Friday, October 18, 2013

How Common Core Standards flunked the democracy test

For those who are thinking of attending the informational meeting on Common Core Standards scheduled for 7 p.m. Saturday at the Mills Anderson Justice Center auditorium at Missouri Southern State University, an excellent primer on what is wrong with the standards can be found in Anthony Cody's Living in Dialogue blog on the Education Week website.

The blog explains how those who desperately wanted Common Core Standards worked an end around the democratic process to get them enacted, including Secretary of Education Arne Duncan, who violated the law by having the federal government push the standards:

After the Common Core Initiative was launched in early 2009, the National Governors Association and the Council of Chief State School Officers never explained to the public what the qualifications were for membership on the standards-writing committees or how it would justify the specific standards they created. Most important, it never explained why Common Core's high school exit standards were equal to college admission requirements without qualification, even though this country's wide ranging post-secondary institutions use a variety of criteria for admission.
Eventually responding to the many charges of a lack of transparency, the names of the 24 members of the "Standards Development Work Group" were revealed in a July 1, 2009 news release. The vast majority, it appeared, work for testing companies. Not only did CCSSI give no rationale for the composition of this Work Group, it gave no rationale for the people it put on the two three-member teams in charge of writing the grade-level standards. 
And this:
 States were coerced and bribed into signing on to the standards, and could do so with the signature of the governor and the state superintendent of education. In some ways this is the most egregious abuse of process of all. A decision to completely overhaul the way millions of students would be taught and tested was made by TWO people in each state, with no public hearings, no debate. It is no wonder that to this day, most members of the public have no idea what the Common Core really is. The public was never a part of the process.

No comments: