YEARS of proven sound pedagogy to bring us the CCSS and the tests that went along with those newly created un-vetted and un-validated standards. “but an ambitious experiment with student assessments has been under way since shortly after most states adopted the new standards.” Is CCSS an EXPERIMENT? An experiment being conducted on our kids without parental consent or knowledge? After all – Bill Gates (one of the biggest funders of CCSS to the tune of over $2 BILLION dollars) stated himself when asked if the CCSS and the higher standards “would work” his reply was: “that we won’t know for at least 10 years.” 10 years?
In September of 2010, two companies received $330 million to create the “testing consortia” to bring us the tests associated with the newly implemented Common Core State Standards. Those two companies were Pearson or PARCC (Partnership for Assessment of Readiness for College and Career) and AIR (American Institutes for Research) aka SBAC or the Smarter Balanced Assessment Consortium. It didn’t matter to them that the standards were and still are developmentally inappropriate for all levels, un-validated, un-vetted and non-peer reviewed. In fact, the state standards were created in secrecy so no parent or teacher could actually see the questions on the test……until now. See this link from The National Pulse by Dr. Karen Effrem: https://thenationalpulse.com/commentary/parents-beware-common-core-tests-invasive-surveys/
I would like to remind parents that these types of questions were on the Gallup Poll survey that was given to 5th graders, middle school and high schoolers and was “optional”. American Institutes for Research (AIR) “teamed” up with Gallup to bring the SEL (social emotional learning) survey. They have put these intrusive, invasive questions at the end of the test and not telling kids they can “opt out” of those intrusive questions. The biggest problem with this is that the survey is supposed to be anonymous. If your child is logged into the test with their student ID, student email or any other PII (personally identifiable information) – it no longer becomes “anonymous” and they are now psychologically profiling your child. AIR not only teamed up with the US DOE they have been in existence for a very long time and also teamed up with the US DOH, US DoD, US DOJ, US COC, etc. John Flanagan, AIR’s founder, founded AIR in 1946 during WWII. In 1966 – AIR launched an “experiment” on US school children called Project Talent. Is AIR conducting another experiment on our children with CCSS without parental consent or knowledge?
More to come in Part 2.