Hogwash from Fordham Institute – Common Core Standards
Taxpayers of America: I hope that you are alert as you read this article from Florida entitled “Common Core Standards: Boon or Boondoggle for Schools” (posted below).
Some 45 states have signed on to implement the Obama administration’s Common Core Standards (CCS) in public schools K-12 even though the Common Core Standards have never been piloted, are not internationally benchmarked, have been pushed and shoved by Bill Gates who obviously has vested interests for Microsoft in mind, and were basically written by the Obama administration’s Beltway crowd whose main objective is to implement the social justice agenda into the minds of our children.
Obama’s social justice agenda includes an emphasis on subjectivity, feelings, emotions, beliefs, multiculturalism, political correctness, social engineering, globalism, evolution, sexual freedom/contraceptives instead of abstinence, environmental extremism, global warming, victimization, diversity, an acceptance of the normalcy of the lesbian/gay/bisexual/transgender lifestyle, redistribution of wealth, a de-emphasis on factual knowledge, the Constitution, Bill of Rights, Founding Fathers, and American exceptionalism.
Now that taxpayers and parents across the country are finally waking up to the dangers of CCS and to the huge cost involved in the implementation and administration of this CCS boondoggle, the Fordham Institute came back yesterday with its bogus report. “States could actually save money.” (Note: The Fordham Institute is heavily funded by Bill Gates.)
One of the things that makes this Fordham report a bunch of hogwash is this statement found toward the end of the article: “We did not include infrastructure costs for technology in our study. We consider this the cost of doing business in the 21st century.”
This means the Fordham report did not figure in the cost to local taxpayers of multi-media technology devices for every single student K through 12, the cost of maintaining those devices, updates, tiers of technology support staffers, the installation of expensive servers, delivery systems, constant teacher training on those technology devices, and hundreds of other unexpected costs for states’ taxpayers to cover in order to digitize every classroom in every public school in those 45 states.
The CCS assessments are not just given once a year as inferred by the Fordham report. The Report tries to make it sound as if students will be given technology-based CCS assessments only at the end of the school year. That is not so. The assessments are to be ongoing. They are to be administered constantly in what is called summative (yearly) and formative (daily/weekly) assessments. They will rely heavily upon subjective scoring, computer-adaptive technology, the spiraling of curriculum/benchmarks given continuously, and artificial intelligence software. All will have to be delivered through technology.
These assessments will be scored and transmitted continually through a national database (undoubtedly Microsoft-based), and intrusive student and teacher identifiable data will be sent to Washington, D. C. for dissemination to agencies as they so choose.
If you want to get an idea of how expensive this will be, just check with your local school administrators to see how much money they presently spend on the few techie devices they presently maintain. Then extrapolate that amount to get an idea of what the total cost would be for every single student and educator in your school district to be provided and supported continually with multi-media, new generation techie devices that operate each day without crashing.
Also, you might want to ask the teachers in your school district about the number of well-qualified tech support staffers who are now in place in your local schools. Most are sadly lacking. Where are all of these tech support staffers going to come from to keep the millions of public school technology systems constantly updated and connected efficiently to the CCS national database where students’ assessments tied to the CCS curriculum must keep flowing without interruption? What happens in the classroom when the CCS-controlled curriculum and assessment system crashes for a day, a week, a month?
Those of us who pay federal income taxes have unfortunately already paid for the development of the actual Common Core Standards documents, but the state and local taxpayers will be stuck with the cost of implementing and administering the program.
For the Fordham report to have left out the reality of those costs is disingenuous, and it should make any logical-thinking person furious that Obama/Fordham/Gates think we are that stupid to fall for their rhetoric.
This federal overreach into the public school curriculum is not only illegal but it will cost taxpayers billions. The worst part is that we have no guarantees – no independent research, no piloted evidence — that students’ academic achievement will actually be raised one whit by the Common Core Standards. CCS could easily be a mechanism to dumb down America even further and to indoctrinate this and future generations into the social justice agenda.
TO LEARN MORE
If you really want to know what is at stake by implementing the Common Core Standards, please read my article posted on 5.30.12 entitled “The Gathering Storm in Education.” — http://libertylinked.com/posts/9892/the-gathering-storm-in/View.aspx
3.20.12 — Jim Stergios – “National Education Standards, a Confidence Game?” http://boston.com/community/blogs/rock_the_schoolhouse/2012/03/national_education_standards_a.html
January 2012 — Lindsey Burke, Heritage Foundation, Education Report – “Common Core Standards Aren’t Cheap” – January 2012
11.28.11 – Rachel Sheffield, The Heartland Institute — “Implementing Common Core Standards Could Cost States $30 Billion” — http://news.heartland.org/newspaper-article/2011/11/28/implementing-common-core-could-cost-states-30-billion
Cost of Common Core: Boon or Boondoggle for Schools?
By: KENRIC WARD | Posted: June 8, 2012 3:55 AM
Florida’s implementation of “Common Core standards” for math and English Language Arts could cost taxpayers as much as $780 million –could, but shouldn’t, says a national education think tank.
As a follow-on to No Child Left Behind, the “Common Core” is the latest effort to lift educational standards by aligning K-12 curricula across America. A total of 45 states, including Florida, have signed on.
With states and districts spending money on new textbooks and professional development, the attendant costs could range from less than zero to some $12 billion nationally, estimates the Thomas B. Fordham Institute.
Florida’s added costs could run as high as $780 million, Fordham forecasts. But the state could actually save $67 million if it took a more conservative tack.
“Using a ‘business as usual’ approach, Florida would spend $780 million — a net increase of $530 million over what it’s spending now [for related instructional activities],” said Amber Winkler, Fordham’s vice president for research.
Alternatively, the state could adopt a “bare bones” strategy and spend $67 million less than current outlays.
The “bare bones” plan, as described in a Fordham report, utilizes an all-online approach, open-source instructional materials, annual computer-administered tests, and online professional development via webinars and modules.
“We don’t advocate that,” Winkler said.
Instead, Fordham recommends a hybrid model that combines business as usual with some of the digital components of the bare-bones regimen.
Under the hybrid plan, Florida would expend $318 million, or $68 million more than current outlays.
Winkler is quick to caution that all these figures are estimates, but she says one thing is perfectly clear: “States and districts have options without breaking the bank.”
Advocates of the Common Core standards point to potential efficiencies via cross-state collaboration. And if the program works as planned, fewer students will require expensive remediation programs in college.
Diane Leone, a Jacksonville area resident who has served on various education boards for the past dozen years, said Florida spent $123 million in remedial instruction for incoming college students in 2007-2008.
“The numbers have only gone up from there,” Leone says.
She is encouraged that the Common Core assessments are designed to reduce the need for remediation.
“The governors are concerned about it, so it’s in there,” Leone said.
Jamie Mongiovi, a spokeswoman for the Florida Department of Education, said the state will spend $3.5 million in initial employee training at Common Core State Summer Institutes.
She said the money will come out of federal Race to the Top funding, as well as money received from the Partnership for Assessment of Readiness for College and Careers (PARCC).
Mongiovi said Florida has not completed its overall cost projections for the Common Core, but she said the down payment will be well worth it.
“The Common Core State Standards present a tremendous opportunity for Florida to deliver education in innovative ways that are more effective and may produce cost savings to districts since states are currently collaborating and sharing resources for professional development, assessments and instructional materials in ways that were previously not possible,” she said in a statement.
“The improved rigor and quality of the standards and the opportunity for collective purchasing and open sharing is rapidly driving up the quality of what is being produced and ultimately purchased.”
Critics — who come from both the left and right ends of the political spectrum — aren’t so sure.
Diane Kepus, a conservative activist in Central Florida, asks, “Why is the federal government so intent on controlling the education of our children, and with something that is going to be harmful to them, just as NCLB and teaching to a test has been? This is not changing.”
Kepus believes that the bottom line for Common Core is “hiring more people for whole new departments.”
Beyond that, Kepus and others have questioned the seemingly philanthropic motives of the Bill and Melinda Gates Foundation, which has contributed more than $100 million toward setting up the Common Core.
“His money has given legs to the National Governors Association and the Council of State School Officers,” Kepus says.
Gates, the founder of Microsoft, has become a strong advocate for education-reform initiatives, including merit-pay programs for teachers. This hasn’t gone over well with the teachers’ unions or some members of the rank and file.
“They’re establishing the conditions for a dynasty of Microsoft domination of public and private institutions, with public capital flowing into his control,” said one teacher, who declined to be identified.
Fordham maintains that the Common Core — if sensibly funded — can bring cost-effective improvements.
In their report, Patrick J. Murphy of the University of San Francisco and Elliot Regenstein of EducationCounsel LLC, point out that since states already invest billions annually in professional development, testing, textbooks and other expenses in connection with existing standards, “proper forecasting” of Common Core costs should “net out” the sums that states would spend anyway.
Winkler said taxpayers should, at some point, expect their states to specify the costs involved in Common Core, and to be leery of initiatives that demand costly “high-tech” purchases.
“We did not include infrastructure costs for technology in our study. We consider this the cost of doing business in the 21st century,” Winkler said.
Mongiovi predicts that instructional improvement will come along with the deal.
“The Common Core standards are driving the marketplace as states are collectively demanding higher quality and more rigorous educational materials. The
marketplace is responding — this will only improve with time,” she said.
Contact Kenric Ward at firstname.lastname@example.org or at (772) 801-5341.