THE COMMON CORE FACE-OFF: HIDING THE TRUTH ABOUT CHOICE & CHARTER
PART 1 of 2
July 1, 2014
“Those who have the privilege to know, have the duty to act.” -Albert Einstein
Obama and ‘Conservative’ Groups Use Bait and Switch Tactics. They are using the momentum against Common Core to complete and further their agenda—“Choice” and Charter Schools.
The truth has uneasy consequences. ‘Conservatives’ and Republicans are revealing their so-called "Choice Plan" that mimics the Obama-Duncan Plan. In an article posted by the ‘conservative’ organization FreedomWorks, their entire proposed controversial agenda for “choice” in education demands rebuttal, discussion and dissection. The Einstein quote at the top of this article validates my decision to act on current documentation, explaining to the American people the danger that these ‘conservative groups’ represent to parents when they demand “choice.”
Republican Governors who say that Common Core is gone are using fraud and deception to further their cause. Their cause is government-controlled, taxpayer-funded “choice” and charter schools. Republicans are now conveniently using the slogan “No Common Core” as a litmus test—a popular hot button that will cue the Fall elections. But, are citizens and parents aware of where that path will take us? For example, see the following quote:
Common Core has emerged as the newest Republican litmus test for gauging candidates’ conservative bona fides, and experts say the controversial national education [Common Core] standard will help shape elections from school boards to the White House for the foreseeable future.
This is the agenda that was divulged by FreedomWorks:
A draft action plan by the advocacy group FreedomWorks lays out the effort as a series of stepping stones: First, mobilize to strike down the Common Core. Then push to expand school choice by offering parents tax credits or vouchers to help pay tuition at private and religious schools. Next, rally the troops to abolish the U.S. Department of Education. Then it’s on to eliminating teacher tenure.
Let me explain these real issues:
The 'Anti-Common Core Movement' is clouding the real issue. While states are thinking they have struck down Common Core, Obama is using the ESEA Flexibility Waivers to hide his real agenda—to Continue Common Core. Many ‘conservatives’ are—wittingly or unwittingly—helping Obama’s cause.
The move to "Strike Down Common Core" is a fake. It is a sophisticated machination to masquerade the real agenda embraced by ‘conservative’ groups who are working in tandem with the Obama Administration. “Race to the Top” and the Common Core Copyright made up the 'foot in the door' for standardizing the 50-state strategy. This was the first step towards nationalizing education—with national standards, a national test, and moving toward a national curriculum. Parents against Common Core are being used, especially by directing them to a new, easy answer to sidestep Common Core, i.e., government-controlled “choice.”
‘Conservative’ groups have told parents they can save their children from the federal government by supporting this “choice.” Little do these 'new-to-the-system' parents realize that they are being set up for a trap. Choice is that trap, and charter schools are right behind, for the bigger trap agenda. When this agenda becomes fully operational, parents will actually lose their voice. They will lose their vote in our representative form of government. There will be no true representation. The word "accountability" has meaning; it means being in compliance to federal law. You know, the federal strings attached to federal money. This fake “choice” is attached to federal strings.
What happens with Common Core? College and Career Ready Standards, or Workforce Readiness Skills, in a standards-based system will identify your child to the federal government as an individual future global worker. It doesn't matter what name the standards use—it is within the power of the federal government to access your individual child through these individual standards. This plan was laid out by the U.S. Department of Labor in the Secretary’s Commission for Achieving Necessary Skills (SCANS) report way back in 1992. Obama has set out his plan through “Race to the Top,” his plan to nationalize education. This is also hidden in the ESEA Flexibility Waiver, called Title I (explained below). Here is the hard part for people to understand—the fact is that this same plan was also once called the Reagan Plan, the Clinton Plan, the Bush Plan, and the Romney Plan. Romney called for using Title I funds and IDEA, which is Special Education, the Individuals with Disabilities in Education Act for school “choice.”
Here is the plan, or let's call it "The Big Picture":
Individual standards are to be met by individual students, taught by individual teachers. Individual students must be taught with validated—approved and certified--curriculum. All three entities are controlled through “accountability”—the federal test. This triad--controlled standards, controlled teachers, and controlled curriculum--is the plan.
This 3-faceted plan controls the outcome—your child or student. The ‘Conservatives’’ plan is to fund individual children wherever they go to school, so this “choice” money "follows the child" and extends the accountability even to private and religious schools.
Both the Liberal and Conservative plans take advantage (profit from) the money-making schemes that result from the expansion of for-profit charter schools. Both sides of the political spectrum have plans that converge. They all want the same results—nationalizing education with federal control of ALL children, ALL teachers, ALL curriculum, and ALL schools or “knowledge-dispensing centers.” Oh, and by the way, they want your local tax base, too.
Here is how this plan will work:
It is all about Title I
The Obama Administration has given states ESEA Flexibility Waivers to the Elementary and Secondary Education Act (ESEA), which is Bush's No Child Left Behind legislation. ALL ESEA Flex Waivers require College and Career Ready Standards. What we have seen so far is deceptive. A state will withdraw from the Memorandum of Understanding (MOU), the copyright for Common Core, and then align Common Core into its own state standards when accepting the waiver.
But, parents must realize that Common Core has been transformed with a new name. The state will still conform to College and Career Ready Standards mandated by “Race to the Top” (RTTTT) funding, but further explained in these flexibility waivers. Particularly, these standards must go beyond language arts and math toward workforce readiness skills, which originally started as Common Core. Sometimes a state will include P20W, pre-natal through age 20, standards into the workforce training, expanding the K-12 agenda. (See, for example, “Oregon's Common Core Goes P-20” and Kentucky too.)
NOTE: The following pilot states—Ohio, Kentucky, Maine, West Virginia, Wisconsin, New York, New Hampshire, and Oregon—are redesigning their educational systems to correlate with federal standards called Innovation Lab Network, funded by the international Organization of Economic and Cultural Development (OECD), Lumina Foundation, and Chief State School Officers (CCSSO). CCSSO is the group that copyrighted the Common Core Standards along with the National Governors Association.
Oklahoma's passage of House Bill 3399, that supposedly removed Common Core Standards, stated this in their bill,
Upon the effective date of this act, the State Board of Education shall seek certification from the State Regents for Higher Education that the subject matter standards for English Language Arts and Mathematics which were in place prior to the revisions adopted by the Board in June 2010 are college-and career-ready as defined in the Federal Elementary and Secondary Education Act (ESEA) Flexibility document issued by the United States Department of Education.... [emphasis added]
Oh no! The legislature put Common Core into law through their Flex Waiver! Governor Fallin is the Chairman of the National Governors Association (the other group that copyrighted the Common Core Standards). Oklahoma now calls their standards "Oklahoma Academic Standards," and on the front of their Flex Waiver called their agenda “C3, College, Career, Citizenship Standards”—exactly the same as the CCSSO were calling it--to expand the standards to include dispositions, or attitudinal and value standards. We can assume that these standards will include testing and interventions in the non-cognitive domain.
Indiana's supposed departure from Common Core is referred to as the "grand deception." Indiana's HB 1427 states
Provides that the state board shall implement educational standards that use the common core standards as the base model for academic standards to the extent necessary to comply with federal standards to receive a Flexibility Waiver. [emphasis added]
South Carolina's bill, H3893, to stop Common Core and the Smarter Balanced Test states
The summative assessment must assess students in English/language arts and mathematics, including those students as required by the federal Individuals with Disabilities Education Act and by Title I of the Elementary and Secondary Education Act. For purposes of this subsection, 'English/language arts' includes English, reading, and writing skills as required by existing state standards. [emphasis added]
Existing state standards? You guessed it! Common Core. Do you see a pattern here? This has happened in several states where Common Core is most controversial. While parents believe Common Core is gone, little do they know those standards were just embedded in the ESEA Title I Flexibility Waivers signed by your state’s secretary or superintendent of education. Unfortunately, Oklahoma, Indiana, and South Carolina have taken the bait. Common Core is still there, with other new forceful accountability measures, like Value Added Models (VAM), to be sure teachers are teaching Common Core, and interventions using special education funds from the Individuals with Disabilities Education Act (IDEA) called “Response to Intervention.” RtI is used for ALL students to make sure they are covered by IDEA to meet Common Core Standards.
The Plan to Use Title I to Expand School Choice to Private and Religious schools
How will EVERY child become Title I? President Johnson's "War on Poverty" gave schools funding, called ESEA Title I, to help those schools where there were concentrations of students who were poor. Interestingly enough, the term was "educationally deprived." So, the issue with the ESEA Flexibility Waiver is that the poverty guidelines were removed. This means that children who qualified for free and reduced lunches, where a school had to have 40% of students that qualified under poverty guidelines, are now in a school where that requirement is reduced to "0%." This means ALL individual children in an entire school can receive federal ESEA Title I funds for EVERY child: the funds "follow the child."
This means that a child is considered “educationally deprived” if he/she does not meet standards. Interestingly, the 'Conservative' organization American Legislative Exchange Counsel, (ALEC) just released model legislation for choice and charter schools for every state in the country. They refer to students not meeting standards with the term "academically disadvantaged." This is what is needed to move forward with federal “choice.” EVERY child must be identified for “choice” funds, no matter where they go to school. Obama has done this through the ESEA Flexibility Waiver.
Now that ALL children in public school are Title I, the Republicans can take over from here. They want “choice” [those Title I funds] for EVERY student who goes to private and religious schools, too! This is a terrible bait and switch deception for those parents and citizens who think that choice means freedom of choice for private and religious education! This is not freedom, nor true choice.
Where is the federal “choice” agenda now? ESEA Re-authorization Is held up by Senator Reid... at the moment.
The Re-authorization of ESEA is the bill in Congress that changes how funding will now follow the child. The Republicans in the House of Representatives added "choice" amendments to the ESEA Re-authorization in HR 5 that can "follow the child" with Title I funds into any private or religious school. This passed the House in July of 2013.
The Democrats, on the Senate side, voted to have SB 1094 come out of committee, but it has not been brought up for an entire Senate vote. SB 1094 wants Title I funds to follow the child to any public or charter school. But, Obama's Flexibility Waivers are doing most of that job already without the passage of the Re-authorization of ESEA legislation. Obama supports “choice” in the Flexibility Waivers in public schools. The passage of the entire ESEA package (with Republican amendments in conference committee using federal “choice” funding) will allow federal Title I funds to be attached to your child, to have the “choice” to go to any school, anywhere. This is the legislation that Obama and the ‘Conservative’ groups want to pass for federal “choice” to become a reality.
WARNING! There are strings attached! Title I Choice funds can be connected to your child to go to any charter, private or religious school you choose. Obama wants “equity” in education. This means the same amount of money for every child with federal accountability strings attached. The compromise will be “choice” for everyone, potentially even home schoolers. There will be no differences in schools anywhere, nationalizing education in the United States through “choice” and Common Core—all will have to “drink the Kool-Aid.” That's what “equity in education” means. All schools will become government schools under the Re-authorization of ESEA. You get “choice.” But they control all the schools! For part two click below.