What is Common Core?

By Darrell Beck

Common Core is a relatively new educational system of standards that may eliminate local control over K-12 curriculum by “standardizing” public education and creating universal (one-size-fits-all) standards in public schools. Similar to “No Child Left Behind” from the Bush Administration, Common Core is being advanced through the Obama Administration’s “Race to the Top Assessment” program to standardize, and thus nationalize education in America.

However, Common Core proponents claim it’s not a federal mandate and did not begin with the federal government — rather it’s a “state-led or voluntary” program despite the fact that Common Core would not exist without federal funding. For school districts to receive federal “Race to the Top” stimulus funds, they must adopt the Common Core standards.

In response to the allegations by Common Core proponents, Diane Ravich, former Assistant U.S. Secretary of Education during the Clinton and Bush administrations, refutes those claims that the individual states created Common Core standards. She writes in the Washington Post; “Why I oppose Common Core Standards,” they were created by policy makers in Washington and by an organization called “Achieve” and “The National Governor’s Association” funded by the Gates Foundation.

"Other opponents of Common Core claim that it’s “unproven,” students will be “guinea pigs,” and the “curriculum replaces the classics with government propaganda."

Common Core will nationalize education and will dumb down public school curriculum.” It will allow the federal government to “amass large amounts of personal information and track students from kindergarten through their careers.” www.townhall.com/columnists/rachelalexander/2013/03/18/commoncore

A recent commentary in the Ramona Sentinel by RUSD Board member John Rajcic raises concerns about Common Core. After reading Mr. Rajcic’s commentary — “The teacher, not the program or the money, makes the difference” — we should ask: when did it become the purpose of the federal government to set national education standards? How was the federal government legally able to prescribe curriculum when it’s prohibited by federal law to do so? Is this why U.S. Secretary of Education Arne Duncan wants us to believe that Common Core was developed by the states and not by the federal government?

Has there been any public discussion concerning this federal mandate? Do the taxpayers and the parents know that Common Core could be just one more federal mandate intended to expand the powers of the massive federal government by chipping away at the states sovereignty? Shouldn’t we look at both sides of Common Core before we proceed?

Find answers to these questions on July 27, when Ramona Tea’d will feature special guest speakers Mary Baker, acting president of Citizens Alliance for Property Rights, San Diego/Orange County Chapter, and Orlean Koehle, president of the Eagle Forum of California and founder and director of Californians United against Common Core, and who has written two books: “By Stealth and Deception” and “Just Say No to Big Brother’s Smart Meters.”

Koehle will speak about Common Core; Is the U.N. taking over our schools? This is a federal program she says is the “Trojan horse” of education reform. It’s being implemented now, illegally and unconstitutionally, preparing for Obama’s “Race to the Top Assessments.”

Please bring a friend and join Ramona Tea’d at our free monthly forum in Ramona Mainstage, 626 Main Street. Doors open at 11 a.m. and the program begins at noon. Food and drinks are available on site. For more information see www.ramonatead.com.

Darrell Beck is a Ramona resident.

   
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