J.R. Wilson: Common Core and the Vehicle of our Future

by J.R. Wilson

Common Core: The Vehicle of Our Future?

Have you ever bought a new car?  Was your experience with the dealerships and salespeople enjoyable and pleasant?  Did you experience buyer’s remorse?

When you buy a car you are buying something that will reliably deliver you to your destination.  Your state adopted the Common Core State Standards (CCSS) and you, as a taxpayer, are in the process paying for something you will never own. The CCSS will not get our students college and career ready, insure student academic success, provide a secure future, or protect our liberty.  A new car will get you to your destination while the CCSS is an expensive vehicle that will drive our country further down the road of mediocrity.

Car Common Core State Standards
Shopping You decide what car best fits your needs.  You shop around and find the best car for your money. You get to test drive the cars of your choice to help you make your decision. You had no say in these standards.  They are not the best standards around.  For less money, you can get better standards that have been tested. You didn’t get to test these standards – or see any testing of these standards – before they were bought for you with your tax money.

 

Decision to Buy You make the decision to buy, or – just as important – to not buy. You bought these standards though you may not know it.  You bought these standards even if you protested their purchase.  The decision to buy, or to not buy, was never up to you.

 

Purchase You are buying a car.  You get to select and decide the make, model, package, and options you want. You don’t know what you’re buying. The Common Core began with math and language arts standards. Then it included tests. Then it included other subjects, including social studies, science, and civics. Then it included curricular materials. Then it included a data system. Then it included an early learning program. Then it included public colleges. All of this is prescribed, and none of this is proven.

 

Selling Points Most car salesmen are knowledgeable about the features of the car.  Buyers still need to be responsible and do their own fact checking. Many of the selling points used to sell these standards sound wonderful, but in truth are deceptive.  Be responsible and do your own fact checking.  The deeper you dig, the more dismayed you may become.

 

Costs You know exactly how much the car will cost you once you have settled on a price.  Once the car is paid for it is yours. You have no idea how much these standards are going to cost you as a taxpayer. Across the country, it will be at least $70 billion. Those who made the decision to buy these standards did so without a true feasibility and cost analysis.  The costs will be ongoing. The public does not own the Common Core Standards or tests and has no ability to improve or change them.

 

Safety & Quality Control The car has to meet required safety standards.  The automaker has put the car and many of its components through a lot of testing and checks to make sure the components work well together. There are no required safeguards to protect our children’s academic success, their future, and our liberty.  No pilot testing was done with these standards.  It is unknown whether they will reach the desired results or how well the various components will work together. It is unknown how anyone will be held accountable for outcomes. Much is still unknown about how these initiatives came together, and who will profit from them.

 

Insurance You can get insurance for your car when you buy it. No insurance is available although you still have to pay premiums.  There is no insurance protecting our children’s academic success, their future, or our liberties.

 

Maintenance You can take the car to the dealer or any other auto mechanic. If you don’t like the car, you can get rid of it and buy a different car. There is no dealer to take the standards to for repair.  Modifications can only be made by the owners (two non-government entities) with approval of 49 states and territories. No one will ask for, nor welcome, input from parents, voters or taxpayers. You will not be able to change the standards if you don’t like them. The federal government now prescribes these standards via RTTT and NCLB waivers.

 

Warranty Most cars come with a warranty.  There is also the opportunity to purchase extended warranties.

 

No warranty is available.
Lemon Laws There are some protections provided by state and federal lemon laws.

 

There are no lemon law protections.
CarFax Records of maintenance and repairs will be kept in a database with the information available to others.  CarFax. Based on these standards, our children will be assessed.  The assessment data along with other data will be compiled in a state longitudinal data system with possible unlimited intergovernmental access to the data, and without parent knowledge or permission.  KidFax?

 

J.R. Wilson is a parent and an education advocate with 25+ years experience in public education as an elementary teacher, curriculum consultant, staff development coordinator, and principal.

 

Wednesday
09 5, 2012
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