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| Jennifer Baker | Guest Columnist | Harry M. Covert | Hayden Duke | Jason Miller | Ken Kellar | Patricia A. Kelly | Cindy A. Rose |


As Long as We Remember...

October 16, 2012

Taking Parents Out of The Equation Part 2

Cindy A. Rose

[Editor’s Note: this is the second part of Ms. Rose’s analysis of the Common Core Standards being evaluated by Frederick County Public Schools. You can read Part 1 by going to the Archive Pages here on]


Marc Tucker’s vision of the American education isn’t American at all; it’s a German model of dual education.


It combines two days of school for academics and three days of school for practical or technical training. When German children begin school, they start with a basic education; but, as early as 4th Grade, the system changes to the two-track system. Track One is for those deemed worthy to continue on to college and the “ruling" class.


Track Two is the vocational track, the one for the country’s worker bees. Two thirds of the population gets Track Two. “Get” not choose. They have about 350 career paths to choose from, if you want to call that choice (Mr. Tucker suggests only 20). Compare that to America where we choose for ourselves from an endless list of possibilities. This system would have the government set limits for us and quash our dreams.


Mr. Tucker and faux reformers would like to see the United States use this model.


Troubled yet? Let’s look at some of the language Mr. Tucker used in his 1992 letter to Hillary Clinton letter:


A lot of the language used is heard and seen in discussions and descriptions of Common Core.


The most familiar: “The standards are set to international benchmarks…” A favorite talking point of the faux reformer.


My favorite should send up red flags for everyone familiar with Common Core:


“Our idea is to draft legislation that would offer an opportunity for those states – and selected large cities – that are excited about this set of ideas to come forward and join with each other and with the federal government in an alliance to do the necessary design work and actually deliver the needed services on a fast track. … “… establish a competitive grant program for these states and cities and to engage a group of organizations to offer technical assistance to the expanding set of states and cities engaged in designing and implementing the new system.”


This is exactly how it happened. States were incentivized to adopt Common Core Standards with a competition for Race to The Top grants. No one highlights that the new "standards" are so unappealing that bribes needed to be offered to get states to accept them.


Surely we all see the similarities in the money grab Maryland participated in for Race to The Top funds?


Possibly you’ve heard the explanation that a “consortia” is responsible for suggesting and implementing Common Core Standards, but no one can quite put a finger on who they are. It all sounds perfectly innocent during water cooler conversation.


Marc Tucker is the impetus, he is the consortia, but it‘s true agenda remains hidden from view.


Tucker further explains to Mrs. Clinton:


“Volunteer states [will get] 5-year grants (on the order of $20 million per year to each state, lower amounts to the cities) given to each, with specific goals to be achieved by the third year, including program elements in place (e.g. upgraded employment service), number of people enrolled in new professional and technical programs and so on.”


This is exactly what Race to The Top did. It had states compete for grants in several rounds. Those grants are reapplied for every five years. It sets achievement goals and reaching those goals sets you up for receiving more grant money. It was incentivize usurpation of state’s power over education. Bribery.


Mr. Tucker’s vision is designed to roll out and scale up. If it starts too big, it will get slapped down by parents because they would see it coming. A slow methodical approach has been adopted.


Remember, Common Core Standards was sold as “standards only” and in “math and English” only. Now coming this December Social Studies standards are being added to the list and, oh, by the way, they are currently writing curriculum.


The goal has been from the beginning to have a national curriculum with the federal government in charge, not states and certainly not local jurisdictions. You cannot successfully run a national curriculum with 16,000 school jurisdictions. Those need to be whittled down to at least 50, but one would be much better.


Is there evidence of this? The Wall Street Journal interviewed Louis Gerstner, an executive with IBM, and one of the partners with Mr. Tucker in Achieve, Inc., in November 2008. Mr. Gerstner said the current education system is failing. The Journal asked how he would change this.


Mr. Gerstner’s response:


“I’m going to say to the president-elect [Barack Obama] that the fundamental thing we have to do is change the governance model and accountability and execution model for education in this country. And what I’m going to suggest is that he convene the 50 governors, and the first thing they do is they abolish the 16,000 school districts we have in the United States. Sixteen thousand school districts are what we’re trying to cram this reform through.”


“They will within one year develop a national set of standards for math, science, reading and social studies. Twelve months after that they will develop a national testing regime, so that there’ll be one day in America where every third, sixth, ninth and twelfth grader will take a national test against a national curriculum.”


How a nationally run education system is put in place starts with three pieces of legislation from 1994: Goals 2000 Act (also known as the Educate America Act), School to Work Act and Improving American Schools Act. They run in concert with the No Child Left Behind Act (the reauthorized, tweaked version of the Elementary and Secondary Education Act), Race to The Top and Common Core Standards.


What these pieces of legislation set out to do:


·        Bypass local school boards and parents by having federal funding go directly to the states, through the governors, not to the schools.


·        Centralize all student information into a national data base. This information would include personal, identifying information such as family information, social security numbers, academic, medical, mental and behavioral information as well as information from guidance counselors in K-12, college and the work place.


·        National standards and testing. To solidify control, the 12th grade diploma will be replaced with a Certificate of Initial Mastery (CIM). No person will be able to get a job without a CIM.


Don’t think it’s being implemented in our local schools? Take a look at the Frederick County Board of Education’s position paper to the local legislators in 2012: “Today’s investments in Frederick County Public Schools are key to a prosperous economy, strong business growth, and students’ ability to compete for good jobs in a global, high-tech economy.”


I’m not seeing a whole lot of language about educating our children today so they can have bright futures tomorrow based on what they choose for themselves. It looks like an employment and economy pitch not an education pitch.


Troubled yet?


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