RESOLUTION OPPOSING COMMON CORE

by Diane Rufino, Deputy Director of the NC Tenth Amendment Center and Resolutions Chair of the Pitt County GOP.  The following resolution will be presented at the 2014 Pitt County GOP Convention on March 8.

RESOLUTION OPPOSING COMMON CORE EDUCATION STANDARDS

WHEREAS, Common Core (CC) is a set of (math and English language arts) academic standards, created by two private membership organizations, the National Governor’s Association (NGA) and the Council of Chief State School Officers (CCSSO) and promoted as a “State Standards initiative” and as a method for conforming American students to uniform “internationally-benchmarked” achievement goals to make them more competitive in a global marketplace (www.commoncore.org), and

WHEREAS, Common Core is being promoted as a “state initiative,” that description is merely offered to give the public the illusion that the agenda is “state-led.” Common Core standards were actually initiated by private interests in Washington DC and not by state lawmakers. Both the NGA and the CCSSO are both DC-based trade associations (organizations founded and funded by businesses that operate in a specific industry) which used ACHIEVE, Inc. to do the creative work. ACHIEVE, Inc. is a progressive non-profit group based out of DC which has received much of its funding from the Bill and Melinda Gates Foundation; and

WHEREAS, Common Core uses copyrights and licenses to control its top-down, one-size-fits-all approach to education. A “one-size-fits-all” approach frustrates the very thing that makes a teacher a real “teacher” – her ability to recognize and address the fact that every child learns differently, progresses at a different pace, and responds differently to teaching strategies. The CC standards were founded on a severely flawed idea – that every child can learn the same way and at the same pace. It assumes that every child across America will “be on the same page at the same time”; and=

Whereas, Common Core is designed to bridge gaps in education performance, just as “No Child Left Behind” was designed to do. A one-size-fits-all approach to education that aims to bridge gaps is a formula for failure. A system of education can’t concentrate on bringing certain groups of students up without bringing many others down at the same time; and

WHEREAS, Common Core changes the fundamental role of education – from teaching HOW to think and process information to WHAT to think. Common Core teaches for job placement. The emphasis that Common Core puts on “job placement” puts the focus of our education system primarily on the economy and not on the well-being of our children; and

WHEREAS, the promoters of the Common Core standards claim they are based in research, the truth is that the creators were not researchers or educators or otherwise qualified to write the standards; and

WHEREAS, Common Core is an “untested” curriculum, which has not been field-tested anywhere, and which comes with a potential human price tag (requiring experimenting on our precious children), and

WHEREAS, Common Core comes with an enormous price tag (independent estimates put the cost at $14-16 billion over 7 years) yet that cost is not built in anywhere; and

WHEREAS, Common Core will require “Data Mining,” which is an unconstitutional invasion of an individual’s right to privacy under the 4th amendment. For those states who have adopted Common Core to continue being eligible for Obama’s “Race to the Top” federal funding (which includes North Carolina), they will be obliged to implement a State Longitudinal Database System (SLDS) in order to track students. They will track students by obtaining personally identifiable information, including such intimate details as the SS# of parents, mother’s maiden name, political affiliation or beliefs of the student and parents, mental and psychological problems of the child and family, sex behavior or attitudes, a history of personal behavior (including illegal, anti-social, self-incriminating, and demeaning behavior), special relationships (with lawyers, physicians, ministers, etc), religious beliefs and affiliations, and income. Furthermore, changes have been made to the federal FERPA law (Family Education Rights & Privacy Act), which took effect on January 3, 2012 expanding the definition of two key terms – (1) “personally identifiable information” and (2) “authorized representatives.” In short, the revised law permits a lot of the information collected by data mining to be shared with the Attorney General of the United States without student or parent permission.  [http://www2.ed.gov/legislation/FedRegister/proprule/1999-2/060199e.html  and       http://www.utahnsagainstcommoncore.com/dangerous-federal-ferpa-changes/ ];  and

Whereas, education is not an enumerated power delegated to the federal government by the States in Article I, Section 8 of the US Constitution. Common Core, and the government’s participation in it runs afoul of the Tenth Amendment, as education is a right reserved to the States. The government knows it doesn’t have the power to invade the states and create a one-size-fits-all take-over of education, yet it uses its power of conditional spending to achieve the same purpose (an end-run around the Constitution). If the federal government has enough money to bribe the states to adopt its policies with taxpayer money, then the government is clearly overtaxing the American people. It should tax less and allow the states to tax more so at least the states can use its people’s money to serve their interests; and 

Whereas, the responsibility over education was designated to the state government by the people of North Carolina in their state constitution. It has no business being delegated to an un-elected, un-accountable group of persons who are administrative in function; and

Whereas, Common Core was adopted, like Obamacare was by the US House, by a group of public servants who did not read it or due any form of due diligence, which is rightfully inferred and expected in their position; and

Whereas, Common Core was adopted solely for the purposes of applying for and acquiring federal “Race to the Top” funding. It had nothing to do with ownership and responsibility of education to the citizens of the State. By placing funding before the legitimate responsibility of our State through an exercise of state sovereignty and before the legitimate interests of parents who want accountability and a voice in their children’s education, the state Board of Education has taken the carrot of coercion that puts our state under the power of an organization that thinks it knows better than the people and officials of North Carolina; and

WHEREAS, Common Core will force consistency and uniformity across the nation. As long as the States are bribed and coerced into adopting a national one-size-fits-all education scheme, then education in general (and in North Carolina specifically) will suffer severely because the states, as 50 independent laboratories of experimentation, will be precluded from trying to innovate and improve education and find solutions to the problems that plague our current education system (in other words, this imposed uniformity will stifle the innovation that federalism fosters); and

Therefore, let it be –

RESOLVED, that the Pitt County GOP demands that the state Board of Education and our state legislators acknowledge and meaningfully address these criticisms of the Common Core Standards; and

RESOLVED, that the Pitt County GOP rejects the collection of personal student data for any non-educational purpose without the prior written consent of an adult student or a child student’s parent and that it rejects the sharing of such personal data, without the prior written consent of an adult student or a child student’s parent, with any person or entity other than schools or education agencies within the state; and

RESOLVED, that the Pitt County GOP emphatically urges our Legislators to get further involved in the current debate over Common Core, to halt implementation of the standards while a state initiative is pursued to do the due diligence that the state Board of Education failed to do and perhaps take an independent state-based approach to the improvement of our education system, and to eventually introduce legislation to remove this system permanently from our schools in North Carolina.

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About forloveofgodandcountry

I'm originally from New Jersey where I spent most of my life. I now live in North Carolina with my husband and 4 children. I'm an attorney
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