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The Intricate Plot That Is Common Core

July 28, 2013

If anyone tells you that Common Core (CCSS) is a “state-led” effort, “developed by teachers,” that person is either misinformed or attempting to deceive you.

Morna McDermott of United Opt Out has mapped the organizations behind CCSS. She presents discussion of their interwoven involvements in this 9-minute youtube presentation.

Once you view her work, you will no longer be vulnerable to the corporate- and government-endorsed message that CCSS is “grass roots.”

The endgame of CCSS is massive data acquisition.

Watch and learn.

  1. Ellen permalink

    Mercedes, thanks for once again sending us vital info on how the military/industrial complex, under the aegis of ALEC and the Institute on Foreign Policy, is working to totally direct the education of
    American students to make them cogs in their wheel of planning the future of the planet.

    Every organization mentioned is intertwined with ALEC and the Broad, Gates, Walton, and other foundations in leadership in privatizing the American public school system. This brief video tells it all and would, I hope, be expanded by professional documentarians who could make it clear as a visual, and who could lengthen it to delineate the roles of each of the players in this insidious takeover of our public schools.

    Michal Moore should pick up on this and do a feature film on it so it would be made available to all Americans.

    • An excellent idea, Ellen. I would like to see someone turn this youtube video into a more sophisticated piece.

  2. Great post. I will send out also. Thanks you. Karen

  3. Laura H. Chapman permalink

    I agree that this needs a professional treatment and fact checks. Much is in motion. A single graphic can do amazing things and I’ll bet there are some volunteers who could do an upgrade with a static image ( you Tube hard to follow). Here is an example .. It is a chart from the office of Ex-General Petrous trying to make sense of all of the players in the Afgan War.
    Also you could add that USDE outsourced the details of implementing Race to the Top grants to technical assistance for the RTTT agenda to ICF International. a consulting-services corporation that also has many other contracts with diverse federal agencies. In late 2010, ICF received a four-year $43 million contract from USDE (USDE, 2010, September) (Award Number-GS-23F-8182H, Order Number-ED-ESE-10-O-0087) to support the Race to the Top (RTTT) Program, specifically by creating the Reform Support Network (RSN) serving two main purposes. The first was to help the initial RTTT grantees learn from each other across state lines. The second was to codify, scale-up, and place their best practices into a national and self-sustaining system of accountability with teacher evaluations ending pay for performance ( or not) based on value added scores calculated from statewide tests and the intended equivalent for “non-tested subjects.”
    The IFC contract requires the “Reform Support Network” to offer technical assistance on this major USDE program at an arms-length distance, not as an official extension of USDE. For this reason, RSNs viewpoints, presentations, publications, services and so on—actually deny that they represent the policies of the U.S. Department of Education.
    The “experts” gathered in the offet technical assistance include a turn-around specialist from the Carnegie Foundation, a bunch of statisticians and economists, two if these lead researchers for the Gates education empire and the MET project on how to evaluate teachers, Also two from Educational Testing Service. Others are reps from “Teach for America” and other legacies from Michelle Rhee, and a bunch of communications experts who specialize in spinning all of the big data gathering under the banner of “improving student outcomes,” tracking the “value-added” by teachers, and measuring student “growth”– a euphemism for producing gains in test scores, above the average estimated by algorithms conjured by statisticians who want to study the “education production function” and come up with best value practices for public education. IFC also does contract work for the many federal agencies including work on national security. In case you missed it, Race to the Top is aimed at pay-for-performance as the end game of teacher evaluations.

  4. mathman permalink

    As this video shows there is an incredible amount of power and wealth being put into this “system”.

    There is no group or organization that could take them on and win.

    I am starting to believe that the only way to beat it is massive numbers of opt-outs.

    Opting out is very difficult on the high school high stakes test because the student can not get a diploma without passing it. But at the lower grades it needs to happen, and happen big time.

  5. Emily Miller permalink

    Somebody COULD contact Michael Moore via his website:

    And yes, something BIG does need to happen and soon.

    • artseagal permalink

      @Emily Miller: Michael Moore regrettably ignores the public education issue. For this reason, I gave up on reading anything he writes about or does as I find all his talk about concern for the working man, the middle class and unions quite hard to digest if he does not even address the attack on public education. I attended a talk he gave a few years ago and stood up during the questioning and asked him directly if he planned to address the issue of corporate take over on public education and if he could share his thoughts. Each person that stood to ask him a question, got in line and received a considered and comprehensive answer. When it came to my question, all he literally said was, “yes” and uncomfortably and immediately went to the next individual’s question.

    • NY Teacher permalink

      I already did. No reply yet, but there’s power in numbers. He should see this video.

  6. Brad Clark permalink

    Have any of you actually seen CCSS in practice? In KY, we adopted the CCSS three years ago and the sophistication of our students’ thinking has drastically improved. It is almost laughable. I understand the misgivings of origin (though there is still a lot of fact checking that needs to happen), but the outcomes of CCSS in our state have improved instructional practices of teachers and the student learning experiences.

    • Veteran Educator permalink

      I suppose so many students failing the CCSS exams in your state might be considered “sophistication” IF “creative disruption” is your goal. Of course, that would mean you are on the same page as the “reformers” today who are saying CCSS testing failures are a good thing, such as when your own school dropped from 76.6% Proficient and Distinguished in Reading to 52.9% and from 70.4% in Math to 52.2% –maintaining your Needs Improvement /Focus School status. Now that “is almost laughable.”

      • Justin permalink

        How is failure not a good thing? Failure is how we learn in life……and some of the main issues of the day in education is the ‘dumbing down’ for test scores and political gains.

        Simply stated, when you expect more, failure results. expect less; less probability of failure.

        The real issue isn’t with standards; rather the fact that we have painted failure as a negative so long that we have equated causation as correlation. start to realize that failure is the first step in a lifelong process and change the system.

      • What if someone gave you that speech before binding you hand and foot, Houdini-style, and throwing you into the sea?

        I’ll bet you hope that someone is watching to gauge how well you’re handling the situation and will bail you out before failure kills you.

        The issue is not one of removing failure. It is one of exposing a motive of destruction.

      • Veteran Educator permalink

        Exactly, Mercedes. And the motive is the business plan to privatize public education. We are experiencing the hostile take-over of public schools across our country, based on low test scores, so they can be shut down, privatized and reopened as charters, enabling corporations to raid the nearly $600B per year public education coffers.

        In this Zeitgeist, if failure was really a good option, then state superintendents like Tony Bennett would not be manipulating cut scores selectively, so their favored charter schools don’t look bad. Low scores are only good for the schools that politicians and their corporate sponsors want to close. Few are reporting how the charter schools scored even worse on the new CCSS tests than the neighborhood schools did, because that tarnishes the propaganda image of cash cow charters.

    • Cosmic Tinkerer permalink

      Long gone are the days when learning by trial and error was allowed by politicians and their corporate sponsors. For those of us in large urban areas, for decades already, public education has been all about raising test scores, with ever increasing consequences, so failure is not an option without high stakes attached to it. Thus, cognitive dissonance arises when a teacher supports the billionaire backed CCSS even after reading this blog and viewing the above video.

      Experienced teachers know that, when non-educator politicians and corporations are not hijacking the education bus, effective educators use standards to guide their teaching anyways, as I did even when I taught in private schools and standards were optional. It’s not necessary for standards to be mandated for educators to teach effectively, when they are responsible, intrinsically motivated professionals who are ever seeking to improve their practices, so they can reach and provide appropriate challenges for diverse learners.

      It’s a very sorry state when teachers are unaware of and/or promote the profit motive behind corporate education “reform.” To become educated on this matter, see Education “Reform” with David Sirota:

  7. Teachers'LettersToBillGates permalink

    Good morning Mercedes,

    Thank you for writing this important piece and thank you to Morna McDermott as well. We have made some predictions about Common Core in our blog today “Live from New York: Is Participating in Common Core Asking Children and Teachers to Commit Educational Suicide?”

    We wonder what it will take to get the public out of the “lemming line”? Will it take a massive Opt Out movement? Will teachers, parents, and students unite like they did in the Seattle MAP protest? What are your thoughts?

    We’d love you all to write to Bill and Melinda and share your letters and thoughts with all of us at Teachers’ Letters to Bill Gates at .

    Thank you,

    Susan DuFresne and Katie Lapham,
    Co-authors of Teachers’ Letters to Bill Gates

  8. polly anglin permalink

    Diane, Perhaps you need to rethink your Fordham affiliation. Not public school oriented.

  9. Can you get this formalized so we could make posters out of it??

    • Hi, Karen. I am working with others to try to make a documentary out of it, but as for posters, my suggestion is that you find someone with an artist’s eye and have that person construct a poster based upon the youtube video content.

  10. Michael Moore won’t touch this because its a liberal leftist-Obama Admin- rhino backed “great idea” as is most “lets get the feds involved and spend countless billions on our big fat farce” education based political agendas. It would require him to eat his own young. Since he’s a cowardice venomous blood sucking, fact twisting, diseased vermin more interested in taking sides than actually mending this country he will keep his sticky butt tickling fingers off. This is exactly what extreme partisanship without thought does. It stupefies parents, fractures families and consumes children all in the name of a better future. Want smart well educated kids? Tell the feds to keep their filthy hands off. They destroy everything they touch. No child left behind, common core…its called buying votes not preserving our future.

Trackbacks & Pingbacks

  1. The Intricate Plot That Is Common Core | deutsch29 ← NPE News Briefs
  2. Schneider: Who Created Common Core? | Diane Ravitch's blog
  3. Using Data to Change the World – Federal Take Over of Education | VOICES EMPOWER
  4. The Importance of Common Core for Nationally-pervasive Ed Reform – @ THE CHALK FACE
  5. Meet JANUS: The two-faces of “reform” of education, both equally dangerous | educationalchemy
  6. Women On The Wall Radio show with East Texas Mom – Data Coll… – My Blog

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