Common CORE Standards were not State-led. There was no grant of authority from any State to create these Standards. If the States had actually created these Standards, the States would own them. The Common CORE Standards are proprietary -- copyrighted by the National Governor’s Association (NGA) and the Council of Chief State School Officers (CCSSO). These are trade associations, not governmental organizations.
There was no transparency in the creation of these Standards. Nor do parents have any mechanism to amend these privately controlled Standards. To impose these Standards on our schools is unconstitutional. It’s taxation without representation.
The Standards downplays the importance of state and national sovereignty. The student is dehumanized to be little more than a global worker preparing for the global workforce, instead of a sovereign citizen capable of participating in self-government.
The primary drafter of Common CORE is Achieve, Inc., a non-profit group in Wash. D.C. Achieve received generous funding from private foundations, especially the Bill and Melinda Gates Foundation. Why should affluent private organizations control our schools? This is the privatization of our public education.
Common CORE was not internationally benchmarked. It wasn’t even field tested. There has been no independent research supporting these Standards or the aligned assessments. Our students are participating in research for the profit of private organizations.
Many states adopted the Standards before they were written. NH adopted Common CORE on July 08, 2010 when it was still in the drafting stage. The Board did not “endorse” Common CORE as Commissioner Barry claims. The Board “adopted” a completely untested “final draft” of the Common CORE Math and ELA Standards.
NH applied for Race to the Top (RttT) grants, promising to adopt Common CORE because it increased their chances of winning a federal grant to do so. NH received no RttT grants. The states, receiving Race to the Top funding, are farther along in the implementation of Common CORE. 60% of these states are now in the process of pulling out of Common CORE or the aligned assessments.
NH applied for a (No Child Left Behind) ESEA Flexibility Waiver, again promising they would implement Common CORE, not only Math and English Language Arts, but also Science and Social Studies, which were not yet even drafted. Read the waiver application, page 166-167, where the Department promises that all NH districts will adopt Common CORE, including Science and Social Study Standards. http://www2.ed.gov/policy/eseaflex/nh.pdf Yet, under state law, districts cannot be forced to adopt specific state standards only to meet minimum standards.
Common CORE Standards are voluntary. Commissioner Virginia Barry agrees when asked. Yet in 2012 she promised the US Department of Education that every district in NH would implement CCS in one of three phases. The first two phases are voluntary; the final phase is mandatory. Read at page 166-167 of the NH ESEA Flexibility application. http://www2.ed.gov/policy/eseaflex/nh.pdf
How are these Standards supposed to reform education? That’s completely unknown. However, Common CORE will increase profits for the private corporations supplying the privately copyrighted standards / assessments and the companies providing the infrastructure.
Microsoft stands to make an enormous profit from its investment, or should we say, its corporate buy-out, of public education. The Gates Foundation has funded the NGA, CCSSO, Achieve, Inc, Pearson Foundation (textbook publishers), PTAs, unions, public schools, chambers of commerce, departments of education, policy groups, and think tanks such as the Fordham Institute -- all now proponents of Common CORE. Microsoft has invested $5 billion into Common CORE. http://online.wsj.com/article/SB10001424053111903554904576461571362279948.html
In 2004 Microsoft signed a contract with UNESCO (United Nations Educational, Scientific and Cultural Organization) to support the use of technology to transform education, reduce poverty and help address the digital divide. http://www.microsoft.com/education/ww/leadership/Pages/unesco.aspx
Keep in mind that these new assessments will assess a student’s knowledge, skills and dispositions. Senate Bill 48 originally included “dispositions” but that was removed. State law requires that all statewide assessments are “valid”, “appropriate” and “objectively scored.” Measuring a student’s disposition is subjective and inappropriate. Smarter Balances assessments measure student dispositions; they are not, nor will they ever be, appropriate. NH cannot change these assessments to meet our state law. This is an irreconcilable problem.
Common CORE is not just an academic framework. The Standards mandate uniformity and restrict innovation. No district is allowed to add more than 15% to the Standards. It’s probably unwise even to add 15% given the mandatory Common CORE-aligned assessments. He who controls Smarter Balance assessment, controls the curriculum.
Read the COOPERATIVE AGREEMENT Between the U.S. DEPARTMENT OF EDUCATION and the SMARTER BALANCED ASSESSMENT CONSORTIUM from 2011. All changes to the Smarter Balance assessment need the approval of the US DoE. http://www2.ed.gov/programs/racetothetop-assessment/sbac-cooperative-agreement.pdf
The US DoE gave $360 million toward the creation of these assessments, but that money will run out. Computer driven tests are far more expensive than traditional tests. There has been no discussion on the ongoing cost this creates for taxpayers. These costs will be an unfunded mandate by the Department, violating P1 A28-a of the NH Constitution. Yet, there’s been no fiscal analysis.
At this point you are probably wondering if this de facto national curriculum is legal. No. It’s an attempt to circumvent the law. It’s a violation of three federal statues prohibiting the US DoE from supervising, directing, or controlling curriculum: General Education Provisions Act; Department of Education (DoE) Organization Act; Elementary and Secondary Education Act of 1965.
The US DoE’s control of the Smarter Balance assessments violates the 10th Amendment and Art. 4 of the US Constitution, guaranteeing “to every State in this Union a Republican Form of Government. Parents have no ability to contact anyone to modify these Standards or assessments. Anonymous people will control their children’s education. Taxationwithout Representation is unconstitutional.
In 1999 the NH legislature adopted RSA 193-C:10 requiring that parents have “no fewer rights accorded to them” than those afforded under FERPA.
RSA 193-C:10 Accessibility of Assessment Materials. – These rules shall provide parents and legal guardians with no fewer rights accorded to them under the Family Educational and Privacy Rights Act, 20 U.S.C. 1232g. Source.1998, 290:1, eff. Jan. 1, 1999.
In December of 2011 the U.S. Department of Education changed the FERPA regulations governing the release of student data to the private sector, without Congressional authorization.
These new FERPA regulations remove limitations prohibiting educational institutions and agencies from disclosing students’ personally identifiable information, without first obtaining student or parental consent. The new regulations reinterpreted terms, such as “authorized representative,” “education program,” and “directory information” to give non-governmental entities increased access to student personal data.
Then in January 2012, the Education Department and the federal Office of Science and Technology Policy created something called the Education Data Initiative to release confidential student data to third-party vendors.
Authority over our public schools is being given away without the consent of the people or their elected representatives.
Children are not “human capital” to be managed in a global marketplace. The data mining of private student information that is contracted to occur through online Smarter Balance assessments is unacceptable. The US DoE should not receive private student information.
The people can lose governance of their local schools if students fail to meet arbitrary performance standards. Schools will then be remediated by the State. Teachers, principals, guidance counselors and librarians can be fired. Parents will no longer control the education of their children.
Electing one's teachers and contracting with them is constitutionally recognized right. It is not something the State has authority to interfere or give away to a private organization. The people have a right to local control, P1 Art 6 of the NH Constitution.
Every member of this Board took an oath to uphold the NH and US Constitution. If you reflect upon your oath, your decision should be obvious.
Thank you for your time and indulgence.