Common Core: An Assault on States’ Rights.

It states in the 10th Amendment, “The powers not delegated to the United States by the Constitution, nor prohibited by it to the States, are reserved to the States respectively, or to the people.”

The Common Core State Standards Initiative (CCSSI) is a set of national K-12 educational standards. Proponents of Common Core want you believe it’s led by the states, but it isn’t.

In 2008, Common Core Initiative was developed by the National Governor’s Association (NGA), headed at the time by former Arkansas Governor Mike Huckabee and the Council of Chief State School Officers (CCSSO.)  They worked with Achieve, Inc. to develop the standards.

The three organizations, funded by the Bill and Melinda Gates Foundation, outlined their vision of education in a report called ‘Benchmarking for Success.’ These benchmarks include a collective influence to make sure textbooks, digital media, curricula, and assessments align with international standards, and that states revise policies for recruiting, preparing, developing and supporting teachers and school leaders.

Immediately after the publication of ‘Benchmarking for Success,’ the NGA and CCSSO began an initiative, the CCSSI to develop academic standards that claimed to be: Common — the standards would be the same across all states and in all grades; Core — they would address core academic subjects only (math and ELA); State — the standards would be state developed and implemented; Standards — the Initiative would address standards only, not nationalized curricula or a national test.

Through 2008 and into 2009 the standards had not yet been completely drafted. However, the proponents of the Common Core Initiative were determined to get the states locked into the standards as quickly as possible.

In February 2009, the American Recovery and Reinvestment Act (the Federal Stimulus act) provided an earmark of $4.35 billion to the states to get them to commit. A month after the Stimulus bill was passed, the Department of Education announced the Race to the Top — a competition of the states to qualify for the money.

It was conducted in two phases:

Phase 1 was rolled out on November 1, 2009. Applying states were required to show their commitment to Common Core.

This meant the states had to commit to implementing the standards to be considered for the grant.

This was expected without ever seeing a draft of what the standards were. This phase had a due date of January 19, 2010.

Forty states plus Washington, D.C. adopted Common Core in Phase I.

In March 2010, two months after states were required to show their commitment to Common Core to be eligible for Race to the Top funding, the NGA and CCSSO released a draft of the Common Core Standards. Also in March, the Department of Education announced the winners of Phase I grants – Delaware and Tennessee.

In April, 2010 Phase II of the Race to the Top grant was rolled out. This phase required applicant states to show proof of steps they had taken to follow requirements.

This phase had a deadline of June 1, 2010. On June 2, 2010, a day after the deadline for Phase II, the NGA released the final draft of the K-12 Common Core Standards.

States were then given an extension of the deadline until August 2, 2010, to amend their submissions to show evidence they had adopted the standards. By Phase II, forty-seven states (including Washington, D.C.) had adopted Common Core.

The winners of Phase II funding were announced August 24, 2010: D.C., Florida, Georgia, Hawaii, Maryland, Massachusetts, New York, North Carolina, Ohio and Rhode Island.

If a state applied for funding under the Race to the Top grant program, they were committing to Common Core Standards whether they were awarded funds or not. Due to the time constraints of the initial phase (which required the commitment to Common Core) the states were signed on to the standards either through their Departments of Education or their governor; meaning they were not voted on by state legislatures.

The Race to the Top funds includes funding for collection of ‘longitudinal data.’ This  includes giving your child an identifier, following their school enrollment history, income, number of people in a household, birth dates, death dates, age, sex, race, sexual preference, occupation, religious and political beliefs.

Finally, through the January 2012 expansion of the Family Education Rights and Privacy Act (FERPA) data collected can be shared with more organizations than previously allowed, including the Internal Revenue Service. Also under this act, disclosures of personal and student identifying information, including IDs and e-mail addresses can be passed along.

In short, education is not a power delegated to the federal government. It is a power of the states and of the people.

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About Tom Darby

French-born, American-raised, U.S. citizen, husband, father, friend, veteran, and writer.
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