Controlling the Common Core

They told us if we adopted the Common Core we were not going to lose control of the classroom or curriculum.  They lied.

Copyrights, Assessments, and Czars all mean more centralized control. Once local control is lost it will never be regained.  Teachers and parents must take a stand now and opt out or education will be forever in the hands of unaccountable education elitists in DC.

Common Core Copyright means more control over the classroom. (Via Diane Ravitch)

Two economists at the Brookings Institution, Joshua Bleiberg and Darrell M. West, made three policy proposals in a piece published March 6, 2014, on the Brookings website. One was this:

“The Common Core [sic; they meant the NGA and the CCSSO] should vigorously enforce their licensing agreement. In the past textbook writers and others have inappropriately claimed that they aligned course content. Supporters of standards based reform should recognize that low quality content could sink the standards and enforce their copyright accordingly.”

Let’s be clear about what they are calling for here:

They are saying that the CCSSO and NGA should be censorship organizations that review curricula and gives it a “nihil obstat.” In effect, such a policy would create a national curriculum censorship organization, for if a state has adopted the Common Core, a publisher will not be able to sell product in that state without it being Common Core aligned, and in order to say that the product is Common Core aligned, the publisher would have to get CCSSO/NGA approval.

Common Core Assessments means more control over the classroom by periodically “taking inventory” of what children learn. (Via Education Week)

Here’s the metaphor I often use: It’s not perfect but I think it helps. Remember how, in the retail industry and major department stores, they used to have to close down stores once or twice a year to do inventory? That’s how they figured out what was selling and what they needed to restock. But then bar codes and scanners were invented. And now what happens is that every time you check out and buy something, inventory control is taken spontaneously. Stores are constantly accumulating information as to what’s being sold and what’s on the shelves, and they can do much better inventory control—and they don’t have to shut down twice a year to have someone go in and count everything.

I think the analogy applies to the way we do assessment. I’m not advocating bar-coding kids, but in a world where much of the work that we do is mediated by technology and is done in technology-rich environments and learning systems, we could glean a lot of information spontaneously that would help us to track important things. And we could embed into those environments periodic assessments that students take to demonstrate their competence, instead of having to shut down the school once a year for multiple weeks while kids take large-scale tests.

Common Core Czar means more control over the classroom (via EAGNews).

In an overlooked op-ed from last November, former National Education Association Executive Director John Wilson called on the two private organizations that created the learning standards to also create a “Common Core Czar” to “oversee the implementation, call out bad practices and recommend policy changes to the politicians.”

Wilson – who now works for the nonprofit arm of pro-Common Core textbook publisher Pearson – added that the czar “should offer a new vision of (student) testing that differentiates between accountability and instruction.”