I have tried to sit and write a summary of the *talking points* of Common Core, and the fact is that it needs to be a BOOK! I really tried to keep the following commentary brief and to the point.
First a little about me. I am passionately opposed to CC. I will admit...I became fed up with the public education system in 2010 (before CC really hit the pavement) and began homeschooling my two kids. Politically speaking I'm the most moderate person you'll ever know. So, let me say this...CC is NOT a republican or democrat issue. It is not all President Obama's fault or Jeb Bush's fault. It may all be the fault of Bill Gates (more on that later).
Second, you have to understand HOW the states got mixed up in the FEDERAL (yes...it IS federally pushed) overhaul. And this is where the current administration totally snowed all of us. So...you may remember the education overhaul called No Child Left Behind (NCLB), and you can thank the Bush administration for that awful approach. Again, CC and NCLB...both considered "bi-partisan".
Anyway, NCLB was widely considered awful and many states wanted out. Well...along came the stimulus bill, and money from it was placed in the Race To The Top (RTTT) Fund. In 2009 the states were given the chance to apply for these funds, and they had to apply within a couple of weeks. Literally. The carrot dangled was that if you applied for RTTT you would receive a NCLB waiver. AND guess what...they also had to agree to adopting the Common Core State Standards Initiative. This was during the downturn in the economy...the states needed these millions. So, without any input of voters or legislators, the governors and State Superintendents signed on. They agreed to follow standards that HAD NOT YET BEEN WRITTEN!!! By the way...this is all so unconstitutional!! There are several laws, along with the 10th amendment, that forbid the federal government from controlling education.
Third...the standards were written by a group of 35 people. The National Governor's Association (NGA) and The Council of Chief State School Officers (CCSSO - I'll let you look up who that is) OWN the copyrights and no one can change those standards...but they keep insisting this doesn't squash local control. Ummmm....
Back to the group of 35 people. Only TWO of them were educators. Stotsky and Milgram...neither of them were willing to sign off on the final standards. 3 others on the committee also declined approving them. Why?? Because they are dumbed down at the top and developmentally inappropriate at the bottom. Meaning the standards are trying to make little children think in a way that their brains are not capable of, but then to graduate from high school the final requirements are actually drastically lower than the previous standards in most schools.
Fourth, these standards are untested. It is no different than throwing a medication out to the masses without testing it first. Would you sign yourself or your child up for that medicine? I doubt it. Well, it is the same with these kids and their education and, in many cases, their emotional well being. You get ONE chance at an education. It really can't be re-done if one waits too long. And the emotional stress can't be taken away if it has already happened.
Fifth, one reason they always tout for needing to force our babies to learn before they are ready is that we are failing globally. Well...Finland is at the top and guess when they start formally educating their kids...when they are 7 or 8 years old. The problem with comparing us globally, or states against other states, comes down to one word: poverty. Where there is poverty there are lower grades and graduation rates. Hungry children cannot learn or behave in school! MAYBE the federal gov't should focus on really fixing THAT problem instead!
So why?? What is the motivation, right?? Those are inevitably the questions I get next. The answer is simple: Money and Control. The big corporations are making a KILLING on Common Core and they pushed for Common Core because they knew they stood to make BILLIONS! Pearson Education was not a huge company a few years ago. NOW I wish I had invested. (not really, but you know...) They are making their money with those "Common Core Aligned" curriculum books that all of the schools are buying because they have no clue how else to teach these standards.
And then enters PARCC and Smarter Balance to torture the kids with standardized testing that the teachers are spending countless hours preparing them for because ultimately their own PAY will be determined by their students' performances. And the kids are literally sick with stress and anxiety over these completely unnecessary assessments. I won't go further other than to say this...the only reason to test this way is to make money. There is one more reason that I'll save for another post because it is a bit hard to believe and you have to get past all of this to even begin to go there. The title of that post will be "Data Tracking".
And Finally...Bill Gates. Oh...my BFF. NOT!!! This man has given somewhere around $5 Billion to various companies and organizations to push the CCSSI to the forefront. Why?? Well...it is quite simple. All of the testing and even a lot of curriculum requires computers. Again...I won't go further than to say "read up," and also that if you see an article supporting Common Core check the source, and then find out if Bill Gates has given the organization any money. Almost always the answer is YES. Here is a nice graphic that shows how Bill Gates has basically PURCHASED the Departments of Education:
As for my mention of control. The politicians CRAVE control. If they have voters who are reliant on the federal government then the politicians have more control over those voters. Simple as that.
I hope this helps shed light on the topic. If you are like so many I know I just opened Pandora's box. Let me just tell you...I have BARELY scraped the surface. There are so many more terrible things about the CCSSI, and I could write for days!