Rotten to the Common Core By Matt Shipley

Common Core, an education program developed with funding from the Bill and Melinda Gates Foundation to improve academic standards in public schools, will fall far short of its stated objective.....

Common Core is rotten to the core, because no one can justify its expense by any potential gains in scholastic improvement, it strips parental oversight of what children should be taught, and it is a one-size-fits-all program that will not serve any child to their maximum potential....

First, according to the Pioneer Institute and the American Principles Project, which conducted a state by state comprehensive cost analysis[1] of implementing Common Core, in Pennsylvania alone the extra cost of implementation was estimated to be $645 million.  As of January 2012, Pennsylvania was set to receive only $40 million in Obama’s Race to the Top funds, which were contingent upon adoption of Common Core standards...

Second, if parents allow the government or any other entity to dictate how their children must be educated or what they must learn, the parents might as well just give their children to the government or entity to raise. ...

Third, children are not ginger bread men to be cut out of common dough; they are unique individuals with unique learning talents, interests and needs. A common standard may fit everyone, but it will not fit anyone very well and its results will be as disappointing....

Furthermore, children in America do not belong to any government, community, business, or labor consortium. They belong to their parents and to them alone. Parents, therefore, must decide the values, morals and information from which their children will most benefit to live in society. ...

Like every other aspect of life, the Bible provides guidance on whose responsibility it is to teach children. Any government; national, State, or local that dictates what children must be taught and extorts money through taxation to pay for their vision has overstepped the bounds of their biblical jurisdiction.....

In Proverbs 22:6, one will find the Bible giving responsibility of a child’s education to parents. The Bible also states in Proverbs 1:7, “The fear of the Lord is the beginning of knowledge,” and since public schools have completely pushed Christ out of the classroom it is no wonder their academic performance has gone with Him.

CATEGORY . The Standardization of Subjectivity: Common Core Death : The new educational standards, which are starting to be implemented and will be in place by 2014, require that nonfiction represents 50 percent of reading assignments in elementary schools, and up to 70 percent by grade 12. In an article in The Washington Post, Lyndsey Layton explains how this removal of literature has come about: “Proponents of the new standards, including the National Governors Association and the Council of Chief State School Officers, say U.S. students have suffered from a diet of easy reading and lack the ability to digest complex nonfiction, including studies, reports and primary documents. That has left too many students unprepared for the rigors of college and demands of the workplace, experts say” (ibid). See ARTICLE

CATEGORY . What's Global about the Common Core Standards? : he Asia Society Partnership for Global Learning and the Council of Chief State School Officers (CCSSO) partnered together to define global competence and the skills and abilities that students need to demonstrate to be globally competent. CCSSO’s EdSteps initiative convened a Global Competence Taskforce composed of 24 researchers and practitioners that after 18 months of intense collaboration, defined global competence as: the capacity and disposition to understand and act on issues of global significance. ... The intersection of the CCSS and the global competence matrix can best be demonstrated through the lens of the four components of the matrix. For each, at least one example of direct intersection between the Standards and the matrix is provided, as well as suggestions for how educators may choose to embed opportunities for students to develop their global competence as part of CCSS aligned curriculum and instruction. See ARTICLE





CATEGORY . "Common Core" or "Rotten to the Core" - You Decide: "...though the Common Core establishment is claiming that the NGA and CCSSO are behind the initiative, this is merely offered to give the public the illusion that the agenda is "state-led." Common Core standards were actually initiated by private interests in Washington DC and not by state lawmakers. Both the NGA and the CCSSO are both DC-based trade associations (organizations founded and funded by businesses that operate in a specific industry). In fact, most of the creative work was done by ACHIEVE, Inc, a progressive non-profit group based out of DC which has received much of its funding by the Bill and Melinda Gates Foundation. (Bill and Melinda Gates are super liberals). So, we see that Common Core was not, in fact, created by the states. But 45 states so far (including NC in 2010) have adopted the Common Core standards, so that must mean that the initiative is a good thing, yes?....

     "The states who adopted Common Core did so primarily so they wouldn't lose their "Race to the Top" federal funding and therefore have to come up with state funding for education. The needed to adopt Common Core to remain eligible for federal funding. ("Race to the Top" is Obama's education initiative, announced in 2009). Right away we can understand why states were so quick to jump on the bandwagon....

     "...the curriculum will be developed by private associations and non-profits based in Washington DC. Fordham University, a proponent of Common Core, admits that several states had education standards superior to those advanced in Common Core and some states had standards that were at least just as good. This has led many to describe Common Core as a "Race to the Middle." It means that eventually, over time, the states will give up complete control over the curriculum in their public schools. They will not be allowed to make any changes to the curriculum or to the Common Core standards. Parents will have greatly diminished opportunity to get involved in the education of their children. The two private testing consortia, being funded by the US Department of Education, have admitted in their grant applications that they would use the money to create curriculum models for the nation. ....

     "There were 135 people on the committees and panels that wrote and reviewed the Common Core standards. Not a single one of them was a K-3 classroom teacher or early childhood development expert. It means that children will be subject to a one-size-fits-all education scheme which assumes all students can learn in the same manner and at the same pace.

"Personally Identifiable Information" will be extracted from each student, which will include the following data: parents' names, address, Social Security Number, date of birth, place of birth, mother's maiden name, etc. On the other hand, according to the SLDS brief, "Sensitive Information" will also be extracted, which delves into the intimate details of students' lives:

1. Political affiliations or beliefs of the student or parent;

2. Mental and psychological problems of the student or the student's family;

3. Sex behavior or attitudes;

4. Illegal, anti-social, self-incriminating, and demeaning behavior;

5. Critical appraisals of other individuals with whom respondents have close family relationships;

6. Legally recognized privileged or analogous relationships, such as those of lawyers, physicians, and ministers;

7. Religious practices, affiliations, or beliefs of the student or the student's parent; or

8. Income (other than that required by law to determine eligibility for participation in a program or for receiving financial assistance under such program).

Students' personal information will be submitted to a database managed by inBloom, Inc., a private organization funded largely by the Bill and Melinda Gates Foundation. The fact that Common Core Standards require children's personal information to be provided to a database that can be expected to sell or share the data to unspecified companies is worrisome to many parents and educators. "It leads to total control and total tracking of the child," said Mary Black, curriculum director for Freedom Project Education, an organization that provides classical K-12 online schooling. "It completely strips the child of his or her own privacy."

4). The curriculum replaces the classics with government propaganda. According to the American Principles Project: "They de-emphasize the study of classic literature in favor of reading so-called 'informational texts,' such as government documents, court opinions, and technical manuals." Over half the reading materials in grades 6-12 are to consist of informational texts rather than classical literature. Historical texts like the Gettysburg Address are to be presented to students without context or explanation. Professor Sandra Stotsky of the University of Arkansas criticized the English Common Core standards as "empty skill sets that weaken the basis of literary and cultural knowledge needed for authentic college coursework." The most significant change for English CCS is a requirement that 50 percent or more of class readings in grades six through 12 be from "informational" or nonfiction texts. Advocates say the change in reading material will better prepare students to be college ready. But the changes will mean the curriculum will no longer include many of the classic works of literature. Professor Stotsky says the move will limit a student's exposure to great literature and limit the opportunity to think critically and communicate, skills that are vitally necessary for success in college and also for success later in life. Professor Stotsky also points out that there is no research to suggest that college readiness is promoted by informational or nonfiction reading in English high school classes

The math standards are equally dismal. Mathematics Professor R. James Milgram of Stanford University, the only mathematician on the Validation Committee, refused to sign off on the math standards, because they would put many students two years behind those of many high-achieving countries. Other education experts agree. For example, Algebra 1 would be taught in 9th grade, not 8th grade for many students, making calculus inaccessible to them in high school. The quality of the standards is low and not internationally benchmarked. Common Core denies this on its website as a "myth," but Professor Milgram's opposition contradicts this.

In math, much of the criticism is focused on pedagogy. Under Common Core, students will be asked to explain the "why" of a problem before merely performing the calculation. The changes result in needlessly complicating the teaching of basic math to students who are unlikely to have the context to properly understand such queries. The changes have serious consequences. First, it means standards will be taught by teachers who are still grappling to understand the curriculum and not familiar with ways or resources to successfully teach various subjects. Second, the changes also mean children will not learn traditional methods of adding and subtracting until the fourth grade. Multiplication skills will likely be delayed until fifth or sixth grade. Because of the back-loading, students who might normally have the opportunity to take calculus while in high school won't have the time to do so because the number of prerequisite courses is started too late. Do these changes improve a student's math skills and really represent a better curriculum?

The Common Core website, of course denies that its curriculum tells teachers what to teach. The site, in fact, claims that is a myth: "These standards will establish what students need to learn, but they will not dictate how teachers should teach." This is like saying, teachers will be required to teach sex education and evolution, but they can choose whether to teach it using assignments, movies, class discussion or reading. Teachers will, more than ever, teach to the test only. It will be to the child's benefit (and to the teacher's benefit) not to teach him/her critical thinking and problem solving, but rather to memorize desired information (teaching to the test only) since the measure of education will be the test scores. It will be the dumbing down of our children. The measure of a successful teacher will be the test scores as well.

5). Common Core is a Nationalized Federal government takeover of our Education system which runs afoul of the Tenth Amendment, as education is a right reserved to the States. The government certainly doesn't have the power to create a one-size-fits-all take-over of education on all levels yet it uses its power of conditional spending to achieve the same purpose (an end-run around the Constitution). Though educational grants tied to "Race to the Top" and now "Common Core," the federal government is doing what is expressly prohibited by the Constitution: directing, supervising and controlling the curriculum, and dictating its direction. Government commandeering of education is a States' Rights issue. If the federal government has enough money to bribe the states to adopt its policies with taxpayer money, then the government is clearly overtaxing the American people. It should tax less and allow the states to tax more so at least the states can use its people's money to serve their interests.

6). The Federal Government has standardized the education curriculum that will apply to all public schools, charter schools, private schools, Christian schools and homeschooling. No one is safe from this new mandate.

The Common Core standards do not "technically" affect homeschoolers or even private schools for that matter, unless they receive federal funding. However, the big concern for home schools and private schools is that if the adoption of the CCSS leads to a national curriculum and ultimately national testing it will pressure them to teach their students according to the standards as well. Recent statements from the College Board announce that they are making the move to changing the SAT to reflect the CCSS as well. If the SAT is based on one curriculum, this move will seriously affect private school and home school students who take the SAT. This may also cause colleges to accept only students who have an education based on the CCSS. Essentially, the future is wrought with questions for homeschoolers and privately educated students if the Common Core Standards are nationally implemented.

7). Common Core will force consistency and uniformity across the nation. As long as the States are bribed and coerced into adopting a national one-size-fits-all education scheme, then education in general will suffer severely because the states, as 50 independent laboratories of experimentation, will be precluded from trying to innovate and improve education and find solutions to the problems that plague our current education system. In other words, this imposed uniformity will stifle the innovation that federalism fosters.

8). Common Core changes the mission of the public education system from teaching children academic basics and knowledge to training them to serve the global economy in jobs selected by workforce boards. Theoretically, we could see a lot of corporate and lobbying involvement. Lisa Harris, a retired teacher and education activist, says that what she sees with Common Core is that instead of children being encouraged to succeed and excel to the highest level they can, the agenda is to replace the system whereby child chooses his/her career or determines where he/she wishes to pursue with one where the workplace or the career chooses the child. And then they track the students all along the way to slot them into whatever the workforce needs are (compare to Communism). With Common Core, the child will be railroaded into a particular career based on emotional and psychological data and then tracking them. As one analyst put it: "We are all born free and our lives are like an unfinished canvas. It is if we are all artists with a blank canvas. We are born to live and paint our masterpiece. It should be we ourselves who paint that masterpiece and not the government telling us what to paint."

9). Common Core will also track teachers - compiling data, testing them, and keeping files on them. Teacher tracking information will be made public on school websites. Ordinarily, this would be a good thing and help keep teachers accountable to the education of children, but one has to wonder what kind of data the government will track and whether it will be presented fairly and reflecting the true ability of the teacher's abilities or just his/her ability to "teach to the tests."

10). Common Core is the ultimate liberal "bait and switch." Obama, the ultimate "transformation" president, has baited the states with "Race to the Top" federal education funding. The Race to the Top funding follows the "No Child Left Behind" funding. States have become dependent on the federal funding and in this time of economic distress, have little opportunity to either raise state taxes or find other ways to raise funding for education (to separate themselves from the Race to the Top). While the government has the states dependent on federal funding for education, it has made the "switch." The Obama administration has switched to Common Core standards. With these standards, and especially with the teaching of informational texts rather than classics which involve analysis and critical thinking, the indoctrination of America's youth will proceed with warp speed. The Father of Communism, Vladimir Lenin, said: "Give me four years to teach the children and the seed I have sown will never be uprooted." Common Core appears to have all of the earmarks of the old USSR's programming system for children - with several new innovative and chilling twists, of course. History has shown that state-run information control, which begins with education, has always lead to disastrous results (USSR, Germany, Cuba).

In fact, the U.S. Department of Education has already started a Common Core "technical review process" of test "item design and validation." The test writing stage is where the specifics of content, or in this case progressive ideologies, are inserted. Test questions need content and context, and since Common Core is about subjective processes, the content can be added without ever notifying the public. This is where the sleight of hand can come in. After content is tied to test questions, textbook manufacturers can write the necessary content into their products, the teachers will have to teach from the progressively-driven textbooks, and the circle will effectively be complete. Herein we see the dirty little Common Core secret: If the government can control what is tested then it controls the curriculum.

11). The role of education is not to teach students what to think in preparation for job placement. The role of education, the proper role, is to teach children HOW to think, how to process information, how to analyze, interpret, and infer, and how to solve problems. Proper education teaches children and young adults to think in order to deal with the ever-changing circumstances of our rapidly changing world. Trade school and career institutions, on the other hand, are the proper environment to be trained for job placement. Teaching specifically for job placement becomes obsolete as quickly as the technology of today yields to the new of tomorrow.

12). The Common Core model is an untested model. It has not been field-tested anywhere. There is no evidence to support the theories upon which the Common Core experiment is built. Diane Ravitch, one of the most voices in education and a long-time advocate of national standards, cites this as one of her strongest criticisms of Common Core.

13). The promoters of the Common Core standards claim they are based in research. They are not. There is no convincing research, for example, showing that certain skills or bits of knowledge (such as counting to 100 or being able to read a certain number of words), if mastered in kindergarten, will lead to later success in school. In fact, two recent studies show that direct instruction can actually limit young children's learning. At best, the standards reflect guesswork, not cognitive or developmental science. Moreover, the Common Core Standards do not provide for ongoing research or review of the outcomes of their adoption—a bedrock principle of any truly research-based endeavor. It's bad enough to set up committees to make policy on matters they know little or nothing about. But it's worse to conceal and distort the public reaction to those policies. And that's exactly what happened.

Likewise, the standards, in many cases, were not designed by those who professionals who are most qualified to offer input. As mentioned above in the summary of Common Core, standards that were developed were not based on research, public dialogue, state input, or input from educators. The standards for Kindergarten through grade 3, for example, were designed and reviewed by 135 people, with not one of them being a K-3 classroom teacher or early childhood development expert. The National Association for the Education of Young Children, the foremost professional organization for early education in the U.S, had no role in the creation of the K-3 Core Standards. More than 500 early childhood professionals, including educators, pediatricians, developmental psychologists, and researchers (including many of the most prominent members of those fields), signed a joint statement of disapproval of the standards - The Joint Statement of Early Childhood Health and Education Professionals on the Common Core Standards Initiative. Their statement reads in part: "We have grave concerns about the core standards for young children…. The proposed standards conflict with compelling new research in cognitive science, neuroscience, child development, and early childhood education about how young children learn, what they need to learn, and how best to teach them in kindergarten and the early grades…." The statement's four main arguments are actually grounded in what science has clearly taught us about child development.... facts that any education policymaker should and need be aware of:

1. The K-3 standards will lead to long hours of direct instruction in literacy and math. This kind of "drill and grill" teaching has already pushed active, play-based learning out of many kindergartens.

2. The standards will intensify the push for more standardized testing, which is highly unreliable for children under age eight.

3. Didactic instruction and testing will crowd out other crucial areas of young children's learning: active, hands-on exploration, and developing social, emotional, problem-solving, and self-regulation skills—all of which are difficult to standardize or measure but are the essential building blocks for academic and social accomplishment and responsible citizenship.

4. There is little evidence that standards for young children lead to later success. The research is inconclusive; many countries with top-performing high-school students provide rich play-based, nonacademic experiences—not standardized instruction—until age six or seven.

14). Several states are concerned about the effect of public-private partnerships on true capitalism (competition and efficiency) and on individual representation. The emphasis that Common Core puts on "job placement" puts the focus of our education system primarily on the economy and not on the well-being of our children. Evidence for this lies in the fact that many education experts point out there is no evidence to support the theories upon which the Common Core experiment is built.

What is a public-private partnership? What purposes were they supposedly created to serve? Public-private partnerships (PPP) describe a government service or private business venture which is funded and operated through a partnership of government and one or more private sector companies. They really amount to economic control and they are a key component to the design of a collectivist system. (See Dr. Steven Yates, professor of Philosophy at the Mises Institute; Dr. Yates often speaks and writes about the undermining of our free enterprise economy).

15). At its "core," Common Core is a social engineering experiment. Common Core's lead architect, David Coleman, explains that the initiative is all about standards. It's about preparing students for a competitive work force in this developing age. But just as we can understand a program or policy by looking at its architect (Ezekiel Emmanuel and the IPAB, or "death panel" created by Obamacare; Margaret Sanger and Planned Parenthood; Obama and the administration's hostility to religion; Adolf Hitler and the final solution, etc), a look at Coleman's background is equally enlightening.

David Coleman says he believes in the value of a liberal-arts education. The problem is nobody asked what a liberal-arts education means to him. Reading his background puts new meaning to the word "liberal" in liberal arts. American Thinker did an expose on him. Coleman lives in trendy Greenwich Village and was educated at Yale, Oxford, and Cambridge universities (all liberal). He has never been a classroom teacher and wants to replace traditional subjects with broad learning. He believes there is "a massive social injustice in this country" and that education is "the engine of social justice." His upbringing is certainly in line with this progressive mindset. His mother and greatest influence, Elizabeth Coleman, president of Bennington College in Vermont, is of the view that school curriculum should be designed to address "political-social challenges." She emphasizes an "action-oriented curriculum" where "students continuously move outside the classroom to engage the world directly." In short: indoctrination through propaganda in education as the vehicle for social transformation.

Mrs. Coleman founded a social justice initiative - the Center for the Advancement of Public Action (she called it a "secular church") - "which invites students to put the world's most pressing problems at the center of their education." She was a professor of humanities at the far left New School for Social Research, which was begun by progressives in 1932 and modeled itself after the neo-Marxist social theory of the Frankfurt School. She fights for "social values," and a "secular democracy," saying "fundamentalist ...values (are) the absolutes of a theocracy."

The foundational philosophy of Common Core is to create students ready for social action so they can force a social-justice agenda. Common Core is not about students who actually have a grasp of the intricate facts of a true set of what E.D. Hirsch would call "core knowledge." Common Core is about, as David Feith would say "an obsession with race, class, gender, and sexuality as the forces of history and political identity." Nationalizing education via Common Core is about promoting an agenda of Anti-capitalism, sustainability, white guilt, global citizenship, self-esteem, affective math, and culture sensitive spelling and language. This is done in the name of consciousness raising, moral relativity, fairness, diversity, and multiculturalism.

Common Core is not actually about standards, it's about gaining control over the education system in a futile attempt to create a Progressive utopia using the important sounding academic umbrella of "standards." But ask yourself, haven't educators always had standards, guidelines, or benchmarks to guide curriculum? What is different all of sudden? The difference is that we have an administration that has put progressive secularism at the top of its agenda. All we need to do is connect the dots.

Is there a rush to put a stop to this initiative? YES. The standards are set to go into effect this year. If states don't opt out, then they turn their backs on one of their absolute most critical responsibilities - the exercise of a sovereign STATE function in the education of their children. It isn't acceptable to pawn this responsibility off on the federal government and it is offensive, in light of the Tenth Amendment, to accept federal bribe money to implement its instrumentalities of indoctrination. Education involves state values and unique demographics, but overall demands that parents' reasonable expectations are rewarded with an education that is as exceptional as possible and one that isn't described as a "Race to the Middle." In North Carolina, for example, our state constitution puts great emphasis on the importance of a good education. Finally, If enough states don't resist the initiative, then College Boards will alter the SAT to reflect the Common Core standards and college admissions will be skewed towards this fundamental transformation of American education. The official dumbing down of Americans will have taken place.

Five states so far have dropped out of Common Core - Nebraska, Alaska, Texas, Virginia, and Minnesota - and now Kansas and Oklahoma are taking measures to drop out. Oklahoma just passed a bill (House Bill 1989) which would prohibit the sharing of its students' personal information. And Indiana has recently passed legislation that puts a pause on the implementation of Common Core in the state so that legislators, parents, teachers and school boards can have the time they were denied previously, to actually vet and analyze the Common Core agenda. Indiana's Governor Pence, skeptical of Common Core, says the standards are less rigorous than Indiana's prior standards and adopting them would mean giving up too much power over the setting of standards.


Heritage Foundation Conference (panel discussion) on Common Core: "Putting the Brakes on Common Core" - (Panelists included Lindsey Burke of the Heritage Foundation, Jim Stergios of Pioneer Institute, Ted Rebarber of Accountability Works, Heather Crossin of Hoosiers Against Common Core, and Christel Swasey. Michele Malkin was a guest speaker)

Bob Luebke, "Common Core Will Impose an Unproven One-Size-Fits-All Curriculum on North Carolina," Civitas Institute, March 18, 2013. Referenced at:

Bob Luebke, "Common Core: Worse Than You Think," Civitas Institute, April 11, 2013. Referenced at:

Dean Kalahar, "Common Core: Nationalized State-Run Education," American Thinker, April 12, 2013. Referenced at:

Mallory Sauer, "Data Mining Students Through Common Core, New American, April 25, 2013. Referenced at:

Rachel Alexander, "Common Core Curriculum: A Look Behind the Curtain of Hidden Language," Christian Post, April 18, 2013. Referenced at:

Data Mining, on the Glen Beck Show -

Valerie Strauss, " A Tough Critique of Common Core on Early Childhood Education," The Washington Post, January 29, 2013. Referenced at:

Reality Check: The Truth About Common Core -

Diane Rufino lives in Greenville, NC. She is a wife, mother and current student. She has a law degree as well as a degree in science. She is now working on her teaching credential and expects to do her student teaching in the fall. She is active in both the Eastern NC Tea Party and the