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Monday, July 21, 2014

STEVE CATES: N.D. COMMON CORE – LIBERAL CONTROLLED…IN SECRET…BY DESIGN - PART II

Expanded Narrative Documentation of Part I

 

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2012 Presidential Election and Self-Designated Gallup Poll Data:


http://www.gallup.com/poll/167144/wyoming-residents-conservative-liberal.aspx#2 

 

Expanded Narrative:

(1) The proponents of the Common Core State Standards (CCSS) have made it clear for years prior to the construction of the “standards” that they considered federal government expenditure of the 2009 Stimulus moneys as the mechanism to put in place “Systemic Reform” of America’s education system. It is their clear intent to put the infrastructure of side-to-side, top-to-bottom education revolution in place by the promulgation of the English Language Arts and Mathematics standards prior to implementing national standards for the various other subjects.

 

It is explicitly stated in the Smarter Balanced Assessment Consortium, June 2010 publication entitled “Theory of Action an excerpt from the Smarter Balanced Race to the Top Application” that:

  The Smarter Balanced Assessment Consortium (Smarter Balanced) supports the development and implementation of learning and assessment systems to radically reshape the education enterprise in participating states in order to improve student outcomes.

 

In the May 2010 memo entitled “Title I Final Allocations” the author, ND Superintendent Wayne Sanstead uses the word reform five times:

“A Blueprint for Reform” regarding the reauthorization of the Elementary and Secondary Education Act from President Obama was released on March 13, 2010, and can be found at http://www2.ed.gov/policy/elsec/leg/blueprint/index.html on the USDE website.

 

If we look at the legislation passed in the ARRA, we can get a good idea of the scope of changes that will be a part of the reauthorized federal law. Listed below are some of the highlights:

 

What Stays:

 

A Strong Focus on Standards – The new proposal continues to focus on the “common core standards initiative” to establish more uniform academic standards in reading and math to prepare students for college or a career.

Annual Testing – The new proposal keeps the requirement for annual testing in reading and math in grades 3 through 8 and once in high school.

…..

American Recovery and Reinvestment Act – The American Recovery and Reinvestment Act (ARRA) of 2009 provides approximately $100 billion for education, creating a historic opportunity to save hundreds of thousands of jobs, support states and school districts, and advance reforms and improvements that will create long-lasting results for our students and our nation including early learning, K-12, and post-secondary education.

…..

Fiscal Stabilization – In order for states to get their phase two funding under the State Fiscal Stabilization Fund, they must submit an application. In the application, states must provide information in four key areas of education reform:


§  Achieving equity in teacher distribution,

§  Improving collection and use of data,

§  Standards and assessments, and

§  Supporting struggling schools.

…..

Race to the Top State Application – The federal Race to the Top grant is a competitive, $4.35 billion education reform program enacted as part of the ARRA.

…..

To qualify, applicants must address one of the four key areas that are driving President Obama’s education reform agenda: building common standards and assessments, using data to improve student achievement, supporting effective teachers and principals and turning around consistently low-performing schools. The deadline to apply is May 11, 2010. 

 

Recently, the North Dakota Department of Public Instruction has denied that “Common Core State Standards (CCSS) is in fact systemic education reform: ND DPI Denies that Common Core is “Systemic Reform” 

 

      (2) In June of 2010 a Memo of Understanding was signed legally binding North Dakota to a PRIVATE ORGANIZATION named The Smarter Balanced Assessment Consortium. A majority of the Memo of Understanding delineated the “Governance Structure” of Smarter Balanced Assessment Consortium. Most important of all, the state is bound to that consortium in such a manner that North Dakota will have very minimal oversight power over changes in the consortium governance. The current Governance Structure was amended in September of 2013 and is significantly different than the June 2010 Memo of Understanding committing ND.

 

 (3) Based on a review of documents obtained through open records requests it is evident that in early June of 2010, without any apparent investigation, North Dakota was entangled in the massive Smarter Balanced Assessment Consortium education reform of undetermined legal implication and unestablished cost. The application to the U.S. Department of Education of the Smarter Balanced Assessment Consortium for over $160 million that discussed exactly what the consortium would do is dated a few days later than the signatures that bound North Dakota to the consortium. That application is 168 pages long and delineates that the Common Core State Standards are about much, much, much more than simply “standards”.

 

 

From that application:

This system component, central to the design of the Smarter Balanced system, encompasses many different teacher support features. Specific aspects include

 

1.      Model curriculum and instructional modules that are aligned with the CCSS.

…..

 

      (4) Once this “systemic reform” is entirely in place, the money is flowing, the instrumentalities and bureaucracies are in place, the entrenched advocates have a vested financial stake, more subjects will be taught as national “common core”, teachers are retrained, adherent student database structures are up and running, computers and software that needs constant updating, instructional materials in the form of curriculum created to “aligned”, North Dakota will effectively have their education system dominated if not entirely controlled by Smarter Balanced Assessment Consortium.

 

      (5) It is hugely important to understand that because Smarter Balanced Assessment Consortium is a PRIVATE entity based external to the state of North Dakota that they are not subject to North Dakota Open Record Laws. The citizens of North Dakota will send Smarter Balanced Assessment Consortium their taxpayer money, and the consortium will decide what are the content standards (official knowledge) of the assessments (tests) that North Dakota student will be required to know.

 

      (6) The statewide results of the 2012 U.S. Presidential Election and the self identification of political philosophy done to classify states on a liberal/conservative scale by Gallup are used in this analysis as an indicator of the degree of alignment of various Smarter Balanced Assessment Consortium member states to Democrat/Liberal and/or Republican/Conservative public policy. At present, North Carolina is in the process of overthrowing the Common Core State Standards and is not included in the table above, Missouri is withdrawing but that state’s status regarding Smarter Balanced Assessment Consortium is not entirely determined at this time (July 2014) such that Missouri is included in this table but may be omitted soon. Pennsylvania has a status of “Advisory” rather than a direct governance “Governing” status, though, recent evidence indicates a move by the state to Governing status.

 

      (7) Based on the percentage of the Obama election and the Gallup research the margin in the Smarter Balanced Assessment Consortium states there are nine (9) states with solid, long-term Democrat/Leftist predilections (>9.5% Obama support differential) and five (5) states that might be considered “toss-up” with similar tendencies but with recent solidly Democrat/Liberal dominated voting records.

   

     (8) Based on the percentage of Romney election and the Gallup research the margin of states in the Smarter Balanced Assessment Consortium there are six (6) Republican/Conservative leaning states in Smarter Balanced Assessment Consortium, maybe seven (7) if Missouri remains.

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