Public Service Announcement
October 28, 2013
Kim Fink, Common Core Committee Chairman for Coastal Carolina Taxpayers Association (CCTA), recently made a 5 minute speech to the Craven County Board of Education on behalf of CCTA. Kim packed an enormous amount of information into 5 minutes, and says she was able to do it by “talking fast and not breathing.” Kim’s talk is reprinted here…
My name is Kim Fink, and I am representing Coastal Carolina Taxpayers Association and I am the committee chair investigating Common Core.
We are fundamentally opposed to Common Core Standards.
Our reasons include:
It’s not legal; Congress has passed three separate statutes that prohibit the Department of education from supervising, directing or controlling curriculum. By using the CC standards and the associated national testing to define the curriculum, they are violating all 3 statutes.
Inception of Common Core: In 2009, the Secy. Of Education, Arnie Duncan gave the Dept. of Education 435 billion dollars of stimulus money that was used to fund the Race to the Top competition. Another incentive to the states was a waiver from the No Child Left Behind program. To compete for this grant money, states had to agree to adopt Common Core, sight unseen. How did this happen? The application for the grants was released in November of 2009. Completed applications were due in 2 months, January of 2010. I remind you that at this time our state was desperate for money for education. Our legislators were not in session during November and December so the decision to apply for the grant was made by the Governor and state board of education. The standards were released in March of 2010, 2 months AFTER applying for the grant. Kind of reminds me of Obamacare, you had to pass it in order to see what was in it. In June of 2010 the final draft of the Common Core Standards was released and the school board had until August for their final vote, NC state board of education voted unanimously on June 2, 2010 to adopt Common Core. This decision was made during summer vacation with little involvement from local districts, principals, teachers or parents. According to the John Locke Foundation, there was only one NC participant in developing Common Core, Professor Jere Confrey of the NC State University College of education. These standards were adopted statewide without being field tested. There is no evidence to suggested that Common Core Standards are successful
Standards versus curriculum argument: Proponents say the CC standards are not the curriculum; the states are free to change the curriculum. This is misleading as the standards drive the curriculum. The curriculum is merely the details of teaching the standards. The National tests will align with the standards, which will dictate the curriculum so students will be able to pass the tests. When states sign on to CC they have agreed to the standards plus assessments, those tests will be the enforcement mechanism. David Coleman is the primary author of the English Language Arts portion of the Common Core, and is also the new President of the College board. He wants to align the SATs with CC; again this will assure the implementation of the CC curriculum.
Data Collection: When the NC agreed to Common Core, they agreed to aggressive online data collection of the students as well as the teachers. The Common Education Data Analysis and Reporting System(CEDARS) is the states longitudinal data system that incorporates the financial systems, teacher licensure, federally required data reporting, and student information from Power School, testing data and student transcripts. Included is personal information like test scores, disciplinary records, health history, medications, immunizations, student vehicle descriptions, family income range, religious affiliation, attitudes persistence, political affiliation etc. Allot of non-academic things that parents are not comfortable with, and have not given permission to share with anyone else, thanks to a presidential executive order allowing the data to be shared with any entity, public or private as long as it describes the sharing as necessary to an audit or evaluation of a federal program. This is from the amended regulations of “Family education rights in privacy act”
Why was CC adopted without being field tested, why weren’t other testing standards looked at? I think the answer is the money. We all want what is best for our children. North Carolina is a Local Control State, which means the local school board is the FINAL authority on decisions of our County. We can’t choose the state tests, but we can choose to adopt whatever standards we want, and directly per Ms Alexis Schauss of the NC Board of Education, we will not lose access to State or Federal Funding should we choose a curriculum and standards other than Common Core, but may lose the Race to the Top grants. I strongly urge you to consider other non-nationalized options.
Why ccta cares: A major concern is how we are going to pay for the continued implementation of CC, the required infrastructure, the computers, the testing, textbooks and materials, the training/retraining of teachers and administration. The tax payer cost has been estimated to be between $300 million and $525 million over the next 7 years.
We care about the loss of parental rights, loss of input from teachers, principals, local and state school boards. CCTA is more comfortable with Craven county school officials than we are with the state and federal bureaucrats and their associated agendas. The Common Core curriculum is a copyrighted program that doesn’t allow for deviation, although you can add up to 15% of content, you cannot delete any part of the standards. We oppose Social indoctrination of our children where they will be taught what to think instead of how to think.
I have collected allot of data on Common Core, my sources include The John Birch Society, The Heritage Foundation, Americans for Prosperity, Civitas, The John Locke Foundation, The North Carolina Education Alliance, The American Principals Project , the North Carolina Institute for Constitutional Law , Michelle Malkin, and even Wikipedia. I have forwarded information to all of the craven country school board members on more than one occasion. I am disappointed that only one of you has seen fit to reply to any of my correspondence. Since I can prove I have reasons to be concerned, Can you give us any reasons not to be?
Info provided by:
Raynor James, PR Chair, Coastal Carolina Taxpayers Association (CCTA)
305 Calico Drive, New Bern, North Carolina, 28560