Lamar Alexander Claims Common Core Increased State Choice

Senator Lamar Alexander published an op-ed in which he claimed that the Obama Administration has allowed increased state choice in schools:

“My colleagues and I agree with the Obama administration that after a decade of federal rules, more responsibility needs to go back to the states. No Child Left Behind has made one thing clear: when it comes to education reform, the states are both highly capable and highly motivated. Since 2002, 44 states and territories have adopted common core academic standards, two groups of states are developing common tests for those standards and 44 states are collaborating on common principles for holding schools accountable for student achievement.”

But even when the cash-starved states had a $4.35 billion carrot dangled in their face, no state legislature has yet voted to implement the Common Core Standards and taken responsibility for the immense cost.  Mr. Alexander has resigned his position in leadership to work “across the aisle” on more issues.  It looks like he is going to be the Obama Administration’s go to guy in the Senate GOP to nationalize education policy out of Washington.

Selling a Washington-driven nationalization as “state choice” is radically disingenuous but nothing out of the ordinary for advocates of education centralize-and-control policies.

Iowa to Help Lead Undemocratic Process to Advance National Science Standards

Jason Glass, the Director of the Iowa Department of Education, announced last week that Iowa was one of 20 states that will lead the development of the “Next Generation Science Standards” which is part of the Common Core State Standards that is being managed by Achieve (read Bill Gates), which is a non-profit education reform organization.

Along with Iowa other state departments of education that will be involved are from Arizona, California, Georgia, Kansas, Kentucky, Maine, Maryland, Massachusetts, Michigan, Minnesota, New Jersey, New York, Ohio, Rhode Island, South Dakota, Tennessee, Vermont, Washington and West Virginia.

Glass said, “I’m proud that Iowa is on the front lines of this ground-breaking effort to improve science education with the development of new standards.  Raising the bar for science education fits with our goal to build a world-class education system in Iowa and to prepare every child to graduate ready for college and careers in a globally competitive context. It’s also crucial to Iowa’s economy, which depends on STEM-related fields.”

The framework for the standards has already been developed, and the jobs of the educrats that each state education department assigns to the state committees will write standards based off of that.  To be considered each state had to submit a letter signed by the state education director and the chair of the state board of education.

Nothing about legislative approval?  No surprise.  Let’s be clear – “states” are not involved, unelected (in most cases) state education department heads and staff are.  They will be advancing science standards, which are substandard, in an undemocratic fashion.  No state legislature has voted on these standards, there has been no input given.  What these standards are sure to do is to continue to widen the achievement gap between the United States and higher achieving countries.

As an Iowan being proud of this development is the last thing than comes to mind.

With Waivers, National Standards Anything but Voluntary

With Waivers, National Standards Anything but Voluntary
Lindsey Burke  September 26, 2011  The Foundry  The Heritage Foundation

Now, the conditions-based NCLB waivers, with their requirement for national standards, get to the heart of the matter: The Common Core State Standards Initiative has been pushed as far as it has gotten in large part by federal dollars and pressure. This push for national standards and tests has become a federal enterprise—and a dangerous direction for our nation’s education system.

No Child Left Behind on steroids

No Child Left Behind on steroids
lliam J. Mathis  08/25/2011  The Answer Sheet   The Washington Post

The Council of Chief State School Officers’ (CCSSO) plan for replacing the No Child Left Behind accountability system, hinted to be the recipe for states to win a waiver from the Education Department from the worst provisions of the law, not only retains the most ineffective pieces of NCLB but magnifies them. Contrary to all we have learned, it suggests to additional mandates and testing.



Viewpoints Common Core Standards

Viewpoints Common Core Standards
Gary Palmer  September 23, 2011  Alabama Policy Institute

The federal government already has too much control over too much of the daily lives of Alabama families without also tying the future of Alabama’s children to the dictates of federal education bureaucrats. The members of the Alabama State Board of Education should put Alabama first and withdraw from Common Core.