Why? Because it gives quite the total picture of Common Core and why so many - yes, including Tea Party folks - are against it. Worried about it. And will fight it. You should be, too, if only to protect your child's privacy.
Here's the basics from his column but again, READ IT:
"1. Sharing of student and teacher data with third party developers of all sorts, with no guarantees of privacy. As noted in this post, there are plans in place in some states such as Illinois and New York, and others as well, to collect massive amounts of data, which will be housed in a cloud based databank maintained by inBloom, a non-profit created by the Gates Foundation for this purpose."
"2. As the Post notes, "Critics also charge that Common Core was thrust onto schools with little public debate." This is a huge problem. What hubris it must take to believe that you can assemble a small group of people, and, working largely in secret, completely overhaul what is taught in a supposedly democratic society.
A month later, when the writers of the standards and the "confidential" process were announced, we learned that the group of sixty people included numerous representatives of test publishers, but only one classroom teacher."
"3. Related to the previous point, Tea Party activists have correctly pointed out that Federal law specifically forbids the Department of Education from setting national standards. As Jamie Gass and Charles Chieppo noted in their recent Wall St. Journal op-ed:
Three federal laws explicitly prohibit the U.S. government from directing, supervising or controlling any nationalized standards, testing or curriculum. Yet Race to the Top, a federal education grant competition that dangled $4.35 billion in front of states, favored applications that adopted Common Core. The Education Department subsequently awarded $362 million to fund two national testing consortia to develop national assessments and a "model curriculum" that is "aligned with" Common Core.""4. Some conservative critics have pointed out that the thrust of the Common Core is aimed at preparing students for the workforce. We are told that the role of our schools is to prepare students for "college and career," and we find an increased emphasis on informational text. This very thorough conservative critique states:
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.The author also writes:
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.""5. Many conservative activists are, like myself, deeply concerned about the role of the Gates Foundation, which has, to date, invested an estimated $150 million in the Common Core project. Check out those out front advancing the standards - you will find they are almost all recipients of Gates money. Educators have come to understand the market-driven, test score-focused agenda of the largest philanthropy in the world."
"The tests associated with Common Core are likely to renew the false indictment of our public schools. Proficiency rates are predicted to drop by at least 30%. There will be a significant expansion in the number and frequency of tests, and the technology needed to fully implement to Common Core will divert billions of scarce education dollars."
"Why have educators and parents with similar concerns about corporate reform and the Common Core been less influential than the Tea Party? The combined membership of the two largest teachers unions in the nation - in excess of four million, is far larger than the number of members of any Tea Party organization. But our union leaders have largely embraced the Common Core, and rarely confront corporate reform head-on.
AFT President Randi Weingarten continues to voice strong support for the new standards, though she has called for a year's delay for the punitive consequences attached to Common Core test results. In a sign of mounting pressure on AFT leadership, however, the AFT issued a statement yesterday raising serious questions about the inBloom database"
Statement from the AFT:
"Any potential inBloom has to improve and personalize learning is being overshadowed by a growing lack of public trust in its early communications and operations, and genuine concerns about the security, privacy, sharing and exploitation of data. The AFT raised many of these issues originally, and we, along with parents and teachers, continue to have many concerns about the privacy and security of student and teacher data. We have sent a letter to the funders of inBloom seeking clarification.
"These privacy and security concerns go well beyond inBloom. With a growing marketplace emerging for data collection, storage, analysis and monetization—both for good and for ill—we must be more vigilant than ever about the privacy and security rights of students, teachers and the American people. The rights and responsibilities of parents, students, teachers and school officials in protecting sensitive data, and in determining how others can use that data, must be transparent and well-regulated, and city, state and federal officials have key roles to play."