Four Freedoms Of Common Core

(Editor’s Note:  This article written by a PA author, Dr. Peg Lusik, who opposes Common Core.  It was reprinted at Patriots of Southeast Michigan.  While some of the specifics related directly to PA, the main points are true for every state that has adopted Common Core.)

Four Freedoms of Common Core

By Dr. Peg Luksik

1. Freedom from Accountability

In the Common Core structure, the State sets the standards, creates the curriculum, delivers the curriculum, defines successful performance, develops the assessment tests, administers the tests, scores the tests, and reports on the results.

The IRS would not accept financial records like these. The SEC would reject corporate records structured this way. The FDA would not approve a medicine based on this kind of evidence. They require external, independent audits of costs and effectiveness.

Yet this closed “internal audit” is the only evaluation method made available to parents, teachers and taxpayers.

Why does the education bureaucracy get to hide the actual costs and results of Common Core? Why is Common Core exempt from real accountability?
2. Freedom from Privacy

The Pennsylvania information Management System (PIMS) is the federally-mandated longitudinal database that is used for Common Core.

Every child is assigned a unique identification number which enables that child to be tracked from pre-school through college and into the work force. Data includes academic, financial, and health information on each student and family.

There is no parental consent before student information is collected, or shared.

Changes in federal language now allow any entity with a “legitimate educational interest” to access the data. That list includes researchers and vendors.

Why are parents denied the right to determine how information about their own children is collected, stored, or shared?
3. Freedom from Excellence

Common Core mandates that every child achieve every standard at the specified level. There is no requirement to go beyond that level. That makes the mandated minimum achievement levels the goal of every school.

The secondary school graduation achievement level for mathematics under Common Core is Algebra I.

No district is required to test any student at any higher level of mathematics to meet the Common Core mandates.

Proponents of Common Core state that Algebra I is the only math necessary to be “career-ready” for the service industry or manual labor.

Who changed the purpose of education from creating opportunity to creating a workforce? Who decides which students will be given the opportunity to go beyond the minimum standards? What factors will be used in that decision?
4. Freedom from Local Control

Under Common Core, the state administers mandatory assessments based on the standards. The results are used for student promotion or graduation, teacher evaluation, and school district reward or punishment.

The PA Department of Education (PDE) has a “voluntary” curriculum online, called the SAS Portal, aligned with Common Core.

PDE representatives stated in March 2010, “the SAS portal is available to school districts, but everybody has got to teach to our standards. And everybody has got to implement our high school end-of-course exams. So in order for them to successfully get to their high school exams, they are going to need to access all that stuff….”

If every district MUST teach the one curriculum that is aligned to the one assessment that measures the one standard or face negative consequences for students, teachers, and schools, what happened to local control?

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