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Just say no to Common Core

Published May 18. 2013 09:04AM

On May 15, 2013, Carolyn Dumaresq, Deputy Secretary for the Office of Elementary and Secondary Education in the Pennsylvania Department of Education, testified before the Senate Education Committee Public Hearing on Pennsylvania's Common Core Standards. Deputy Secretary Dumaresq's testimony (as it had on May 14th before the House Education Committee meeting on "Common Core") included the following:

"Let me be clear in addressing some of the misinformation I have heard. The Common Core is not a federally-driven initiative. It does not take away state control over standards, nor does it take away local control in reaching those standards. It does not mandate curriculum from either the federal or state level. It does not require reading lists or other mandated texts. It will not lead to a mining of massive data on students, their parents and families' personal information. It will not cost the Commonwealth taxpayers hundreds of millions of dollars to implement. Finally, it will not 'dumb-down' Pennsylvania's educational process."

Official documents dating from January 15, 2009, by those in the Pennsylvania or United States government and from elsewhere, prove that all of the statements by Deputy Secretary Dumaresq presented herein above, and several others in her May 14th and 15th testimony, are FALSE!

The facts prove without question that the Common Core Standards (CCS) will:

• Greatly advance National control of nearly all school standards_.

• Require at least $645 million to implement them in Pennsylvania_.

• Put math standards for Pennsylvania's students two years_ behind their peers in high performing countries_.

• Replace many Classical English literature studies with reading of product instruction manuals

• Give parents and school boards little recourse_ to influence content or standards_

• Create a massive federal student and teacher tracking _system (aka Common Data Base).

• Violate the U.S. Constitution's 10th Amendment_ reserved authority concerning education.

While the current Common Core Standards are limited to English and Math, it is obvious that they will expand to include all subjects in coming years.

In order to qualify for federal funding, the States needed to adopt Common Core sight unseen. An added incentive to adoption of CCS was that participating States would be exempted from many of the more onerous provisions of George Bush's "No child left behind" program.

The recommendation by Pennsylvania's Board of Education to adopt the standards was an end run around the General Assembly. This was completed with no public hearings and has been unknown to most of our legislators until recently.

There is no evidence to justify a single standard for all students, given the diversity of interests, talents and needs among students. A one-size-fits-all model assumes that we already know the best standard for all students; it assumes that one best way for all students exists. Of course none of these assumptions are true. History and the law reject the CCS.

Unfortunately, Governor Corbett is actually proud to implement Common Core. His Secretary of Education, Ron Tomalis, recently stated: "Governor Corbett believes these changes will ensure that Pennsylvania's students are prepared to succeed in higher education as well as the increasing rigorous requirements of our workforce".

"Common Core" is the latest and most dangerous national education standards reform. It follows a long string of efforts started in 1892 by the National Education Association and others to create uniform nation-wide education curriculum and administration standards.

The National Education Association (NEA) was formed following the War Between the States by the merging in 1870 of the National Teachers' Association (NTA), started in 1857, with the American Normal School Association, the National Association of School Superintendents, and the Central College Association. Today, the NEA is the largest professional organization and the largest labor union in the United States.

In 1892 the NEA formed a ten-member committee to address the inconsistencies of the "new era" educational systems in the States by establishing a national standard curriculum. This "Committee of Ten" was composed mostly of educators and was chaired by Charles William Eliot, the president of Harvard University. John Dewey, a 32 year-old philosopher, psychologist and Darwinian humanist, was selected to lead the implementation of the new national progressive education system. Dewey was also an early developer of the philosophy of pragmatism, one of the founders of functional psychology and a major representative of liberalism in American society of his time.

Charles William Eliot had personally selected Christopher Columbus Langdell to be Dane Professor of the Harvard Law School in 1870. Langdell, a humanist and "Fabian Socialist" (like John Dewey), aggressively changed how law was taught by implementing his "case method" shortly after arriving at Harvard. His method spread quickly. Since the early 1900's, the "case method" has been used/required at all American law schools.

The fundamental problem with today's "Common Core Standards" and all of its previous National Education programs/efforts, such as "The Committee of Ten" results, the creation of the US Department of Education, "Outcome Based Education", "No Child Left Behind", "Race to the Top" and many more, is that they are all unconstitutional. There is absolutely no authority delegated in the Constitution for the United States of America for the federal government to be involved with education, period! Like so many activities and expenditures by those in the United States government, Common Core, at a minimum, violates the Tenth Amendment of the "Bill of Rights" which states: "The powers not delegated to the United States by the Constitution, nor prohibited by it to the States, are reserved to the States respectively, or to the people."

The education of children is an absolute God-given right of their parents. This right is secured, guaranteed and protected by the State Constitution and the federal Constitution. Any authority concerning education that people may delegate to government is limited to local and State governments. Since the United States government has no authority over education; fraud, deceit, misrepresentation and/or bribery (the giving or the withholding of funds) is used by those in the United States government to get the States to implement an unconstitutional program, while still retaining all or most of the control over the program.

The right and lawful action for all those in Pennsylvania's government is to strictly follow their constitutional "oath of office". Reject "Common Core" totally! Return any and all funds taken from the United States government to implement and/or operate "Common Core" and any other similar educational programs and materials.

Governor Corbett and each State Senator and Representative must now take every necessary lawful action to totally nullify "Common Core" in Pennsylvania. Just say NO!

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