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More about Common Core

Published June 08. 2013 09:03AM

Common Core recycles a decades-old, top-down approach to education clearly laid out in a letter sent to Hillary Clinton by Marc Tucker, president of the National Center on Education and the Economy (NCEE), immediately after Bill Clinton's 1992 presidential victory. Marc Tucker has and is now advising the Obama Administration's U. S. Department of Education about how to implement the Common Core Standards and Race to the Top programs.

Marc Tucker and Hillary Clinton apparently had plans to have national standards, national tests, national curriculum, and a national database way back in the 1980's.

The "Dear Hillary" letter, written on Nov. 11, 1992 by Marc Tucker, lays out a plan "to remold the entire American system" into "a seamless web that literally extends from cradle to grave and is the same system for everyone," coordinated by "a system of labor market boards at the local, state and federal levels" where curriculum and "job matching" will be handled by counselors "accessing the integrated computer-based program."

On September 25, 1998, Representative Bob Schaffer placed the 18-page, original "Dear Hillary" letter by Marc Tucker in the Congressional Record. The letter may be accessed on the Internet at: http://www .theroadtoemmaus.org/RdLb/21PbAr/Pl/Tucker-Hillary.htm

This letter clearly laid out a plan "to remold the entire American system" where curriculum and "job matching" will be handled by government functionaries controlled primarily by the President and others in the United States executive branch who form partnerships with selected private corporate companies and foundations. This is now the blueprint for the Common Core plan.

Tucker's plan would change the mission of the schools from teaching children academic basics and knowledge to training them to serve the global economy in jobs selected by workforce boards. Very little in this comprehensive plan has anything to do with teaching school children how to read, write, or calculate.

Tucker's ambitious plan was implemented in three laws passed by Congress and signed by President Clinton in 1994: the Goals 2000: Educate America Act, the School-to-Work Act, and the fifth reauthorization of the Elementary and Secondary Education Act. These laws establish the following mechanisms to restructure the public schools throughout America:

1. Bypass all elected officials on school boards and in State legislatures by making federal funds flow to the Governor and his appointees on workforce development boards.

2. Use a computer database, a.k.a. "a labor market information system," into which school personnel would scan all information about every schoolchild and his family, identified by the child's social security number: academic, medical, mental, psychological, behavioral, and interrogations by counselors. The computerized data would be available to the school, the government, and future employers.

3. Use "national standards" and "national testing" to cement national control of tests, assessments, school honors and rewards, financial aid, and the Certificate of Initial Mastery (CIM), which is designed to replace the high school diploma.

Designed on the German system, the Tucker plan is to train children in specific jobs to serve the workforce and the global economy instead of to educate them so they can make their own life choices.

There's a big difference between educating a child and training him or her to serve the workforce. According to various dictionaries, to educate means to develop the faculties and powers of a person by teaching. Becoming skilled at reading, writing and calculating is essential to developing as a student and as a person and being able to fulfill the American dream. To train means to cause a person or animal to be efficient in the performance of tasks by responding to discipline, instruction, and repeated practice.

Today, many advocates of national education standards embrace these same anti-academic impulses. In a 2011 speech before the National Governors Association, Bill Gates, whose foundation has been Common Core's major funder, called on States to essentially brush aside liberal arts departments and fund public college and university disciplines based on their job-creation potential. This is extremely destructive and dangerous to our fundamental principles of "Virtue, Liberty and Independence." We must return education to parental and local control.

For example, consider the following brief history of education standards in Massachusetts:

In the early 1990's, Massachusetts's student test scores on the National Assessment of Educational Progress and SATs were below average. Then, after a landmark educational reform in 1993, State SAT scores rose for 13 consecutive years. In 2005, Massachusetts's students became the first to score best in the nation in all grades and categories on the National Assessment of Educational Progress. They have repeated this each year since 2005.

The Massachusetts student's educational success hinged on rigorous academic standards, teacher testing and high-quality tests that students must pass to graduate from high school. All were locally developed and implemented. These three factors aligned to produce amazing results.

Unfortunately, Massachusetts dropped its own standards in 2010 to join 44 other States (and the District of Columbia) in adopting the flawed standards of the Common Core, the educational program copyrighted by the National Governors Association and the Council of Chief State School Officers and aggressively championed by the Obama administration.

Compared with Massachusetts' former standards, Common Core's English standards reduce by 60 percent the amount of classic literature, poetry and drama that students will read. For example, the Common Core ignores the novels of Charles Dickens, Edith Wharton and Mark Twain's "Huckleberry Finn." It also delays the point at which Massachusetts' students reach Algebra I - "the gateway to higher math study" - from eighth to ninth grade or later.

"But while property is considered as the basis of the freedom of the American yeomanry, there are other auxiliary supports; among which is the information of the people. In no country, is education so general - in no country have the body of the people such a knowledge of the rights of men and the principles of government. This knowledge, joined with a keen sense of liberty and a watchful jealousy, will guard our constitution and awaken the people to an instantaneous resistance of encroachments."

Noah Webster - 1790

Common Core is clearly unconstitutional. "Nullification" is the "Rightful Remedy"!

To learn more, visit: http://whatiscommoncore. wordpress.com/tag/marc-tucker/ and http://www. nhteapartycoalition.org/tea/2010/03/12/the-roll-out-of-the-marc-tucker-obama-arne-plan/

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