WHY ARE ARIZONANS AGAINST COMMON CORE?
Common Core claims to make our students more "college ready" but do these new standards accomplish that? Let's turn to the experts and ask them for their thoughts on Common Core and if they will make our students more "college ready." Are these Common Core Standards bad for America and Arizona? The Common Core State Standards Initiative (CCSSI) has five major problems:
- The Standards are of mediocre quality;
- They violate Federal Statutes;
- Our state will have to pay a "heavy price" to implement them;
- These standards intrude on student and family privacy; and
- These standards further federalize education and usurp power from the state (erodes state sovereignty).
1. THE COMMON CORE STANDARDS ARE OF MEDIOCRE QUALITY
Dr. Sandra Stotsky-a Common Core Validation Committee Board Member who did not sign off on the English Language Arts Standards! Why?? Dr. Stotsky states,"Common Core's 'college readiness' standards for Enligh Language arts and reading do not aim for a level of achievement that signifies readiness for authentic college-level work. They point to no more than readiness for a high school diploma (and possibly not even that, depending on where the cut score is set). Despite claims to the contrary, they are not internationally benchmarked. States adopting Common Core's standards will damage the academic integrity of both their post-secondary institutions and their high schools precisely because Common Core's standards do not strengthen the high school curriculum and cannot reduce the current amount of post-secondary remedial coursework in a legitimate way. Their standards may lead to reduced enrollment in advanced high school courses and to weakened post secondary coursework because Common Core's 'college readiness' ELA/R standard are designed to enable a large number of high school students to be declared 'college ready' and to enroll in post-secondary institutions that will have to place them in credit-bearing courses. These institutions will then be likely under pressure from the United States Deparment of Education (USDE) to retain these students in order to increase college graduation rates." Read more of Dr. Sandra's Stotsky's testimony before the Texas Legislature here.
Dr. James Milgram-a Common Core Validation Committee Board member who did not sign off on the Math standards! Why?? Dr. Milgram states, "The Common Core standards claim to be 'benchmarked against to international standards' but this phrase is meaningless. They are actually two or more years behind international expectations by eighth grade, and only fall further behind as they talk about grades 8-12. Indeed, they don't even fully cover the material in an solid geometry course, or in the second year algebra course." Read more of Dr. Milgram's testimony before the Indiana State Senate Committee here.
Heritage Foundation- Dr. Sandra Stotsky testified on: "Common Core's Standards Devastating Impact on Literary Study and Analytical Thinking." Dr. Stotsky said, "Little attention has been paid to the academic quality of the mathematics, literature, and writing standards that NGA and CCSSO developed, despite the fact that they were not internationally benchmarked or research-based. The fatal flaws in the Common Core English Language Arts (ELA) standards went unnoticed because over 45 state boards of education and/or their governors hastily adopted the standards in 2010, in some cases long before they were written or finalized. Most states agreeing to adopt the Common Core English Language Arts standards may well have thought they were strengthening high school English coursework. However, the architects of Common Cores ELA standards never claimed that their standards would do so."
"Why do Common Core's architects believe that reading more nonfiction and 'informational' texts in English classes (and in other high school classes) will improve students' college readiness? Their belief seems to be based on what they see as the logical implication of the fact that college students read more informational than literary texts. However, there is absolutely no empirical research to suggest that college readiness is promoted by informational or nonfiction reading in high school English classes (or in mathematics and science classes)."
"A diminished emphasis on literature in the secondary grades makes it unlikely that American students will study a meaningful range of culturally and historically significant literary works before graduation. It also prevents students from acquiring a rich understanding and use of the English language. Perhaps of greatest concern, it may lead to a decreased capacity for analytical thinking." Read Dr. Sandra Stotsky's entire article posted on the Heritage Foundation website here.
2. THE COMMON CORE STANDARDS/RACE-TO-THE-TOP EFFORTS VIOLATES THREE FEDERAL STATUTES!
"Federal law lays down broad prohibitions on Department [of Education] involvement in curricula decisions. The General Education Provisions Act- prohibits the Department [of Education] from 'exercis[ing] any direction, supervision, or control over the curriculum, program of instruction, administration, or personnel' of any school, or 'the selection of...textbooks, or other...instructional materials' used in any school. Similar prohibitions exist in the Department of Education Organization Act and the Elementary and Secondary Education Act of 1965 (ESEA)."
"Common Core is the vehicle by which the federal government is evading these prohibitions. As described above, the Department [of Education] has herded the states into adopting Common Core by dangling before them Race to the Top funding while denying them the opportunity to review the Standards before signing on. As the Pioneer report notes:"
"Standards drive curriculum, programs of instruction, and the selection of instructional materials. A change to common K-12 standards will inevitably result in changes in curriculum, programs of instruction, and instructional materials to align with the standards. This is critical to understanding the importance of the road the Department [of Education] has taken." Read more from "Controlling Education from the Top- Why Common Core Bad for America" written by the Pioneer Institute.
3. STATES AND THEIR TAXPAYERS WILL PAY A "HEAVY PRICE" TO IMPLEMENT COMMON CORE!
"AccountabilityWorks, in their study of Common Core, estimated that the total additional costs (one-time plus a 7-year time period for implementation) to state taxpayers will amount to $15.8 billion across participating states. This constitutes a "mid range" estimate that only addresses expenditures required for implementation of the new standards. It does not include the cost of additional expenses or controversial reforms that are sometimes recommended to help students meet high standards, such as performance-based compensation or reduced class sizes. That estimate includes the following additional expenses for the states: $1.2 billion for participation in the new assessments; $5.3 billion for professional development; $2.5 billion for textbooks and instructional materials; and $6.9 billion for technology infrastructure and support." Read more from the "National Cost of Aligning States Localities to the Common Core Standards" by AccountabilityWorks.
4. THE COMMON CORE STANDARDS SYSTEM INTRUDES ON STUDENT AND FAMILY PRIVACY!
"A particularly troubling component of the Common Core Initiative is its connection to the collection and dissemination of personal student data. Analysis of this issue reveals how Common Core is merely one part of a much broader plan by the federal government to track individuals from birth through their participation in the workforce. Progressive educators and bureaucrats, such as those currently in control in the Department of Education, have long advocated sweeping national control over education as a means of matching the citizenry to the workforce needs of industry." Read more from "Controlling Education from the Top- Why Common Core is Bad for America" written by the Pioneer Institute.
State Longitudinal Database Systems (SLDS) are being developed to track our students- from preschool through college! What will be tracked? From the SLDS website: "a unique identifier for each student; student enrollment history; tracks if a student drops out or switches schools; tracks students test scores; matches student performance to teachers; tracks transcripts of students in courses they have taken and their grades; tracks student data if they were enrolled in "remedial" classes; tracks student data to determine if they are "prepared to succees in college" and the SLDS has the ability to share this data with other preschool through postsecondary education data systems. Sounds like REAL ID on steriods does it not AZ?? Do we not have the Family Educational Rights and Privacy Act (FERPA)? This is breaking Federal law!
5. THE COMMON CORE STATE STANDARDS FURTHER FEDERALIZE EDUCATION- THEY EROIDE STATE SOVEREIGNTY!
"Looking ahead, the states face a difficult battle to prevent further erosion of their sovereignty and their abilities to guard the interests of their citizens. The Common Core Initiative, coupled with the federal effort to drive its adoption, has brought about national content standards owned by the private interests that created them- not by any state and not by the federal government. The result is that significant portions of the states' educational systems now rest in the hands of private organizations that an individual state cannot control. And, having stripped the people of effective political power and put it in the hands of private interests, the owners of the Standards attempt to insulate themselves from legal liability to the people with broad disclaimers for any damage the Standards might cause." Read more from "Controlling Education from the Top- Why Common Core is Bad for America" written by the Pioneer Institute.