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The Common Core License: Open for NGA and CCSSO Alteration

April 2, 2014

The so-called Common Core State Standards (CCSS) are being billed as “Preparing America’s Students for Success“; as “important for your child”; indeed, as The American Education Solution:

The Common Core is a set of high-quality academic standards in mathematics and English language arts/literacy (ELA). These learning goals outline what a student should know and be able to do at the end of each grade. The standards were created to ensure that all students graduate from high school with the skills and knowledge necessary to succeed in college, career, and life, regardless of where they live. [Emphasis added.]

What if CCSS doesn’t work?

Who is responsible?

Not the copyright holders, the National Governors Association (NGA) and the Council of Chief State School Officers (CCSSO).

Yes, these two groups formally get the credit for owning CCSS. Indeed, they insist upon it:

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. [Emphasis added.]

NGA and CCSSO insist that CCSS is theirs.

Funny how states across the nation are fighting over “keeping” or not “keeping” a CCSS that states are bound to but do not even really own.

It’s also funny how the NGA and CCSSO organizations “own” CCSS but the American public does not get to know the exact individuals behind such “ownership.”

Cloudy at the inner circle– just like CCSS development.

Despite the exact individuals running this CCSS copyright show, both NGA and CCSSO  insist that if CCSS doesn’t deliver, they cannot be held accountable. According to the license:

THE COMMON CORE STATE STANDARDS ARE PROVIDED AS-IS AND WITH ALL FAULTS, AND NGA CENTER/CCSSO MAKE NO REPRESENTATIONS OR WARRANTIES OF ANY KIND, EXPRESS, IMPLIED, STATUTORY OR OTHERWISE, INCLUDING, WITHOUT LIMITATION, WARRANTIES OF TITLE, MERCHANTIBILITY, FITNESS FOR A PARTICULAR PURPOSE, NONINFRINGEMENT, ACCURACY, OR THE PRESENCE OR ABSENCE OF ERRORS, WHETHER OR NOT DISCOVERABLE.

UNDER NO CIRCUMSTANCES SHALL NGA CENTER OR CCSSO, INDIVIDUALLY OR JOINTLY, BE LIABLE FOR ANY DIRECT, INDIRECT, INCIDENTAL, SPECIAL, EXEMPLARY, CONSEQUENTIAL, OR PUNITIVE DAMAGES HOWEVER CAUSED AND ON ANY LEGAL THEORY OF LIABILITY, WHETHER FOR CONTRACT, TORT, STRICT LIABILITY, OR A COMBINATION THEREOF (INCLUDING NEGLIGENCE OR OTHERWISE) ARISING IN ANY WAY OUT OF THE USE OF THE COMMON CORE STATE STANDARDS, EVEN IF ADVISED OF THE POSSIBILITY OF SUCH RISK AND POTENTIAL DAMAGE. WITHOUT LIMITING THE FOREGOING, LICENSEE WAIVES THE RIGHT TO SEEK LEGAL REDRESS AGAINST, AND RELEASES FROM ALL LIABILITY AND COVENANTS NOT TO SUE, NGA CENTER AND CCSSO. [Emphasis added.]

Got that? NGA and CCSSO get to overtly, directly, and intentionally bill CCSS as “ensuring” “what a student should know”– yet in doublespeak, NGA and CCSSO also maintain that they “make no representations or warranties of any kind.

There’s more.

CCSS and NGA “reserve the right” to alter the terms of the license as they wish:

NGA Center and CCSSO reserve the right to release the Common Core State Standards under different license terms…. [Emphasis added.]

Who is bound to any capricious change that NGA and CCSSO might make in the future to CCSS? According to the license:

ANY PERSON WHO EXERCISES ANY RIGHTS TO THE COMMON CORE STATE STANDARDS THEREBY ACCEPTS AND AGREES TO BE BOUND BY THE TERMS OF THIS LICENSE. [Emphasis added.]

Let us consider some of the former drafts of the CCSS license. Here is an excerpt from the November 24, 2010 version:

Impermissible Uses:

The following are prohibited uses of the Common Core State Standards: (a) revising, including editing; (b) recasting, such as in the form of abridged or condensed versions, in a manner that, in the view of NGA Center and CCSSO, changes the meaning or intent of the Common Core State Standards or any part thereof; (c) sublicensing; (d) sale; (e) claiming of ownership, including copyright; (f) any use that may be prejudicial to the Common Core State Standards, NGA Center, or CCSSO; and (g) any use contrary to the express terms of this License. Notwithstanding the foregoing, the Common Core State Standards may be included in larger works published by the Licensee, even if such larger works are sold or copyrighted by the Licensee. [Emphasis added.]

(The same restriction is also part of the December 21, 2010January 23, 2011, and February 24, 2011 CCSS license versions. My thanks to Suzette Lopez for sending these links my way.)

That restriction would certainly dampen the current push to “rebrand” CCSS or to cosmetically alter CCSS (like Indiana is doing).

However, there is nothing stopping the CCSS copyright holders from mandating 100% CCSS adherence once, say, all current legislative sessions are ended.

That’s right: Laws passed regarding “modifying” CCSS can be made null by a change in CCSS copyright that requires 100% CCSS adherence.

Tricky, but NGA and CCSSO “own” CCSS. Never forget that.

Let’s consider another sinister possibility due to this copyright.

On March 31, 2o14, I wrote a post in which I discussed the issue of CCSS curriculum regulation (including the possibility of a CCSS regulatory agency) on the horizon. It seems that on March 6, 2014, members of the Brookings Institute suggested the following:

The Common Core (meaning NGA and CCSSO) should vigorously enforce their licensing agreement. In the past textbook writers and others have inappropriately claimed that they aligned course content. Supporters of standards based reform should recognize that low quality content could sink the standards and enforce their copyright accordingly.[Emphasis added.]

Let us not forget that proponents of CCSS have repeatedly noted that CCSS is “not a curriculum.” Technically, they would still be able to say as much even if NGA and CCSSO expand their dictatorial reach and require that curriculum be submitted for their review prior to earning some CCSS “seal of approval.”

NGA and CCSSO could alter *their* CCSS copyright to require their approval of curricular materials used in school districts across the nation.

CCSS is all about sameness, for sameness can be mass produced and rake in phenomenal dolares for contemporary education profiteers.

Sameness is important for making money.

Some CCSS proponents, like Springfield, Missouri, school board member Annie Busch, call this sameness “consistency.”

Here is how “consistency” works:

Keep CCSS the same. (If CCSS veers, then enforce sameness via copyright duress.)

Keep the curriculum the same. (This way, the market is not state-specific; instead, the market is nationwide.)

Keep the tests the same. (NGA and CCSSO curriculum “oversight” is only one step away from CCSS test “oversight.)

While we’re at it, have NGA and CCSSO include data collection requirements as part of the CCSS “agreement” with the CCSS “owners.”

Does this sound far fetched?

States that “choose to retain” CCSS (loosely defined since stakeholders have never been in the driver’s seat of this car) will continue to fight off such standardization pressures.

Keep your eyes open for it.

And do not be fooled by articles like this State Impact piece in which Achieve, “a nonprofit that helped develop the standards” (uh huh) tries to tell the public that states with CCSS can make unlimited changes and that the CCSS copyright is to “protect the rights of the states that developed them.”

The “owners” of CCSS (whoever the inner circle “owners” might be) meant for this venture to indefinitely yield fat fiscal returns.

 

 

 

From → Common Core

46 Comments
  1. Hannah permalink

    So legally, those that “own” the standards have their butts covered; therefore, it leave TEACHERS wide open for the ax. Seems that these days, teachers need to have those 2 capitalized / bold-font paragraphs written and signed before any child walks through the classroom door. Oh, silly me, legal protection is only for powerful people with money, not peons like teachers. (sarcasm alert)

  2. Sometimes, Mercedes, I get really depressed by all this. The fix is in, as the saying goes. It is far, far in. I so appreciate your work, but it seems that few people are at all interested in learning the details.

    For a couple years now, I have been posting on Diane Ravitch’s blog about

    how a small group of people got together to create what were called “standards” but were, essentially, a single set of tags for the national software that their funders planned to sell;

    about how Pearson and Gates paid for the development of those “standards” because they wanted such a set of national tags;

    about how, at the same time, Gates invested heavily in a national database for the scores from the computer-adaptive software to be tagged to those “standards”;

    about how that database would be a de facto monopolistic gateway for future U.S. curricula because every curriculum developer would have to be connected to it;

    about how Arne Duncan’s technology blueprint, issued at the beginning of his tenure, was, basically, the Gates/Pearson strategic plan and included the invariant standards, the testing, the national database, and the computer-adaptive software;

    about how Gates has given speech after speech about the run-away costs of education and how those costs could be reduced by replacing teachers with software, vastly increasing class sizes, and introducing standards-based “accountability systems” and computerized instruction from elementary school through college;

    about how the University of Arizona is being used as a lab for that low-teacher-to-student-ratio software model at the college level;

    about how having national standards creates enormous economies of scale for monopolistic providers of K-12 educational materials and was a necessary first step in the disruptive standards-tagged ed tech revolution that Gates and Pearson are engineering, a necessary part of the business plan;

    about how Arne Duncan’s Chief of Staff described all this in a note on the Harvard Business School Blog in which she said that the Common Core was created to “create national markets . . . for products that can be brought to scale”;

    and about how how Gates laid out this whole theory of the coming computer-adaptive educational technology revolution in education many years ago in his A Road Ahead.

    Two years ago, I started writing about how the standards, the national database, the new testing, computer-adaptive educational software, Big Data, VAM, and the new SAT were all part of a single BUSINESS PLAN. I have laid that out over and over and over again.

    Now, here’s what DEPRESSES THE HELL OUT OF ME:

    I first posted a description of that business plan, of how the parts all fit together, on Diane’s blog a couple years ago. I laid it all out, essentially as I have above, WAY BACK THEN. I have posted about this several times a week EVER SINCE.

    I can post on almost ANY other subject, and there will be lots and lots of responses to my posts.

    But whenever I post about this stuff, about the overall business plan, and how the Common Core was an essential first step in that plan, there are almost no responses to what I have written.

    I get the feeling that the business plan being implemented RAPIDLY gets to be too complicated for people to follow, and so they move on. And this on Diane’s blog, where people are more likely to be interested in this stuff than in any other forum.

    Most people are entirely oblivious to this stuff, and they don’t seem at all interested in awakening to it.

    A junta can end a democratic government by force, or it can simply assume the reins while everyone is FREAKING ASLEEP.

    I read pieces in the national press, and the education reporters seem, for the most part, either in the pay of the deformers or happy to sleep. And almost everyone else, well, the moment one mentions the computer-adaptive software revolution that these guys are planning and how it is meant to work, they snooze.

    • Monty J. Thornburg, PhD permalink

      Yes- The fix is in … and, … but, I do hear rumblings of opposition, resistance … from the left and the right politically. Don’t give up hope!

      • All people who care about liberty, about freedom of thought, left, right, and center, will oppose with all their might the creation of the Common Core Curriculum Commissariat and Ministry of Truth. This stuff is really insidious. Here’s what I fear: people are asleep. They have no idea what is going on. The media is owned by the very moguls engineering this stuff, and billions, literally, are being spent to implement this plan, much of that money on PR. The teacher’s unions have both been bought and are serving as propaganda ministries of the Curriculum Commissariat. Their leaders are clueless, for they have no understanding that one of the goals of all this is to dramatically reduce the teacher work force numbers and teacher autonomy.

      • Interestingly, when George Bush Senior first floated the idea of national standards and tests, he was shouted down by folks left, right, and center. He quickly withdrew that proposal. But the folks whispering in his ear kept their dream alive. It became NCLB, and now, Son of NCLB, the Common Core. Common Core had NOTHING to do with improving educational outcomes. It was a business plan implemented to prevent the Open Source textbook phenomenon, gaining force in college publishing, from sweeping K-12 and putting the educational materials monopolists out of business.

    • Sarah Duvall permalink

      I’m listening! I’m interested! Please don’t stop posting! Your post is fantastic, I’m trying to learn what you know. In the political context of our country today, criticism of a business model simply means you are a communist, that is one obstacle. What I am learning from posts like yours and Mercedes’: a handful of people who are NOT stakeholders NOR accountable for the results of implementing CCSS (per Mercedes’ post just now) stand to PROFIT from the implementation of CCSS without taking any RISKS; risks are instead attached to educators who are just doing what we are told to do, without input . . . . What analogy can be drawn to make stakeholders understand what is happening here? I’m still learning, but I’m an educator, and I want to get this because I have a concern that the end result of mindlessly accepting CCSS may have a negative impact on our democracy on a few different levels. I think this situation can be communicated in a way that does not criticize the business model as much as it does the risk factor – this legal language Mercedes posted is incredibly important! Still learning, still trying to make sense of it!! KEEP POSTING please.

      • You ask what analogy can be used to help people understand this. Here’s one: think of what Wikipedia did to the Encyclopedia Britannica.

        That’s what open source textbooks were going to do to educational publishing. And so the publishers rushed to implement standards, databases of responses keyed to those standards, and software to teach to them. Those databases would be proprietary. The software would have to link to them. Open Source books couldn’t forge those links. And so the monopolies would be preserved.

        Ask yourself, why would Gates and Pearson pay to have the Common Core created? Why would Gates do that at the same time that his foundation put out an RFP for edupreneurs to create computer-adaptive software with seed money from him? Why would he invest 100 million in inBloom? Why would he partner with Pearson to create all that new educational software? Why would Pearson do this? Out of the goodness of its heart?

    • Bob, here is how I manage this fight and every fight in my life:

      My faith in Jesus Christ is the bedrock of my existence.

      Therefore, I can approach the storm of corporate reform from a posiiton of rest in Him. I engage in the fight because I am a citizen of this world and should care for it. In the case of the attack on public education, I use my God-given intellect, my research and writing skills, and my love for my country and mankind in general to write posts that might equip and enlighten.

      I write each post, often paying personally via loss of sleep. But I realize that what I deem important I will always pay for in some manner. I am grateful to be able to contribute.

      When I complete a post, I click “submit”; I thank God for the opportunity to have written the post, and I ask Him to use it however He will.

      And then I move on to the next task before me with a good attitude.

      Sometimes I am able to see victory directly conneted to my work, but often, I do not.

      One thing I do know for certain: I am doing exactly what I should be doing in this fight for public education, and that knowledge combined with my certainty of Christ’s love for me makes for a well of peace in my soul that no inventory of circumstance can explain.

      • “I write each post, often paying personally via loss of sleep.”

        I’m the opposite. I lose sleep if I don’t leave a comment, Like a post that fighting the battle, pass it on through Twitter, Facebook, Google+, or LinkedIn, ReBlog, or write a post for one of my Blogs. If I don’t, the issue will get me up at 2 or 3 AM to do it.

      • Jill Van Alstyne permalink

        Mercedes, I am a high school English teacher in Montana and a former newspaper reporter. I have become a fan of your well-researched, direct writing. In my district, we have had autonomy and small class sizes. Now there are changes ahead with common this and common that. I have been advocating for continuing our academic freedom and its related outcome, student engagement. But I am wearing out. Your post on your faith in Jesus is just what I needed to read today. My Christian and moral beliefs are also what give me strength. Thank you for explaining your internal spiritual process.

      • Jill, you are so welcome.

        This past summer, I wrote a book on key individuals and organizations exploiting public education. The book will be published this month and is entitled, A Chronicle of Echoes: Who’s Who in the Implosion of American Public Education.

        The week that I signed the contract to write the book (one year ago this week), I began having pains that I thought were from gall bladder issues. As it turns out, I had a ten-pound tumor in my abdomen.

        Nothing to do but go through. I wrote about my experience in this post:https://deutsch29.wordpress.com/2013/11/28/my-thanksgiving-post/

        It’s an encouraging story. Next time you feel low, you might want to read it.

        Regards–

        –Mercedes

      • Harlan Underhill permalink

        D’Accord.

      • Jill Van Alstyne permalink

        Mercedes,

        Thank you for sharing your challenges and survival story. I will read it tomorrow as I am wiped out and headed for bed. I look forward also to reading your book and perhaps meeting you someday. I hope the next Network for Public Education conference is in the summer so I might be able to go and meet leaders fighting for public education.

        Jill

    • Harlan Underhill permalink

      Quite right, Bob. It IS a business plan, and a computer based one. They do want to set up a monopoly. In the past, progressives tended to frown on monopolies in the business world. Why the tolerance for it in the education world, aside from the push back from Mercedes and Diane and the rest of us here.

      Mainly, in my view, because public education is a government function and government by it’s nature has a natural monopoly. The intrinsic thinking of government bureaucrats (i.e. public school teachers) is monopolistic.

      Those who are not interested in being part of the government monopoly decamp to private schools, to charter schools, and to voucher schools, none of which need to buy in to CCSS (although some Catholic schools are doing so, and even into the testing).

      I see the current struggle within education as one of the “fronts” in the larger cultural war between liberty (freedom) and statism, and public education even without CCSS, would still be monopolistic statism.

      Public education has always claimed to be on the side of freedom, but it really wasn’t. It was always out for its own established position. It’s translation of freedom is to democracy, but democracy meant the ability of the public education staff and administration to get friendly school board members elected who would then give the administrators and teachers exclusive control of the money tax stream.

      Thus, I, as a conservative, have to be skeptical about the public education pushback against the CCSS. In an extreme hyperbole, it’s rather like the U.S.S.R. trying to defend itself against Nazi Germany.

      • This really bothers me, Harlan. I have an ideal of a nation of shopkeepers–small, independent businesspeople–the shopkeeper, the carpenter, the teacher, the tailor. This crony capitalism is not capitalism as conceived by the classical liberal theorists, not at all. These are fixed markets, not free markets. The folks in charge use the free market rhetoric as cover for backroom deals. And the empowering of distant authorities–state socialism–helps to make that possible. So, we’ve seen this confluence of State Socialism and Crony Capitalism that has turned us into a banana republic.

      • In fact, capitalism is not democracy. There is a difference and you may be interested in this essay on the topic:

        http://disposableamericans.net/jims-blog/97-the-difference-between-capitalism-and-democracy

        Capitalism is an economic system. Democracy is not and when the economic system controlled by a small number of billionaires ends up owning the democracy, it’s not a democracy any longer. It’s a oligarchy. The following three paragraphs re from classroom, synonym.com – differences between an oligarchy and a republic.

        Government by the Few

        Oligarchies are a form of government in which a small group of people hold the power. Oligarchs can come to positions of power in a number of different ways, for example through family ties, wealth, royalty or military control. A good example of a modern day oligarchy is that of South Africa throughout most of the 20th century. During this time the white minority, who made up roughly 20 percent of the population, held all of the power in government.

        Government by the Majority

        While oligarchies are governments run by a small group of people, republics are intended to be governments run by the majority of the population. In the republican form of government the people do not vote on legislation directly. However, they elect representatives who they believe will vote on legislation in the way that they would prefer. Therefore, properly functioning republics will pass laws based on what a majority of the population desires.

        Influence of Wealth

        In the true idea of a republican form of government, wealth should not be a determining factor in who controls the government. However, in modern republics tracking exactly how much wealth plays a role in which representatives are elected can be difficult. For example, in any given election wealthier candidates are able to buy more advertisement slots and can therefore gain more influence over the public, and ostensibly receive more votes. For this reason, while the differences in definition between an oligarchy and a republic are quite clear, determining the difference in real life examples is not always so simple.

        Here’s the conclusion of the essay @ “Disposable Americans”: “Capitalists don’t care what the form of government is as long as they are allowed to operate and make a profit. The more profit they can keep the happier they are.

        “Understand, I am not an anti-capitalist. I truly believe that capitalism is the best economic system ever invented for the creation of wealth. The problem is how that wealth is concentrated after it is created. Capitalism works best when the wealth created is fairly and equitably distributed among all of those who participated in its creation. The brilliance of America is the system of laws and regulations created that, over the decades, has overseen that distribution of wealth, and created a strong middle class. Weakening those regulations can only weaken America. Allowing the concentration of wealth among the few at the expense of the many can only lead to war and revolution. Capitalists need to understand that a strong middle class is in their best interest.”

        And yesterday, a ruling by the US Supreme Court dealt the republic we call a democracy a lethal blow.

        Andy Borowitz writing at The New Yorker.com said:

        WASHINGTON (The Borowitz Report)—By a five-to-four decision, the United States Supreme Court today (April 2nd) defended the right of the wealthiest Americans to own the United States government.

        (For more just Google “US Supreme Court allows wealthy to buy government” and you will discover many pieces in the media that have appeared since the 5 to 4 ruling.)

      • Harlan Underhill permalink

        Not quite a banana republic yet, but getting there if we don’t reverse the government in everything trend. Can it be? Yes. Will it be? Not as long as the media and Democrats protect Obama’s back. I keep hoping he’ll do something SO egregious that even true believer Democrats will be awakened and feckless Republicans will grow backbones. The only non-supine spines in the country are Allen West and Ted Cruz.

  3. My AHA moment for all of this came when, not long after I read the copyright notice for the “standards,” I was asked by a client to review Duncan’s technology blueprint. That’s when it all clicked. Gates was putting into motion his plan for the disruptive programmed learning revolution that he wrote about decades ago; he was working with Pearson to do it; and he was going to use inBloom to position himself as the gatekeeper. Click. A strategic plan, with the Common Core State Standards as its essential first step.

  4. The fact is that the emergence of the Internet presented a challenge to the business model that the big educational publishers were following. I have on my hard drive about 80 complete open source textbooks from the Net–ones written by various professors–on geology, law, astronomy, physics, grammar, biology, every conceivable topic in mathematics. How were these purveyors of textbooks going to compete with FREE?

    Answer: Gates’s computer-adaptive ed tech revolution. They could create computer-adaptive software connected to databases that only they had access to. That would prevent them from going the way of Smith Corona and whoever it was that manufactured telephone booths.

    But first, to make that revolution happen, they would need one set of standards.

    That’s the business story, in a nutshell.

    And a WHOLE LOTTA EDUCRATS haven’t figured that out and have been totally PLAYED. They are dutifully working for PARCC or SBAC and attending conferences on implementing the “new, higher standards” and are basically clueless that they have been USED by people with A PARTICULAR BUSINESS PLAN.

  5. The wrinkle in the plan, of course, is that people don’t like the Orwellian database. From the point of view of the monopolists with this plan, that’s a BIG problem. That is, after all, what keeps the real disruption, open source textbooks, from happening–the disruption that would end the traditional textbook business in the way that MP3 downloads ended the music CD business.

    So, Gates and Pearson have to go to plan B there. But the databases are key to that plan. Possible solution: Sell systems state by state, to state education departments. Those systems will simply be the each state’s system, and approved vendors will flow through it. What vendors? Well, the ones with the lobbying bucks and with the money to navigate whatever arcane procedures are created by the states implementing them.

    • Michael permalink

      Bob,

      You are not allowed to get depressed, sorry. Your comments and insight are excellent and the fight is of value even if it seems to be a losing cause which, in any case, is impossible to know.

      We cannot afford the luxury of being depressed. It is self-indulgence.

      People are depressed to the degree they are in denial, or trying unsuccessfully to be. Depressed is an inadequate response to the reality we are living in. No one could possibly be looking at things honestly and not be grief stricken first, and then intensely, passionately motivated as though their lives depended upon it. The lives of millions DO depend upon it.

      We as human beings are problem solvers. We are at our best when we are pulling together cooperatively to face hardship and challenges.

      We are a people suffering under the tyranny of a small number of elites who are inflicting those things on all of us. The ruling class wants it all- Education is but one front.

      Those who went before us successfully fought back against and overcame tyranny, again and again. They did not sit around getting depressed. Were that not true, we would not be here.

      Leave behind hope, and its kissing cousin depression – a pox on both of them. We simply cannot afford that sort of self-indulgence. Too much is at stake.

      Your voice is a strong one- keep going.

    • Michael, you are right.

  6. Back when President Clinton signed the law that did away with the legal protections dating back to the end of the Great Depression, laws that were designed to protect America from another great financial disaster, the crooks learned that they could get the laws changes so they could legally rob us blind.

    The result was the 2007-08 global financial disaster during the presidency of G. W. Bush. This financial disaster that didn’t need to happen caused millions to lose jobs not only in the United States but in other countries. For instance, in China 20 million lost there jobs as factories closed.

    The same thing is happening in public education in the US today. The crooks are applying the same tactics to change the laws, so they may again profit; grow rich and famous while leaving nothing but destruction and suffering behind them.

    • Harlan Underhill permalink

      Please remember, Lloyd, that the push for sub-prime mortgages without normal underwriting safeguards originally came from the Congress as an anti-redlining measure. Then others took advantage of the law to speculate. The banks wouldn’t have done what they did without government pressure. Carter and Clinton as well as Bush signed bills loosening standards. That’s where the mischief began. Everyone did wrong, including Democrats in Congress who ought to have known better, but were seduced by low interest rate loans for themselves from Countrywide. The mortgage industry bought them.

      This from Wikipedia:http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Mortgage_crisis
      “However, economists at the National Bureau of Economic Research concluded that banks undergoing CRA-related regulatory exams took additional mortgage lending risk. The authors of a study entitled “Did the Community Reinvestment Act Lead to Risky Lending?” compared “the lending behavior of banks undergoing CRA exams within a given census tract in a given month (the treatment group) to the behavior of banks operating in the same census tract-month that did not face these exams (the control group). This comparison clearly indicates that adherence to the CRA led to riskier lending by banks.” They concluded: “The evidence shows that around CRA examinations, when incentives to conform to CRA standards are particularly high, banks not only increase lending rates but also appear to originate loans that are markedly riskier.” Loan delinquency averaged 15% higher in the treatment group than the control group one year after mortgage origination.[211]”

      And this as well:http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Countrywide_financial_political_loan_scandal
      “In June 2008 Conde Nast Portfolio reported that numerous Washington, DC politicians over recent years had received mortgage financing at noncompetitive rates at Countrywide Financial because the corporation placed the officeholders in a program called “FOA’s”–“Friends of Angelo”, Countrywide’s Chief Executive Angelo Mozilo. The politicians extended such favorable financing included the chairman of the Senate Banking Committee, Christopher Dodd (D-CT), and the chairman of the Senate Budget Committee, Kent Conrad (D-ND). The article also noted Countrywide’s political action committee had made large donations to Dodd’s campaign.[1] The largest recipient of campaign contributions from Countrywide, though, was Rep. Ed Royce (R-CA), House Financial Services Committee), who has received $37,500 since 1989. [2] Dodd has advocated that the federal government, through the Federal Housing Administration, insure up to $300 billion in refinanced mortgages for distressed homeowners.[3]”

      • This is a perfect example of how billionaire oligarchs are buying our government.

        However, go further back in time before the GOP and the Democrats pushed that bill through Congress, a bill that was then signed by Clinton

        (But even if he had attempted to veto that bill, it had enough support on both sides of aisle to override a Presidential veto—it’s possible that Clinton saw no reason to stir up bad press for a veto that would fail)

        to discover who paid the lobbyists pushing those bills. I’ll bet that search will lead to the few who benefited the most—more billionaires becoming wealthier—for the bill that stripped away financial protection that was designed to protect against another economic disaster similar to the Great Depression, a bill that caused the birth of more billionaires while millions suffered with job losses, lost homes and lost Trillions $.

      • Harlan Underhill permalink

        Quite likely, Lloyd, although most of the pressure, I think, was ideological, of the deny reality sort. Bring back Glass Steagall, I say.

      • But they didn’t bring the 1933 Glass-Steagall Act after the 2007-08 financial disaster, and I doubt that Congress will even attempt it even of the GOP takes the majority in both the House and Senate in the next election.

        Too much money flowing through lobbyists from those who profit because the Glass Steagall Act is not there to stop them from taking chances that might plunge the world back into another economic disaster. The US banks, Wall Street and Hedge Fund Billionaires want to gamble with the future of the world because they will make money no matter what happens.

        I don’t think either party will pull the US back from the brink of becoming a banana republic and for sure it won’t be either extreme, the 17% on the far right and the 14% on the far left.

        If Congress is going to do anything, the 69% between the far right and left will have to grow a backbone and risk the wrath of the billionaires who are supporting the two extremes.

      • Harlan Underhill permalink

        I think, Lloyd, you are right about the titans’ opposition to Glass Steagall. Too much money to made without it. But Elizabeth Warren was pushing it six months ago. I signed a petition. Perhaps the one thing on which I agree with her.

      • I know some will not agree with this but the enemy of my enemy may be my friend.

  7. Laura h. Chapman permalink

    Mercedes, You are doing great work, regardless of the source of your passion, intelligence, and drive. Here are a couple of points.
    1. The Brookings report was written by people who think the CCSS should function like ANSI and ISO standards for engineering and some services. I had a brief email exchange with Darrell West, one of the Brookings authors, who has no knowledge of the origin of the standards, who paid for them, etc. He only cares about them as a being sufficiently fixed in stone for tests that generate data.

    At the Brookings, Darrell M. West is a vice president and founding director of their Center for Technology Innovation. His studies include technology policy, electronic government, and mass media. Here are some direct quotes from Dr. West in our brief exchange by email.

    “I hope to write more in the future about how I wish the CCSS would act more like other standard setting organizations. These other bodies take responsibility to call out bad actors who have instituted policies that don’t align with the standards. I would include in this category districts that compelled teachers to teach in a certain way because of the Common Core.”

    “In regards to your second point. I too am frustrated that we don’t know more about who the CCSS consulted with during the development of the standards. However, I take them at their word that they consulted experts from a variety of fields including numerous teachers.”

    The guy is ignorant and prefers to remain that way. He wants the CCSS to function as an instrument of authoritarian control of “bad actors” who do not comply with the standards.
    In another part of my email, I pointed out the minimum requirements for a legitimate standard-setting process within the framework of American National Standards Institute (ANSI) is way different from that used for the CCSS. That ANSI process involves: 1. consensus by a group that is open to representatives from all interested parties, 2. broad-based public review and comment on draft standards, 3. consideration of and response to comments, 4. incorporation of submitted changes that meet the same consensus requirements into a draft standard and 5. availability of an appeal by any participant alleging that these principles were not respected during the standards-development process. Diane Ravitch picked up on this, saying that the CCSS are not standards. They are “guidelines.”
    2. The Supreme Court ruling yesterday, five to four, opens the door for more purchased elections by billionaires. The discussion on this morning’s NPR program is worth listening to.
    http://www.npr.org/2014/04/02/298374001/supreme-court-strikes-down-pillar-of-campaign-finance-limits
    One incipient trend bears on school board elections. These are being timed so a single ballot will include all local and state elections, with party identifications of candidates unambiguous and ballots adding national candidates as needed. The SC ruling favors the growth of explicitly partisan school boards because billionaires can control the funding and political packaging of candidates for any public office. The Koch brothers are already trying to shape local school board elections in more than one state. This puts a different twist on Bill Moyer’s post, sadly on April fool’s day http://billmoyers.com/2014/04/01/how-to-vote-against-the-koch-brothers/

  8. Harlan Underhill permalink

    Probably the essential motivation. But people are not cars. Henry Ford early in the history of the Model T famously said that the consumers could have any color they wanted as long as it was black.

  9. Mercedes, Lloyd, Laura, Harlan, Monty, Sarah–you all love liberty and freedom of thought, clearly–thank you. I won’t give up this fight.

  10. So far, the standard for success is: we (ccss and nga) will reap the benefits of your effort what ever “it” is that works but are not to blame if “it” doesn’t. This will succeed. Somewhere there are low standards today but that will stifle success in other places lowering the “standard” to mediocrity for others. The only money I have seen spent is returned to cronies in the northeast who teach leadership to younger teachers who were indoctrinated into the system with bigger salaries all the while destroying history and literature teachers careers who before them who were strong armed out of the system just like in the military. These are sad times in this country, if we let this type of generational warfare continue to destroy the foundation of our true wisdom for the sake of political power and greed. “Those people” have milked this for too long and only want more. Tell them no more, not at the expense of our youth and freedom to make good decisions for them. KEEP YOUR MONEY, WE WILL KEEP OUR WISDOM!!!

  11. Michael permalink

    Mercedes,

    Have you seen the PR piece by Marc H. Morial the President and CEO, National Urban League. Here is Part Three which has links to the first two parts:

    National Urban League Endorses Common Core State Standards — Part 3: Study Reveals Overwhelming Confidence in CCSS

    http://www.huffingtonpost.com/marc-h-morial/national-urban-league-end_2_b_5034194.html

  12. NY Teacher permalink

    I just started this at Petition2Congress. It is very easy to sign, copies are automatically sent to President Obama, and your own senators and your representatives. Please take the time to read and the petition entitled: STOP COMMON CORE TESTING. Thank you.

    http://www.petition2congress.com/15080/stop-common-core-testing/?m=5265435

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