In expressing her dismay over the growing public opposition to Common Core Standards, State Superintendent of Public Instruction June Atkinson said some people want to believe myths about Common Core Standards. “How can people argue against teaching North Carolina students to read, write, speak and listen?” Atkinson said. “How could that be of the devil?
I like you June, but were Common Core only about “teaching students to read, write speak and listen” you wouldn’t be reading this. The growing rebellion against Common Core was started by critics who dispute the claim that they are academically superior to existing standards. Some academics, contend the standards are actually worse. Understandably, parents are concerned as to why we continue to implement Common Core Standards when there are so many unanswered question and so much evidence that Common Core Standards are indeed not an improvement over existing standards.
Atkinson also claims Common Core is not a federal takeover of public schools in North Carolina. According to Atkinson, people who say so are “lying”. It s hard to ignore the massive federal footprint on Common Core. Does the Superintendent know that the federal government has doled out millions in Race-to-the-Top and Stimulus funds. It has also provided millions in support to the National Governor’s Association, the Council of Chief State School Officers;the two groups that helped to develop Common Core Standards? Does the Superintendent know the federal government is spending $360 million to develop assessments for two consortia to ensure that national tests align to Common Core Standards?
Common Core proponents say states “voluntarily” adopted standards. In reality, they did so to be eligible to compete for federal Race-to- the-Top funding. To have a chance at the money, cash-starved states had to agree to adopt Common Core Standards and the aligned tests, without ever having seen them. The Obama administration also tied No Child Left Behind waivers to the adoption of Common Core Standards by the states.
Proponents of Common Core say states — not the feds — will control standards and will choose their own curriculum. Let’s step back and remember: the point of standards is to drive curriculum. If you have the same standards, the curriculum will pretty much be the same. The testing consortia funded by the feds admitted in the grant application that they would use grant money to develop curriculum models.
Does anyone believe the feds are going to invest millions to develop standards, assessments and data collection and then somehow magically give over control of those efforts to the states? Someone isn’t telling the whole story.