Common Core State Standards have been adopted by 46 states and the District of Columbia. Corporate America has begun pushing for adoption of these standards, and I saw my first corporate ad yesterday on MSNBC. Most of America has not heard of Common Core State Standards for America's schools because most of us were not consulted on what we thought should be in them, but is highly likely your child's education is being influenced by these standards.
My theory of education can be found in Paulo Freire's Pedagogy of the Oppressed. I believe education works best when it is a dialogic process between a teacher and his students. These ideas do not fit into the methodological cookie cutter teaching methods that have become so popular in the United States. Freire would call the Common Core State Standards an example of the banking model of instruction.
In this model each students mind is like an empty piggy bank that the all knowing teacher makes a deposit of knowledge in. The student is expected to sit passively and take in this knowledge without any input as to whether the concept is the slightest bit relevant to them. Talk about a paternalistic oppressive educational concept yet that is where we are heading.
Here we are talking about the education of our children and the funding for the creation of these Common Core State Standards has been provided by Bill and Melinda Gates, both of whom have clearly been interested in privatizing the public education system and corporatizing education for profit. Other known funders of this alleged reform movement are The Walton family ( Wal-Mart) and none other than the infamous Koch brothers whose attempts to buy our political system have been well documented from ALEC to the Tea Party so no one should be confident that your children's education was the primary motivation.
Common Core State Standards is a locked closed educational system by people who have taken it upon themselves to enrich themselves at the public trough and no one who is not a part of this locked system has had any input into what the standards are. David Coleman, one of the architects of the Common Core Standards created his own group, Student Achievement Partners specifically to promote the Common Core Standards. But he is also head of the College Board which includes the lucrative SAT and AP programs.
In addition the Gates Foundation has given millions to the standardized testing industry. One of the results of Common Core Standards is repeated standardized testing. General Electric and Pearson Publishing are also part of creating and promoting the Common Core State Standards and everyone in this process has one thing in common, the desire to put public school funding in corporate hands and in their pockets.
One of Coleman's statements clearly demonstrates that this group is for profit not the highest quality of real teaching or education. Coleman once stated, "When you grow up in this world you realize people don't give a s--t about what you think or feel." Common Core State Standards leave out learning to think critically and analyzing material for its truthfulness. Those in the power elite in this country clearly learned from the Baby Boom generation the danger of teaching students critical analysis and coming to ones own conclusions and now desire to teach behavioral compliance and to control what is taught and how it is taught.
Pearson Publishing has a monopoly control of Common Core materials as a text book publisher because it owns the companies that developed and market Common Core Standards , companies such as America's Choice started by Marc Tucker who was part of the group who wrote the Common Core Standards, who was part of the National Center on Education and the Economy, which was one of the front groups for millions in Gates Foundation money to write the Core Curriculum.
As Diane Ravitch, historian and educator notes on her blog the U.S. Department of Education desperately wants common core standards but is prohibited by law from influencing curriculum and instruction in the nations schools. They strike a deal , Gates pays to create Common Core State Standards and Arne Duncan, Obama's Secretary of Education uses his power of the federal purse to push states to accept them and uses his bully pulpit to warn that the future of nation is in peril unless state standards are swiftly implemented.
I have no problem with state standards per se but the undemocratic way they have been created with profitability not students seeming to be the driving factor I find warrants serious questions about these standards. By now we should have also learned one size does not fit all when it comes to education because of the diversity of students within America's public schools. I have my fears of standardized testing, because in the past testing has been used not to see what people know, but to keep people in their place economically. I also question whether the state standards factor for racial and cultural differences and from what I have seen in the classroom they do not.
Educational research, including that done for my M.Ed., show over and over again that the problem in our society is not teachers. The whole incompetent teachers thing wears pretty thin when you realize at a minimum teachers have a BA degree including teaching theory, and student teaching with a mentor before they graduate and take Praxis I and II tests that test for core knowledge and knowledge of teaching, so every teacher with their license has demonstrated both knowledge and competency. The problem in our public school is the result of the cumulative effects of long term poverty. Common Core standards do not address nor do they resolve those issues. In short the lesson of the last thirty years is that some things do not work out best when they become a question of profitability.