Last November, Alabama’s State Board of Education joined most other states in adopting the Common Core State Standards Initiative (CCSSI) in Math and English. The Board of Education was told repeatedly that these “voluntary” standards were being written as part of a state-led initiative and would be state controlled.
So why are the Feds Writing Curriculum and Assessments?
The United States Department of Education (DOE) is funding ($345 m) the development of CCSSI curriculum and assessments (tests), which are being developed by a self-selected group behind closed doors and with no public accountability. [See “Why One National Curriculum is Bad for America” here and here]
And why are the Feds putting so much pressure on the states for adoption?
The DOE has announced plans to virtually force compliance with CCSSI on the states through waivers from unreasonable provisions of No Child Left Behind by making these waiver grants contingent upon adoption of “college and career ready standards” (aka “common core state standards”). [see here] Therefore, “the Executive branch will be telling every school in America what its curriculum will be – what it will teach,” says CATO Institute’s Dr. Neal McCluskey. [see here]
And this isn’t the first time the Obama administration has pushed states to adopt CCSSI…
They have “encouraged” the states to adopt the common core standards by:
▪ Tying national standards to the Race to the Top initiative ($4.35 billion)
“The $4.3 billion has strings attached that include union buy-in before states can move forward with their reform agendas.” Lisa Snell- Reason Foundation
▪ Threatening to withdraw Title I funds beginning in 2015 from states that do not adopt [see here].
The Alabama State Board of Education Resolution
Prior to their vote for adoption, the Alabama State Board of Education was told repeatedly that these “voluntary” standards would be state controlled. Their adoption resolution said: “the Alabama State Board … will … be the sole and exclusive entity vested with the authority, without restriction, to adopt or revoke all academic standards … without direct or indirect pressure from the United States government…”
According to the Memorandum of Agreement which all adopting states had to sign, 100% of the Common Core standards along with the curriculum and assessments will be imposed upon states. States signing the document agree to “the process and structure” that includes “assessments that are aligned to the common core across the states, for accountability and other appropriate purposes”. Therefore, students must be continuously tested by online computer assessments. Serious concerns over student privacy rights have been expressed by Fordham Law School’s Center on Law and Information Policy, which says that the Federal Department’s effort to promote interoperability between state systems “appears as a backdoor means to create a national database of children’s [and family] information.” As with countless other Obama Administration activities, this de facto national student database is without Congressional authorization. See www.truthinamericaneducation.com/ for information on CCSSI and the vulnerability of our children! Privacy issues include health, education, family, philosophical, financial, student labor and personal.
Why Is One National Curriculum Bad For America?
K12Innovation.com makes seven basic points in what it calls “A Critical Response to … the U. S. Department of Education’s Initiative to Develop a National Curriculum and National Assessments Based on National Standards”. First, national standards, curricula and assessments are without Constitutional or statutory basis. Also included is the fact that population mobility does not justify a national curriculum because the inter-state mobility among school-age children is only 0.3%. Its last point is critical: “undermines control of public school curriculum and instruction at the local and state level.”
“Parents and the public will see their ability to influence education policies at the local level disappear, most likely forever.” Civitas Foundation Lance Izumi, JD
Former Secretary of Health, Education, and Welfare Joseph Califano who advised Pres. Jimmy Carter in 1977 recognized the danger: “…any set of test questions that the federal government prescribed should surely be suspect as a first step toward a national curriculum … In its most extreme form, national control of curriculum is a form of national control of ideas.”
Teach and Test Alabama Standards
Alabama has received excellent ratings on our standards in the last two review cycles: English (A, A-) and Math (B+). Why should we adopt these national standards that have never even been field tested?
Take Action NOW To Stop The Federal Takeover Of Education In Alabama
Please call, email or write Gov. Bentley and your state school board member today. You can find their contact information HERE. Ask them to vote to rescind the Board’s adoption of the Common Core State Standards to preserve parental authority and state control of education in Alabama. Two board members voted NO last November: Stephanie Bell and Betty Peters and support withdrawing from the CCSSI. All others need to hear from you!