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Two Page Summary of Concerns and Detailed Explanations

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Expanded Summary - Common Core Concerns
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  SUMMARY OF CONCERNS REGARDING COMMON CORE  Additional, more detailed information is provided on the reverse side of this page. Even more specific information with documentation and footnotes can be obtained by E-Mailing: nocommoncoreinpa@yahoo.com       National controls  will be imposed on educational standards to which assessments (testing)  and curriculum will be tied.   The PA legislature  ( our elected officials ) was completely bypassed  in the decision to implement Common Core in PA.   National control will lessen or eliminate influence of parents and local school boards.     This initiative was not tested  prior to implementation; there is no proof that it will improve educational outcomes.    No complete fiscal analysis  was presented publicly or to our state legislators prior to implementation. Fiscal impacts on state and local budgets ( due to huge unfunded mandates ) are speculative at this time.    Excessive focus on assessments will encourage “ teaching to the test ” –  a practice that is not educationally sound.   Prominent educators disagree as to whether the standards resulting from this transformational, costly initiative are more or less rigorous than previous PA standards.   New convoluted teaching methodologies  are confusing for students and make it difficult for parents to help their children with schoolwork.   There will be a governmental student data collection system  with the potential of intruding into students’ personal lives.   AND LAST, BUT CERTAINLY NOT LEAST  –  THE PRICE TAG! Initial and continuing costs resulting from the mandates of this initiative could prove prohibitive for Pennsylvania taxpayers at a time when we are already facing severe budgetary problems and an exploding pension crisis.  COMMON CORE: BE AWARE! The end result of the Common Core “State” Standards (CCSS) initiative ( recently renamed “PA Core Standards” ) will effectively be the nationalization of the education of our children due to national control of educational standards to which assessments ( testing  ) and curriculum will be tied. Washington offered strong incentives (  AKA   bribes ) for states to adopt these national standards.    States were “ encouraged ” to sign on to the CCSS by the possibility of federal money for adopting the standards.    The opportunity to “opt out” of “No Child Left Behind” (NCLB)  by signing on to the CCSS was another incentive. The unpopular NCLB initiative allowed states to set their own standards; CCSS requires that the “state” standards be aligned with federal standards and approved by the f  ederal government.    A major fiscal concern is that CCSS could lead to Title I monies being withheld if the federal government isn’t satisfied with a state’s compliance to  CCSS standards ( which would hurt low-income schools ). No national or state legislative approval was given before states signed onto the CCSS. The PA legislature was bypassed totally in the 2010 decision to implement CCSS in PA.    Enticed by the “bribes,” 45 states committed to the CCSS, most without having seen them.      The PA State Board of Education (PDE -- an unelected   committee ), “adopted” federally -controlled CCSS in math and English (ELA) on 7/1/2010, with an effective date of putting them into place of July 1, 2013.    In May of 2013, Gov. Corbett issued a temporary  stay of new State Board Common Core regulations. On that same day, the PA Dept. of Education announced that the 7/1/2013 Common Core implementation date remained in full effect. This initiative is currently being implemented in PA. Initial and ongoing costs of the CCSS are likely to be prohibitive for states, with the imposition of additional   unfunded mandates at a time when states like PA are already facing fiscal crises .    Although PA legislators repeatedly requested a complete fiscal analysis prior to implementation, it was not provided  by the PA Board. Both state and local budgetary impacts of the CCSS are speculative since the fiscal impacts of the unfunded mandates are not known with certainty at this time. The Pioneer Institute, a Mass. think tank, has estimated PA’s imple mentation costs to be $650 MILLION over 7 years; notably, a much   higher figure was specified for implementation of the CCSS in PA’s grant application to the Feds for “Race to the Top” funds.   Federal control will ultimately lessen or eliminate influence of parents and local school boards.    Participating states must   align their standards with the national CCSS. They may add standards provided that the additions are no more than 15% of the total. They may not eliminate any of the national CCSS. Students and teachers are being used as guinea pigs in this untested educational experiment. Teacher evaluations are tied to student assessments which will be based on the national standards. This will result in “ t eaching to the test” (a primary criticism of the NCLB initiative).   Indoctrination of students to the political agendas of the “powers -that- be” in Washington is more probable with greater federal control. A governmental student tracking system (data collection)  was mandated by the federal government for states participating in the CCSS.  Major Concern: Who can access these data?  There is nothing in the U.S. Constitution that gives the federal government power over education. ( The U.S. Department of Education was formed under President Carter in 1979 .) Learn from past experience! Remember the “New Math” and   “No Child Left Behind ? ”   Every time a new educational initiative is devised and implemented, educational enterprises and innumerable businesses make huge profits on the backs of taxpayers. Ultimately, parents and taxpayers will wake up and Common Core will go the way of other abject failures such as the New Math and  NCLB, but not before years of educational opportunities for our children have been sacrificed and billions of dollars wasted funding this costly, untested experiment. The implementation of this disastrous initiative must be STOPPED    –   not just renamed   -- before the harm it is doing to our educational process cannot be reversed. Our children must not be used as guinea pigs in an educational experiment! Updated 10/2014 For suggestions on how to STOP COMMON CORE, E-Mail: nocommoncoreinpa@yahoo.com

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