(NaturalNews) Defenders of the Common Core education standards, including GOP presidential contender Jeb Bush and most of the Democratic candidates, are quick to point out that rather than a centralized sneak attack on states’ rights, the standards were themselves the product of states.
Born of an initiative stemming from former Homeland Security Secretary Janet Napolitano during her tenure as Arizona governor and head of the National Governor’s Association, the standards are “nothing short of an exhaustive and collaborative years-long effort aimed at raising the achievement levels of students across the country,” according to U.S. News & World Report.
In other words, states themselves and not the federal Department of Education came up with them.
That might be true, but to insist that the federal government has played no role in pushing these standards is simply false. The same is true for a number of large corporations.
As noted by The Daily Sheeple, angry teachers and frustrated parents were still reeling from the Bush-era education boondoggle known as “No Child Left Behind” when suddenly and from nowhere, “Common Core” appeared.
As reported by Dr. Susan Berry writing at Breitbart News, the Department of Education’s fingerprints are all over this push.
In a remarkable admission, the former director of the Race to the Top (RttT) competitive grant program and chief of staff to U.S. Education Secretary Arne Duncan says the federal government “forced” full support for adoption of the Common Core standards from each state by requiring its governor, chief state school officer, and head of the state board of education to sign off on the grant application.
Joanne Weiss, who now works as an “independent education consultant,” wrote in the Stanford Social Innovation Review, an academic publication, that the RttT grant program – funded via President Obama’s 2009 trillion-dollar slush fund program (misnamed the “Stimulus” bill) under the guise of helping low income, poor-performing schools – “offers lessons in high-impact grantmaking that are applicable not only in educationbut also in other fields.”
She further writes:
The Department of Education runs about 150 competitions every year. But among those programs, Race to the Top stands out. It had more than $4 billion to allocate to competition winners, and it attracted the participation of nearly every state in the union. It arguably drove more change in education at the state, district, and school levels than any federal competition had previously been able to achieve.
The leader of RttT from its beginning, Weiss goes on to explain that a federal agency had essentially made the decision to take advantage of states’ poor financial position during the recession.
“[S]o the large pot of funding that we had to offer was a significant inducement for states to compete,” she wrote, adding the surprise number of 46 states willing to agree to adopting Common Core was tied to “our decision to leverage the spirit of competition.”
Competition, however, is a much different concept than “bribery” or even “blackmail,” yet her essay pretty much admits the Department of Education manipulated cash-strapped states into accepting the standards.
Writing at The Pulse 2016, Jane Robbins, senior fellow at American Principles in Action, argued that Weiss’ admission proves the Education Department “was actively coercing states, in blatant violation of constitutional principles of federalism, from the earliest days of Common Core.”
Further, she told Breitbart News that the admission discounts any 2016 presidential contender’s claim that Common Core was purely a product of the states.
“The former director of the Race to the Top program has admitted a remarkable level of coercion in ‘persuading’ states to adopt federally preferred education policies — Common Core standards, aligned assessments, accountability systems, and personnel policies,” said Robbins. “Not only did the states have to toe the line in all these areas to have a shot at the much-coveted federal money, but they had to alter their own decision-making structures to comply with federal dictates.”
She went on to point out that the Constitution does not give the federal government any role in local education.
Written by J. D. Heyes
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