By Nancy Thorner –
Common Core is a failed system both legally and academically. See here for “Common Core State Standards for Illinois.” The System grew out of “No Child Left Behind”, established during the administration of President George W. Bush.
In 2010 forty-three states, finding it difficult to meet the onerous requirements of NCLB, were receptive to the Obama administration’s bribe-like waivers which granted exemptions from the NCLB requirements, but with this condition. The states had to agree to adopt standards (sight unseen and in exchange for the waivers) that were “common to a significant number of states.” Guess what? The only standards that satisfied this commonality requirement were the Common Core standards.
Legally, the U.S. Department of Education violated several federal laws by imposing curriculum nationally. Under the Tenth Amendment to the U.S. Constitution there is no lawful role for the federal government in education. Accordingly: “The powers not delegated to the United States by the Constitution, nor prohibited by it to the States, are reserved to the States respectively, or to the people.”
While there is push back against Common Core in many states, Arizona is the latest state to do so. Ignoring pleas from business leader, the Senate Education Committee voted 6-3 along party lines on Thursday, Feb. 19, to bar Arizona from implementing the Common Core standards the state adopted four years ago. Arizona State Senator Al Melvin, R-Tucson, who championed Common Core four years ago, suggested that the concept was initially good for instituting recognized nationalized standards, but that the program had been hijacked by the federal government in Washington, D.C.
Not unlike parents in many states, Arizona legislators complained of Common Core smelling a little like coercion by the federal government with its promise of funds. There is also the single approach to education that parents find a bit scary. One size does not fit all! Mention was also made of some Common Core reading material that is borderline pornographic and of fuzzy math where stacking of numbers is no longer done in adding and subtracting numbers.
With the above in mind, The Women’s Republican Club of Lake Forest-Lake Bluff is sponsoring a debate on Saturday morning, March 14 at 9:00 a.m., in the Stuart Room at Lake Forest’s Gorton Community Center, 400 E. Illinois Road, Lake Forest, IL.
In an announcement received recently as a Club member from president Jennifer Neubauer titled, Common Core, PARCC and Student ‘Womb to Tomb’ Personal Data Collection Ripe for Debate March 14, 2015, the subject of the Saturday, March 14th debate was further noted as “What is Common Core and is it Good or Bad for America.”
Debaters include Bruno Behrend, J.D., a Lake Forest graduate and a senior fellow for education policy at The Heartland Institute, a vocal opponent of Common Core and its mandated PARCC testing. Jessica Handy, currently the Government Affairs Director with Stand For Children, and as vocal proponent of Common Core and PARCC, will also participate. She is a former teacher, and former Illinois Senate Democratic staffer, serving in a variety of capacities before becoming the Policy and Budget Analyst for the Education and Pensions committees.
Lake Forest-Lake Bluff school districts #65, #67 and #115 have embraced Common Core standards, as have most school districts in Illinois. Unlike many Lake Forest-Lake Bluff parents, thousands of parents in Illinois and across the country, are concerned about Common Core standards, PARCC testing on those standards and the accumulation and storage of their children’s personal data.
Proponents of Common Core argue that individual state standards were vague, failed to prioritize essential content and skills, and included serious content gaps and omissions. Thus Common Core standards were devised and are touted by proponents as challenging, clear and fair. Common Core supporters note that states which align themselves to these standards will be providing a high quality education that prepares students for college or a career in the 21st century and will ensure American students will be competitive in a global marketplace.
Opponents argue that research has demonstrated these so-called “higher” standards have no effect whatsoever—that there is no link between “higher standards” and “higher student achievement” and cite the Brookings Institute, a left-leaning think tank, for that claim. Other objections include concerns over curriculum choices, the inordinate amount of classroom time for irrelevant and intrusive testing, and the increased federal government control over local schools. And no one really knows how many tax dollars it will take to implement Common Core. (See e.g. http://stopcommoncoreillinois.org/ , http://www.corestandards.org/read-the-standards/ , www.heartland.org/common-core , http://standleadershipcenter.org/what-we-stand )
Moreover, according to Discover the Network, The Heartland Institute and others, a particularly controversial feature of Common Core is its Statewide Longitudinal Data System (SLDS. The System collects personal information on individual students and then archives it, creating a dossier of students’ beliefs and behaviors. Many parents are concerned about this “womb to tomb” data collection process originated by the U.S. Department of Labor, as it includes personally identifiable information for every U.S. citizen under 26 years old. The information is collected from K-12 grades and consists of identifiers such as behavioral patterns, disciplinary issues, health history, and test performance.
Access to that centralized data has been expanded to include any organization even tangentially involved in a child’s education. Moreover, parental notification or permission is no longer be required in order for a school to share students’ personal data with such outside groups or companies The storage place for the data collected under the auspices of Common Core testing is a private database called InBloom, funded mainly by the Bill & Melinda Gates Foundation.
Massive funding from the Bill & Melinda Gates Foundation also helped create the Common Core State Standards in the first place.
This promises to be a stellar event. To find out more about the event email firstname.lastname@example.org or see www.womensrepublicanclub.com .
Schedule of Events
8:45 a.m. Doors open. Coffee and light snacks served.
9:15 a.m. Sharp. Debate begins. Each side has twenty minutes to present its side, followed by twenty minutes of back-and-forth questions. The last twenty minutes or so are audience questions.
10:45 a.m. Adjourn