Monday, February 4, 2013

Can You Hear Us Now?

Today no fewer than two articles have come out in EdWeek online utilizing work that is being done by Restore Oklahoma Public Education (Pressure Mounts in Some States Against Common Core and Opposition to Common Core Grows Across the Political Spectrum).  TWO.  In a NATIONAL online education journal. what were the articles pertaining?  COMMON CORE.

It is hard for many to remember at this point - but hard for us to forget - that ROPE took it upon ourselves four years ago now (2009) to research and write about the this so-called "state led" (only to prevent the Core from being illegal as a national curricula is against federal law, not because it is in any way "state led") effort.  This, just one year after our Oklahoma legislature passed SB222 in a conglomerate bill addressing nearly every education "reform" produced by the Obama administration in order to attract Race To The Top funding.

Here are a few of my comments on those two articles that further articulates our position:
It was clear to us from the beginning that this was NEVER about kids. It is about elitist Republicans who say they eschew federal funding in public education, all the while propagating overreaching education policy generated by a Democrat-controlled federal Department of Education in order to get kickbacks and federal funding enough to enlarge their fiefdoms.

Common Core, the associated testing mechanisms (PARCC and Smarter), and the vast data collection system (State Longitudinal Data Systems or P20) being promulgated at the federal level and accepted by the states for their 30 pieces of silver, are about as much about kids and education as fishing is to space travel.

The recent expose in the Washington Post by Valerie Strauss should be the nail in the coffin that wakes up a sleeping public to realize what dupes they are in this little Kabuki theater our states call education "reform".

Heck NO this isn't about kids. None of this is about anything other than adults wanting to line their pockets on the backs of children attached to parents who don't know enough to be skeptical when the education elite of their states tell them, "Relax, we've got this covered. We know better than you what your kids need. We need to make sure our state is in line to pick up that 'free' money. After all, we send it from our state to the feds, we need to get it back somehow and if we don't do it, some other state will!"
Many governments past and present have utilized public education as a change agent for society. Disconcertingly, many of these have done it in a very similar way - using wealthy individuals and government elitists to broadcast and monopolize their message.

Many states (like Oklahoma) adopted the Common Core sight unseen. How do you as a legislator explain that to parents? "Parents, we believe that some educational standards we have never seen nor read, which were developed outside of our state by well-connected people in business and government, that have no track record at all, will be better for your child than those standards your child has in place currently through your local school board."

Awkward isn't it? This might explain why none of our authoring legislators ever bothered to explain why Oklahoma was signing on to Common Core before they planted it in state law.
Please see this blog by my colleague Danna Foreman where she found solid proof that this Common Core thingy is about changing society.
Ultimately, the goal of P-16 (a state longitudinal data base (SLDS) to collect information on children from Pre-K to 16 - now "workforce and beyond) reform is to create, as Harold Hodgkinson wrote in All One System, "a single system of education underlying all of the segments" (Institute for Educational Leadership, 1999). As the Consortium for Policy Research in Education said, the time has come to end the long history in American education of segments acting "independently and at cross-purposes from one another" (June 2000).
Wow.  This isn't at all like creating a little society full of Borgs is it - or Stepford Wives?

Truly, this has to stop.  Between the testing and the usurpation of privacy that comes with the exciting SLDS that will collect all the information any pervert (I mean person) could ever want on other people's children, not to mention the associated costs, this can not stand. 

Apparently other states are thinking the same thing.  Missouri, Indiana, Utah, California, Alabama, Washington and others are actually looking to abandon this rickety ship before it goes down and takes their children with it.  Just like so many of the states signed on sight unseen, they should jump off now, now that their eyes are being opened to the size of the iceberg they're about to hit.