August 21, 2013
This article appeared in the August 6th edition of the Charlotte Sun. Part one of Mr. Eastwood's excellent series is available here. We thank him for his great work and for quoting Dr. Effrem.
Tea Parties have joined forces with many non-partisan grass roots organizations against the implementation of Common Core State Standards (CCSS). The Washington Post 5/30/13 quotes Lee Ann Buckholder of York, Pennsylvania: "This is an issue that could change things for the Tea Party movement. " At the local presentation recently by CCSS to the school board and superintendent a concerned parent was upset about sharing information about his child with others. Student records, test results and other confidential data would be available to researchers, education officials and even software developers. Indiana and Pennsylvania have put the program on hold. Michigan, despite lobbying by Rhee, Bush and the governor voted to not fund CCSS.
States were pressured by Obama's 2009 stimulus package that contained educational grants for The Race to The Top during a severe recession. That money is running out. States and counties are now faced with another huge unfunded mandate from the federal government. This is an expensive proposition for states and local school boards and they are being forced to cut other programs like physical education. President Obama is now pushing for Pre-K education with control remaining at the federal level. This idea comes from Center for American Progress funded by George Soros. In 2010 the Florida State Board of Education adopted CCSS. This program from Washington will be fully implemented in grades K-12 classrooms in the 2014-2015 school year. Governor Crist agreed to CCSS before the standards were written or even knowing what they were. The final cost of the program is unknown. Some are calling the program Obamacore. Developed by federally funded private groups, the standards are copyrighted and cannot be altered. Home schooling will be affected as the testing supplied by the state to home schoolers will be based on CCSS. Governor Scott has requested that private schools who receive vouchers from the state take CCSS tests.
Karen Effrem, M. D., President of Education Liberty Watch and a Co-Founder of The Florida Stop Common Core Coalition has replied to Dr. Whittaker's comments in my last week's column:
"Dr. Whitaker is correct that it is the duty of the school board to obey the laws of Florida and the federal government as well as following the Florida and U. S. Constitutions. However, he should be asked why they are implementing Common Core when it violates the 4th
amendments to the Constitution; the federal General Education Provisions Act, The Elementary and Secondary Education Act, The Department of Education Organization Act , as well as the newly signed Florida statutes SB 1076 that requires an implementation schedule based on adequate funding and field and baseline data, none of which are present, and HB 7099 which requires technology load testing and verification in all districts before the Common Core tests are given."
People locally and nationally are upset that CCSS has gotten so far into the school systems. Only now are they realizing that this federal program supported by President Obama and pushed into the 50 states may be very difficult to turn back. Opposition to CCSS is mainly volunteers. Arrayed against this opposition are major corporations and governmental agencies such as: General Electric; the United States Department of Education and its Secretary, Arne Duncan, whose last job was managing the Chicago City Schools that had a 50% high school graduation rate; The United States Army; National PTA; American Federation of Teachers , (NFT), a teacher's union; The United States Chamber of Commerce which uses Gates Foundation grants for such activities as making massive numbers of robocalls in support of CCSS.
Time is running out on this complex issue. Contact or view the following: a teacher; the local school board; the superintendent of schools; view www.yourcharlotteschools.net
; the county commissioners; your state and federal senate and house representatives; go to the internet and view the pros and cons of CCSS. If individuals are involved ask their opinion about CCSS. If someone doesn't know about CCSS ask why not? Implementation of CCSS in Charlotte County should be a parent's decision!