3 Horrifying Facts about the Common Core in Education

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As a staunch opponent of standardization, high stakes testing and the Common Core in education, I appreciate the video below, in which Ohio reporter Ben Swann reveals some horrifying facts about the Common Core.

The broadcaster introducing Swann’s report teases it by suggesting that the Common Core in education is “designed to be robust and relevant in the real world.” Ben Swann’s reality check sheds new light on these so-called robust and relevant standards.

3 Common Core facts you may not know

1–The Common Core is not a state-led initiative

In fact, the Common Core’s public license contains a provision stating that the Common Core developers, the National Governors Association, must be acknowledged as the sole owners of the CCSS. The NGA is a group that initiates national policy.

NGA Center/CCSSO shall be acknowledged as the sole owners and developers of the Common Core State Standards, and no claims to the contrary shall be made. Any publication or public display shall include the following notice: “© Copyright 2010. National Governors Association Center for Best Practices and Council of Chief State School Officers. All rights reserved.”Common Core State Standards Initiative

2–Teachers didn’t write the Common Core in education.

The Washington-based non-profit, Achieve, is the primary creator of the Common Core State Standards. Achieve is a research and development company, filled with lots of educated people. The problem is they are not educators, and only a few actually participated in writing the Common Core.

Education author/researcher/activist Diane Ravitch revealed staggering facts about just who wrote the standards.

In sum, only 3 of the 15 individuals on the 2009 CCSS math work group held positions as classroom teachers of mathematics. None was a classroom teacher in 2009. None taught elementary or middle school mathematics. Three other members have other classroom teaching experience in biology, English, and social studies. None taught elementary school. None taught special education or was certified in special education or English as a Second Language (ESL).Diane Ravitch

3–The Common Core is about testing

Many teachers believe that the Common Core in education is nothing more than a set of standards that help teachers nationwide teach the same skills and concepts. Some are so misguided that they contend that the CCSS is not related to testing at all. They have been misled by Common Core advocates, many of whom are paid by publishers and other big-money agencies like the Bill and Melinda Gates Foundation.

Still, as Ben Swann reveals in his Reality Check report below, the federal government has invested heavily in two companies, whose mission is to create tests aligned with the Common Core. Partnership for Assessment of Readiness for College and Careers (PARCC) and Smarter Balanced Assessment Consortium design tests for the states that use the standards. Recently, publishing giant Pearson negotiated a contract with PARCC states, which gives it a large role in testing the CCSS.

Pearson is expected to perform a broad range of duties under the contract, including development of test items, delivery of paper-and-pencil and computerized test forms, reporting of results, analysis of scores, and working with states to develop “cut scores,” or performance standards for the exams.Education Week

With two government-funded test organizations and the world’s biggest education publisher involved in developing accountability measures, intelligent people can’t really believe that the Common Core is some wonderful initiative to improve education across the U.S.

It’s time for educators to put down the Common Core Kool-Aid and bring legitimate teaching and learning back to the classroom.

Please share your thoughts and don’t miss Brilliant or Insane’s forthcoming piece on combatting the Common Core.

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Mark Barnes is the author of many education books, including Bestseller Hacking Education, part of his Hack Learning Series, books that solve big problems with simple ideas. Barnes presents internationally on assessment, connected education, and student-centered learning. Join more than 100,000 interested educators who follow @markbarnes19 on Twitter.
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