Common Core: The ‘State-led’ Myth
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Since its introduction in 2008, the Common Core State Standards Initiative, or “Common Core” (CCSSI) has been touted as a “voluntary, state led” initiative to adopt a common set of academic standards for all states in the country. As it turns out, the development of Common Core was not state-led, and participation, while technically voluntary, was very strongly coerced.

Our research into the standards themselves is ongoing, but frankly that is a secondary concern. stands opposed to the process by which Common Core has come to be. Its creation and administration have violated constitutional principles and rob parents of the right to oversee the education of their children.

According to a 2012 white paper from the Pioneer Institute and the American Principles Project (upon which this article is based), “Through 2008, the Common Core Initiative was a plan of private groups being implemented through trade associations, albeit trade associations that have ‘official’-sounding names. Since 2007, NGA, CCSSO, and Achieve accepted more than $27 million from the Gates Foundation alone to advance the Standards and the connected data-collection and assessments.”iv

To this day, “the Standards are owned and copyrighted by nongovernmental entities unaccountable to parents and students in the individual states.”

The American Recovery and Reinvestment Act (or “Stimulus Bill”) was enacted on February 17, 2009, and provided the next key component in the drive toward Common Core. Through this bill Congress earmarked $4.35 billion for states that make “significant progress” toward four education-reform objectives.

On February 22, President Obama in a speech revealed his intent to tie all Title I funding to this same Common Core commitment, essentially cutting off nearly all federal education funding to states that opt out. A March, 2010, DOE report stated that this cut off would occur by 2015.

In short, far from being state-led, Common Core was developed in such a way as to keep the states completely in the dark. It was created and is still owned and copyrighted by private organizations with no accountability to the parents or students of any state. Neither are they accountable to the states themselves. The federal government used tax-payer monies to coerce the states into adopting the standards sight-unseen, contrary to the interests of the tax-payers.

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