The Bill and Melinda Gates Foundation largely funded the standards; the US DOE sealed the deal with Race To The Top Grants that came from the Obama administration’s Stimulus. [For more, read: A brief audit of Bill Gates’s Common Core Spending.]
The CCSSO received millions from the Gates Foundation alone to create and promote Common Core.
The most recent grant was for $6,148,749 and was used to support the CCSSO’s “strategic plan”. For over $6.1 million, that’s one helluva plan?? Try Googling that term: “ CCSSO 2014-2015 Strategic Plan”. Did you find a copy of it? Try the CCSSO site. Did you find it?
Media Blackout of Dr. Atkinson’s CCSSO Ties
To date, no local media reports on the Common Core standards or the debate in North Carolina surrounding the standards have bothered to mention that NC’s Superintendent is also the President of the CCSSO. This is a clear conflict of interest, yet not a word has been said about it in the press.
Dr. Atkinson just gave the “State of the States” address — chock-full of ‘career and college ready’ propaganda and warm, fuzzy buzzwords.
From the press release:
“No nation has ever put forth the goal of career and college readiness for all students,” she said in prepared remarks. “Public schools today are shaping the future of our states and the entire country. So yes, career and college readiness for all students is an ambitious goal, and it is imperative that we do whatever it takes to reach it.”
It’s “imperative” that “we do whatever it takes to reach it”. Why didn’t she just say ” by any means necessary” outright?
Like shutting down parents who question Common Core? Accusing them of ‘bearing false witness‘ against Common Core?
Like sabotaging any opposition to the standards with smear campaigns?
Like hamstringing the funding for the Commission to replace Common Core by tying it to the controversial coal ash debate?
Like working behind the scenes and out of the public eye with unelected and unaccountable groups to keep the standards in place either as Common Core or under a new name?
Like slow walking Freedom of Information Act requests for documentation related to the standards? Where’s the transparency?
From the prepared remarks, Atkinson stands by the Common Core talking points that have been pushed since the beginning and of which still have no proof to back them up:
Whether you are for or against the Common Core, we can agree that most states and students are better off than they were before. The introduction of the Common Core pushed states to more closely examine the standards that they had in place and to ask, ‘Are these standards truly aligned with what graduates will be expected to know and do in the 21st century?’
For many, the answer was no. Even for the states that have moved to another set of standards – whether it was Common Core or a similar set of standards – their new standards are still higher and better aligned with college and career readiness than the standards they had before.
The majority of states are now holding all students to a higher learning standard, and this is a victory for public education in our country.
Atkinson repeatedly mentions the federally funded NAEP and, frankly, uses it like some kind of shield throughout the speech. The repeated use of NAEP as some kind of validity marker ignores that the NAEP has been considered ‘fundamentally flawed’ for a long time. See here, here and here.
In 2007, a ‘validity’ study of the NAEP math assessment was done… by the American Institutes for Research (AIR). That report included one of the three main Common Core math writers – Phil Daro. Another Fun fact: AIR is now responsible for the Common Core tests for the Smarter Balanced Testing Consortium.
In the press release, Atkinson also urges the reauthorization of ESEA — of which the states have to participate in the NAEP in order to obtain Title 1 funds. So, of course the CCSSO’s President is going to use the NAEP as a shield. Money. It’s all about the money.
So — Will the NC media report Atkinson’s CCSSO connection now? Will they ask how much it costs NC tax payers for the CCSSO membership dues? Will they question the conflict of interest here?