Saturday, November 30, 2013

Truth About Common Core Part 2

 (read part one of this report here: 

The Truth About Common Core- A Moneymaking Scheme That Will Leave You And Your Kids A Lot Poorer, Stripped of Your Privacy (And A Lot Less Educated As Well!)

by Tammy Caldwell-de Leeuw
and Teresa Kuhn, JD, RFC, CSA

Part 2: White Lies and Deception: Who is paying for common core...and who stands to profit?

Even a superficial investigation into the architects behind Common Core reveals that the program is not, as some have claimed, merely a way to design a more culturally-relevant curriculum and to evaluate teacher effectiveness.

Missouri’s Education Watchdog group observes:

“The Department of Education provides the legal symbiotic structure for Gates and Pearson.  Private corporations are developing (and the Department of Education is mandating) educational programs taxpayers are required to support.  It's nifty for Gates and Pearson, an easy job for Federal bureaucrats providing government job security and a complete travesty for taxpayers.  You are paying into a system in which you have no voice.  These companies are not elected and not answerable to any constituents except their stockholders.

You are paying into a system of crony capitalism based on unproven assessments and results that will make private corporations billions of dollars with taxpayer money.  And remember, it's all for the children."

Educational reformer and teacher Diane Ravitch concurs, offering an even blunter evaluation.  Ravitch writes:

“There is a word for this kind of anti-democratic collaboration between business and government, but we haven’t used it much since the 1940s: fascism.”

Loss of Privacy- For Students, Teachers, and Administrators

Common Core, like many other stealth “reform” and wealth redistribution projects, is deliberately obscured, awash in ample rhetoric and so much arcane terminology that it is difficult to sift out even the basics.  

 It is little wonder that many, if not most, parents don’t understand the enormous part it will play in building a national database that can be plundered at will for profit by educational vendors.

In fact, when Common Core was being put together, not even teachers had much input.  Anthony Cody, a veteran teacher and teacher coach in Oakland, California, tracked the progress of Common Core in 2009, writing:

“Sixty individuals, ONE teacher among them, will write national education standards in the next five months, in a secret process that excludes effective input from students, parents or teachers.

As teachers we spend a lot of time thinking about what we teach our students, and how to engage them in learning. When the National Governor’s Association (NGA) called for national education standards a few months back, some educators optimistically believed that we might be consulted in the process. After all, didn’t the entire No Child Left Behind fiasco teach us what happens when policies are enacted without the active engagement of the professionals expected to carry them out?”

The Pirates of Education: Bill and Melinda Gates stand to make (more) millions from the taxpayer-funded database

Using standardized test results and teacher evaluations, Bill and Melinda Gates are building a database that will be used against children and teachers as noted here by Leonie Haimson of Parents Across America in the Huffington Post:

“This week, the Wall Street Journal reported that the NY Board of Regents approved the state’s sharing of student and teacher information with a new national database, to be funded by the Gates Foundation, and designed by News Corp’s Wireless Generation. Other states that have already agreed to share this data, according to the NY State Education Department, include Colorado, Delaware, Georgia, Illinois, Kentucky, North Carolina, Louisiana and Massachusetts.

All this confidential student and teacher data will be held by a private limited corporation, called the Shared Learning Collaborative LLC, with even less accountability,  which in July was awarded $76.5 million by the Gates Foundation, to be spent over 7 months. According to an earlier NYT story,  $44 million of this funding will go straight into the pockets of Wireless Generation, owned by Murdoch’s News Corp and run by Joel Klein.”  ~ Leonie Haimson, Confidential Student and Teacher Data to be Provided to LLC Run by Gates and Murdoch

This Ain’t No Tea Party, This Ain’t No Disco, This Ain’t No Fooling Around…

So, after over 400 data points, including: religious affiliations ,voting habits, and living arrangements of parents are collected on your kids, a reasonable and legitimate question is:

Exactly who will gain access to this data and for what purposes?

Researcher and education blogger Paul Bogush observes that.

“….  The National Education Data Model is a P-20 data resource. P-20 is a preschool to work data base.  Think of it as a group that decides what language will be spoken in the country.  The language used to collect and access data is determined by the NEDM.  Think of McDonald’s. They don’t grow potatoes, but they decide what kind, the size, shape, and everyone follows along.  Or maybe Walmart is a better example.  They don’t make the socks, but they give manufacturers parameters and the manufacturers could decide to follow or perish. 

The NEDM doesn’t collect the data, they will provide one stop shopping for the data about your children…data for free! 400 points of data on children, and more data on teachers, and more on other people.  It is supported but not maintained by the Department of Education and under the auspices on the National Center for Education Statistics. It’s against federal code for the nation to maintain a national database on our kids.  So they are getting around this by saying they are simply promoting data linkages across states, and if all 50 are linked into database that connects every single kid in the nation, well…the government does not consider that a national database.” (

Moreover, as Bogush discovered, the data collected at taxpayer expense with be available at no charge to for-profit educational vendors.

“…these people who will be accessing the data to create new worksheets, teacher training, software, and a million other things will not have to pay a dime.  You children’s information will be given to them for free.  But it gets better…there are already companies, led by the people who were in charge of the non-profit groups that created the database, that will be ready to sell the data back to the states.  You got that right?  Your kid takes a test, the data is collected by state, the state submits it to the NEDM, and then a company who has the kids’ achievement in their best interests, accesses it, organizes it, and gives it back to the state…for a fee.”

(In part 3, we'll discuss the implementation of the standards, the impact so far, and the responses of parents and educators.)

File under: common-core, common-core-pushback, national-education-policy, teachers-don't-like-common-core, common-core-realities, parents-against-common-core