How The Common Core Will Hurt
Home School and Private School Families...

common core apple wormCommon Core is rotten to the core...

There isn't much to like about the Common Core. All our friends with kids in public school echo and confirm all the drawbacks, pain, and suffering reported on the news.

Although we thought homeschoolers were immune, we recently discovered that this massive education take-over is poised to also hurt homeschoolers and private schoolers, if it isn't stopped and continues to grow.

I recently heard about the video below through the Ron Paul Curriculum website and took a 'quick' look.

The video is from the Heritage Foundation. They invited a panel of experts to discuss the Common Core. The data, history, analysis, and back-door dealings revealed by the panelists is shocking.

Homeschoolers could be in for a rude awakening... if they're not prepared --

Watch the video.

I shared my personal notes on the video for you.

They're raw and unedited, but I included time stamps to help you find the sections important to you and use this as a reference page on the Common Core.

Watch this, share this, and lets hope this monster is killed while it's still a baby -- before it damages  millions of our children, and retards an entire generation of American students.


My Notes on the Common Core Panel Discussion at the Heritage Foundation:

[time 1:30] Introducing the panel:

Speaker #1: Neil McClosky - Associate Director, CATO's Center for Educational Freedom

[time 10:29] History of federal education: By seeing the past it helps put Common Core into perspective. The U.S. is moving into a federal curriculum, which is what proponents say isn't happening. They say Common Core is just standards. But it envelops much more.

Start in the Colonial Period and jump to the 1830s - education was something based in civil society, the home, family, voluntary communities, and/or religious communities, but not from the gov't, especially not a national govt.

[time 11:48] 1830s Mr. Horace Mann primary mover for some level govt provision for school, mainly for the state of Massachussetts. But, he looked at Prussia, France, and the Netherlands' national education and liked what they did and thought it would be good for the U.S. as potential models for national education.

[12:50] 1867 the first Department of Education founded. But within two years it is downgraded into a bureau of education and it main function is to collect statistics. It in no way control education.

[13:21] 1958 federal gov't makes its first major move into education. National Defense Education Act. At least in these days, the federal govt was looking for a constitutional reason to get involved -- national defense, which the federal gov't does have authority over.

[13:45] Senator Barry Goldwater gave a prophetic comment about National Defense Education Act, "If adopted, this legislation will mark the inception of aid, supervision, and ultimately control of eduction by federal authority."

This is what we're looking at right now.

[14:20] 1965 first time the national govt says it will involve itself in education outside an explicit defense connection. Elementary and Secondary Education Act (ESEA), it is not meant to be a controlling act but rather a funding act hoping to balance/equalize the funds among schools.

[14:43] 1979 creation of the Department of Education. National Education Association, which had just become a teacher's union, helped push this initiative by throwing its support behind a candidate who would create a Department of Education. Jimmy Carter took the deal.

[15:08] power is being concentrated in Washington D.C.

[15:17] 1983 President Reagan tries to get rid of the Department of Education, but Republicans in the senate don't go for it.

Secretary of Education Terrell Bell publishes a report titled A Nation at Risk which moves the moral focus on education to Washington D.C. People begin to look toward D.C. for help and guidance.

[15:56] Bill Bennett, next Secretary of Education moved the moral focus even deeper into D.C.

[16:13] 1988 the ESEA (Elementary and Secondary Education Act) reauthorization requires for the first time that states define achievement levels for federally supported students and identify school where students are not making acceptable progress.

So now we clearly see how "1st the federal govt funds, then over time people realize 'we're getting nothing for that money, and then the federal govt controls. He who pays the piper calls the tune."

[16:49] 1989 Moral focus on education keeps moving toward D.C. President George HW Bush calls a summit among all the state governors to discuss what can be done about education on a national level.

[16:53] 1990 The National Education Goal. Broad and aspirational goals, but for the first time it says, "let's, as a nation, have one set of educational goals."

[17:03] 1991 America 2000. President Bush and Secretary of Education Lamar Alexander includes a proposal for national standards in five subjects, voluntary exams, and state and district and school report cards. This didn't pass, but we can clearly see where are at the time (and in a Republican administration). We need the Top to push standards.

[17:33] 1994 Goals 2000 (Clinton Administration) Includes money incentives to get states to adopt voluntary standards of assessments. The problem is that this money is taxpayer money. In other words, the federal gov't was saying, if you want some of your money back, you do what we tell you to do.

[18:05] It got worse because The ESEA (Elementary and Secondary Education Act) got reauthorized AGAIN with a new name: Improving America's Schools Act.

It was going to link the adoption of the voluntary standards and tests to the states ability to get Title I funds. This act ultimately got gutted, when a Republican majority swept into congress in 1994.

[18:40] National Standards come out publicly. The history standards in particular outraged many people (as ideologically biased) and put the whole discussion on national standards to rest until…

[19:01] 2002 No Child Left Behind. First time the federal gov't dictates what the structure the education system will be in the entire country. You have state tests, standards, test during these years, yearly progress goals, break out scores on subsets of students.

Did not try to control what was being taught. So states come up with their own standards and tests and levels of proficiency.

[19:55] 2008 The National Governors Association The Council of Chief State School Officers. Published report: Benchmarking for Success -- Calls for common national standards, but whose adoption is incentivized by the federal gov't for money and regulatory relief.

This predates president Obama.

[21:27] 2009 Depart of Education Race to the Top (temporary, one-shot deal) - called for states to be evaluated on a whole set of things the Obama administration wanted them to do.

One of them was to adopt common standards, common to the majority of states. That's how you maximized your points. There was only one standard that met the requirement (not implicitly stated, but everyone knew) - Common Core.

[22:00] Reporting by the Washington Post discovered there were people advocates for Common Core working with Obama Administration and told them to include this in Race to the Top. Soon after Race to the Top, low point of the recession, and 45 states adopt to get the money.

[22:25] 2011 Race to the Top was a one shot deal. States that won money got it for four years.

What happens when states run out of money or didn't win the money? Answer: Regulatory relief called under Benchmarking for Success. If states want out of No Child Left Behind requirements, especially all students be proficient by 2014, they have to do what the administration says to get a waiver from the law.

**Noting the law itself does not say that the administration can connect conditions to the granting of waivers. It only says it can grant waivers. All "Illegal" in panel member's estimation**

[23:18] The effect to the Common Core was to say to the states that you are now locked into the Common Core. Because it only gave you two options on standards: 1) Common Core or 2) a state college system to certify state's standards. But this was AFTER Race to the Top after the majority of states already agreed to adopt Common Core… This locked them in.

[23:50] Where are we headed? Ultimately to federal control. Bold statement but looking even before Common Core debates the federal govt was incentivizing states to create student and school databases - keep data on people from pre-k all the way to the workforce.

At the very least it says "we need the data so we can control for all sorts of variables" and enable the federal govt to make judgement calls and say this school is good, this one okay, this one is awful, and to have money follow schools or students.

[24:50] Why is this a bad thing? Not much research that supports national standards leads to better outcome. But public didn't have this debate, because Race to the Top said adopt these things before anyone knows it and before they were finally written.

[25:20]  What does work is NOT centralization and control, but freedom. Freedom drives innovation, create competition, leads to specialization.

[25:50] The thing lost in the Common Core discussion is that all kids are different. The idea that there should be one monolithic standard and everyone should move at the same rate makes no sense after you meet more than one child.

[26:00] No real accountability, immediate accountability comes from freedom and choice. Your ability to leave a provider that isn't giving you what you want and take your business elsewhere.

[26:35] The solution is NOT more centralization standards at federal, state, or even local level.

Instead, it is to move to school choice for everyone. Educator freedom to try different things based on each students. Let money stay with the student so they can take their business where they want and need it to.

Speaker #2: William Estrada, HSLDA Federal Relations Department Director

[27:30] Common Core is good for home schooling. Why? 1999 National Center for Education Statistics 850,000. In 2012 1.8 million home school students. Home schooling is growing. 2014 growing number of families in Alabama home school because of Common Core. 2013-2014 North Carolina 60,950 home schooled 14.3%+ increase, over 100,000 home school in N.C.

[29:20] parents are outraged (all home school, private school, etc.) losing local control, can't even help kids with homework.

[30:00] Danger: Common Core is rolling out nationwide but threatens foundation of home school. Why? Affects public school first.

But if it ever gets adopted across the entire country we will hear policy makers say why aren't home schooler and private shoolers taking these tests? How do we know they're getting educated? It will erode the freedoms in home school and private school.

[30:40] Other concerns are the tests: the SAT, ACT, etc. are now getting realigned to the Common Core. Will Home shooler be disadvantaged even though they've had an excellent education? Right now the tests are dumb down and home schoolers doing well, but it's a real concern.

[31:05] Another concern is from school districts misinterpreting the policies. Trying to force home schoolers, who are independent from public schools, to follow the Common Core.

[32:09] Concern: rise of Databases, loss of control over your student's and child's privacy. There is a push to include ALL students in national databases - including home schoolers (32:19).

[32:40] Many are leaving the public school because they want to be free of Common Core, and it works BUT if nationalization standardization takes over, we will lose the fundamental right to teach our children forever.

Speaker #3: Theodor Rebarber, CEO AccountabilityWorks.org

[33:40] The reauthorization of ESEA, drives what elementary and secondary schools do. Hasn't been reauthorized (it's been extended) because there's a lack of consensus. Replaced by today's tests and standards.

[36:10] Mike Smith (Marshal Smith) Systemic Reform curriculum standards are the fulcrum around which policy elites (at state levels) could create excellence in the classroom by using policy levers - testing, teacher preparation, teacher training, teacher evaluation, test achievements, goals and time tables, what percentage of students ratios, etc.

Top down model, it is what drives most instruction in most schools today.

[37:30] the result No Child Left Behind, still at state level. But this, state socialism, failed. Some states did well, but overall the gains were nowhere near what they expected. The solution for policymakers? Let's do it bigger, at the national level. Impose a monolithic model on everyone - Common Core.

[39:13] Another reason it didn't work (state level assessments, standards, and tests) is because parents hated it. Parents don't like test driven education/schools, and teachers don't love it either. Yet, standards drive instruction, they are not written to be used as a curriculum, but that's how they're being used. The standards drive instruction.

[40:25] Parents do like tests. Not against it. How does this makes sense?  Like testing when used as it's supposed to be like in hs, private, can use that with all other information they have about their child, teacher meetings, etc. and make a judgement about how their student is doing and if things are not improving as they want, they can make a choice, perhaps go to another private school, etc.

[41:15] But when you have accountability formulas at the state level that judges schools and teachers, and your child is just a decimal point in that school, that's what drives education. And this doesn't work for their child or the school.

[41:40] *Example* when I managed charter school focused on disadvantaged students. Chartering Entities tell us  to bring in middle class and white kids, because our kids were starting so far behind and if you just focus on these disadvantaged students you're not going to get the percentage of kids at the cut score which is very high, since your disadvantaged kids or 3 or 4 years behind… We'll have to take away your charter.

[42:00] *Example2* worked with a state to help them develop their No Child Left Behind plan. Helped put together plan to get 100% proficient we are going to create special schools for the special ed kids where we'll expect them to fail but that's how we're going to maneuver the numbers to meet your goals and time tables. Sometimes it worked, usually it didn't = bureaucrats, central planning. This central planning doesn't work.

[43:17] Common Core is usually sold as a this is just the outcomes, we are not telling you how to teach, what curriculum to use. but it really is, it's mostly about the methods in large part.

[43:33] Andrew Porter, supported Common Core. Analyzed the standards and benchmarked what worked in top achieving countries. (i.e. Singapore) Found at 8th grade math 75% on doing math, Common Core 38% doing math, rest is talking about math. Standard algorithm taught early (i.e. Singapore) Common Core doesn't do that, delays standard algorithm until 4th grade. Schools aren't allowed to differentiate.

[46:00] Solution: legal scholar Michael Grieva (spelling?) "We actually don't have too little, but far too much federalism of the wrong kind. A federalism that makes govt bigger and more irresponsible and less accountable. We need less of that federalism and more federalism of the right kind."

Common Core started at the state level, states asking the federal govt to create some kind of nationwide standard = collusion with federal govt, cartel federalism.

The 'right kind' is Constitutional Federalism; more in line with the Constitution. i.e. Justice Brandies = Laboratories of Democracy: "A state may if its citizens choose serve as a laboratory and try novel and social and economic experiments without risk to the rest of the country."

[48:00] We should remove the federal straightjackets found in Title I. If it works in some states, great, but let schools and schools systems choose their own approach and create competition within states and across states. Create real meaningful choice.

Speaker #4: Stanley Kurtz Senior Fellow at Ethics and Public Policy Center and Contributor Editor at National Review Online

[50:01] Common Core debate is entering a new phase. Not just talking about English and math anymore. the entire curriculum is being nationalized.

Founders concern about nationalizing our education system risks handing control to a single ideological faction is no longer theoretical, it is happening right now.

[51:00] College Board has transformed its AP US History program into a radically revisionist, heavily left-leaning rendering of the American story. Making the traditional perspective almost impossible to teach. The new history test is only the beginning of the College Board's transformative plan.

[51:11] Common Core is only part of a larger effort to nationalize our education system. this effort is concerted and coordinated and extends beyond any single political, administrative, corporate, or non-profit boundary.

[51:33] We need to understand the role the College Board is now playing and intends to play in nationalizing America's education system.

[51:43] Which subjects fall under the purview of the Common Core. Meant to have implication on the teaching of reading and writing in social studies, sciences, and technical classes. Mostly about English and math.

[52:00] Important that Common Core's architect, David Coleman, is now president of the College Board. Under his leadership the College Board has begun to radically redesign all of its AP exams… physics, world history, European history, US govt and politics, and art history.

[52:31] In effect, Common Core covers English and math, while the College Board's AP subjects covers the rest of the curriculum

[52:42] How does this work? David Conley, important supporter of Common Core, in recently published book Getting Ready for Careers, College, and the Common Core explicitly notes that history and social studies are the very last subject areas that are likely to be formally included in the Common Core.

[53:00] Reason? 1990s controversy over the national history standards which were scuttled when former national endowment of the humanities head, Lynn Chaney and nearly the entire senate condemned the standards as ideologically biased.

[53:25] Vigilance is warranted on the fact that David Conley now advises the College Board on its AP History program.

By forcing revisions on the teaching of US History through the College Board, Common Core supporters have found a back door way to seize control of subjects that would be too hot handle if labeled Common Core.

[53:51] Common Core covers English and math; the College Board's AP exams cover just about everything else.

By moving over to the College Board and dramatically expanding the curricular guidance provided to teachers of AP courses, David Coleman can effectively nationalize most of the curriculum, but in a way that insulates him from public accountability.

[54:16] Where's is David Coleman? He's been ducking the press and avoiding media interviews regarding the AP US History controversy. "I don't mean to be rude, but I have to obey my comms team, or they'll kill me."

[54:43] Mother Jones noted how unusual it was that the formally media friendly Coleman was shunning interviews. Might this have to do with the fact that the Common Core architect at the center of a high profile AP US History controversy would make the logic of his sweeping curriculum grab too obvious?

[55:07] College Board supporters downplay Coleman's role in AP exam changes. i.e Often told that AP US History curriculum already in place before Coleman. But this is misleading because Coleman is president now and if he wanted to, he could withdraw the controversial AP History framework. But he has declined to do so. And he's moving ahead with all current plans to change the exams. Which means he's supportive of the College Board's actions.

[55:58] AP US History process redesign process began in 2006 and 2007, but then plans were halted for years. So how was it revived now that Coleman is the new president. Hard to imagine that he didn't know that he would be presiding over the new AP US History curriculum. David Coleman is busy nationalizing k-12 educations from the offices of the College Board.

[56:50] Beware of semantics from Common Core supporters. We'll be told that AP US History is not part of the Common Core -- that is just an evasion, used to obscure the federal power grab that's been driving Common Core.

[57:15] Lawrence Terap, headed the new AP US History redesign process publicly stated that the new AP US History framework is consistent with the Common Core.

[57:25]  Stacking the deck at College Board: Conley Common Core supporter, now advises the College Board. Coleman, Common Core architect is now president of the College Board. Stephanie Sanford hired as chief of global policy and advocacy, after working at the Gates Foundation as director policy and advocacy advocating for Common Core.

The crew has shifted from Common Core to College Board, to nationalize a highly biased version of the subjects in the curriculum.

[58:25] Solutions: 1) bring to light how the College Board is nationalizing education without any public accountability. 2) Must bring the problem about ideological bias into the center of the debate of Common Core. 3) We need to take steps in state and federal level to break the College Board's monopoly in AP testing. College Board is the only company to offer AP testing; state and federal govt channels tens of millions of dollars into this company, making it in effect a gov't monopoly.

[59:40] The College Board is no longer an honest broker, and should not get govt subsidies.

Speaker #5: ??

[1:00:00] Exit, Voice, and Loyalty by Albert O. Hirschman. You have two basic choices when you don't like something. 1) Voice - i.e. use the political process to change, speak up at work, etc., or 2) Exit - i.e. change vendor, or move like the Jews from Egypt, Pioneers to frontier, socialist refugees to the West, European immigrants to the US, etc.

[1:04:15] Between the two, Exit has lower cost than voice for an individual. But Exit has higher cost when that person is loyal to the institutions.

[1:05:11] De Tocqueville (while visiting America in the 1830s) saw how American's were loyal to the public schools.

In those days the public saw public schools very distant from political elites, like they do today. Public schools were local, In most cases, not even state or county govt intervened. The public saw their local school as extensions of their families and households and similar voluntary supported charities -- civil society.

[1:06:40] In those days, self-activating farmers didn't wait for permission from above to start a school to improve their community. De Tocqueville feared that if American's neglected their participation and associations or local govt like school committees the tendencies would go toward a loss of liberty and a surrender to a soft despotism.

[1:07:15] Today, public sentiment still retains much of the feelings from De Tocqueville's day. But more and more parents and taxpayers view the public schools as an unresponsive, declining bureaucracy carrying out edicts from distant capital.

[1:07:47] We are dealing with an institution that is supplying services that is perceived to be disintegrating.

[1:08:00] Hirschman would say that we are at a point where can make use of exit or voice, or a combination to deal with today's public schools.

[1:08:41] Common Core supporters tried to use Voice to tackle public school problems, but they took what's wrong with public schooling, and made it worse by increasing it's centralization, behind closed doors and without public participation. Increasing alienation the public schools and further detaching parents from the public schools - no loyalty.

[1:09:11] Public had No Voice in creating or adopting the Common Core.

[1:09:16] The other approach in times of deteriorating public options is offering better Exit option. i.e. rejuvenation of schools, inventiveness of course providers, more service options for parents and children. But the strategy of Common Core is to create an almost inescapable education cartel.

[1:09:49] Economist Milton Freeman - Opportunity Scholarships (vouchers) to create a powerful exit options.

[1:09:56] In the past, Competitive Federalism was an Exit option. Competitive Federalism is horizontal competition among jurisdictions.

We know it works in education because it was studied in at inter-district levels i.e. Boston, Miami, Los Angeles. Study found student performance is better in areas with competing multiple districts, where parents with the same income levels can move at the margins from one locality to another nearby in search of better education for their children.

[1:11:04] 1950s Found that Competitive Federalism works at state level, too. Mississippi and North Carolina started at around the same low levels, but over time North Carolina has moved ahead of Mississippi.

[1:11:27] Common Core supporters and proponents want to suppress Competitive Federalism. The goal of Common Core designer and proponents has been a curricular design that would take over all state and local curriculum.

They want a cartel that would override Competitive Federalism and shut down the curricular alternatives that Competitive Federalism would allow.

[1:12:03] The federally funded tests are there to police this cartel. All long lasting cartels have to have a mechanism for policing and punishing the people who want to leave the cartel. (in this case parents, students, and local schools)

[1:12:23] Control of the College Board by one of the Common Core's chief designers has been used to corral private schools,  catholic schools, and home schoolers into the cartel. The proponents of Common Core have now established a clearing house for authorized teaching materials to close off any remaining avenue of escaping the cartel.

[1:13:00] Central to the rationals of the advocates of Common Core = state performance standards were already on a down ward slide. And without national standards would continue to worsen to the bottom. Race to the bottom.

[1:13:35] Before Common Core state standards didn't improve AS MUCH AS PEOPLE HOPED, BUT THERE were  gains nationally, modest, but not as much as people wanted. But there was NO race to the bottom, no decline of everyone to the bottom.

[1:14:40] There were differences in standards across states, but this is what federalism means.

[1:15:30] Human nature: possibility that some people (governors or state legislatures) would want to do the least possible, BUT there are also things that counter balance this like no governor or state legislature wants to be known as having the worst schools in the nation, and by having the best state education could possibly help these politicians run for president some day.

[1:15:50] It was not the case that there was a race to the bottom. It is a false premise by the proponents of Common Core. It is not true.

[1:16:30] Why did they do this cartel? To prevent competition. Sunny Perdue Georgia governor ( R ), technocrat. He didn't like people criticizing student and educators, they had lower test scores than other states like Massachusetts. So the thought was, why don't we bring everyone to Georgia's level. Some states would have to come up to Georgia's levels. But others like Massachusetts would have to come down. They could relax a little. Everyone would be the same.

[1:18:13] Blowback. They forgot the desire for voice, for political action, can become intense when people are faced with no where to go. They forgot parents and teacher would demand alternatives and escape routes.

Alternatives to national tests now exist, states are dropping out the national tests, states are struggling to escape the national Common Core cartel, even the clearing house for teaching is face problems.

[1:18:53] A large parent, teacher, and community has risen to oppose the Common Core and its policing mechanism, the national tests.

Q & A [1:19:20+]

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Research Links:

State lawmakers push Common Core agenda with 340 bills
http://www.usatoday.com/story/news/nation/2014/06/13/stateline-lawmakers-common-core/10415269/
Federal Gov’t Issues Warning to State That Wants to Opt Out of Common Core
http://www.theblaze.com/stories/2014/05/07/federal-govt-issues-warning-to-state-that-wants-to-opt-out-of-common-core/
Two more states pull out of Common Core
http://www.washingtonpost.com/blogs/answer-sheet/wp/2014/06/05/two-more-states-pull-out-of-common-core