What do you get when corporate interests combine with governmental force to take over education? Nationalized educational and economic fascism. Thankfully, more legislators are starting to wake up to the situation.
E-mails link Bush foundation, corporations and education officials
A nonprofit group released thousands of e-mails today and said they show how a foundation begun by Jeb Bush, the former Florida governor and national education reform leader, is working with public officials in states to write education laws that could benefit some of its corporate funders.
The e-mails were obtained by Cohen’s group through public record requests and are available here, complete with a search function. They reveal — conclusively, he said — that foundation staff members worked to promote the interests of some of their funders in Florida, New Mexico, Maine, Oklahoma, Rhode Island and Louisiana.
The Web site of the Foundation for Excellence in Education used to list some of their donors but no longer does and is not required to list all of its donors to the public under tax rules for 5013C organizations. However, it is known that the foundation has received support from for-profit companies K12 and Pearson and Amplify, as well as the nonprofit College Board.
FEE and ALEC also have had some of the same “experts” as members or staff, part of the revolving door between right-wing groups. They have also collaborated on the annual ALEC education “report card” that grades states’ allegiance to their policy agenda higher than actual student performance. That distorted report card also rewards states that push ALEC’s beloved union-busting measures while giving low grades to states with students who actually perform best on standardized knowledge tests.
So a “non-profit” organization takes donations from companies that want to get in on the Common Core movement and then lobbies for changes to help those corporations get entrenched to make billions. It’s no wonder that ALEC has squashed their anti-Common Core model legislation twice after receiving a sizable donation from the Gates Foundation. You can get all the power and control you want for money and Gates has already spent well in excess of $100 million to promote Common Core and fulfill the contract he signed with UNESCO in 2004 to create a global education system.
Pressure Mounts in Some States Against Common Core
Support for the standards from the private sector and higher education is clear, said Michael Cohen, the president of Achieve, a Washington nonprofit group that helped develop the standards and now helps state governments and others prepare for the common core and its assessments.
“These standards reflect the knowledge and skills needed to go on for higher education and careers,” said Mr. Cohen, who was an assistant education secretary during the Clinton administration.
But the private sector’s involvement and support are seen very differently by opponents of the standards.
Through the common core, public schools will be used to foster “economic fascism” in education, charged former U.S. Rep. Bob Schaffer, a Republican from Colorado, who until the start of this year served as the chairman of the Colorado state school board before he left the board.
“This is a 100 percent government-regulated industry emerging before our eyes,” with potentially billions of dollars being sent in its direction, said Mr. Schaffer, who is the principal of Liberty Common High School, a charter school in Fort Collins, Colo.
Legislators previously desperate for federal cash attached to the standards, he said, are “just becoming alerted to what’s going on.”
Economic fascism is right. The corporate interests in America created Common Core. There was nothing “state led” about it. In Utah we have Prosperity 2020 which is working to influence education “success” according to how they want to define it. Isn’t it time parents and children define their own education success according to their own family standards? Prosperity 2020 wants more money for education to come from Utah taxpayers.
One of the comments at the end of the news article was from Ronald Mortensen where he said:
The business leaders behind Prosperity 2020 are always for more taxes as long as the incidence falls on individuals and not on them. Notice that there is no recommendation to increase the corporate tax rate, no proposal to eliminate sales tax exemptions for businesses and no call for the repeal of the business tax breaks that these business leaders have lobbied for and obtained during the past decade.
The Salt Lake Chamber is a leader in this effort and it is no coincidence that it has been designated by Americans for Tax Reform as an “Enemy of the Taxpayer.”
The Utah State Office of Education touts their involvement in the “state led” standards, yet they didn’t even know who was writing them. We’ve adopted math and English, and now the science and social studies standards are being written, and again, nobody knows who is writing the social studies draft standards.
Common Core Social Studies Standards? (I strongly suggest you read this article in its entirety)
In November 2012 the CCSSO released Vision for the College, Career, and Civic Life (C3) Framework for Inquiry in Social Studies State Standards. They say they are developing a framework for states to use as a resource as they upgrade their social studies standards and that this will not be a set of standards for states to adopt. They also say this framework is “being developed through a state-led effort”. They contend this framework, like the common core state standards, “will be based on evidence and will aim at college and career readiness.” The CCSSO is not disclosing the names of people on the writing team and tightly controls information about how and what business is being conducted.
I was told by 2 state school board members a while back that we would never adopt common science and social studies standards, just the math and English, yet just a couple weeks ago, state school board member Dixie Allen wrote Christel Swasey and said this:
As one of my constituents, I owe you a response to your question. My New Year’s resolution is to work to be sure that our Core Curriculum contains all the objectives necessary to be sure our students are Career and College Ready as they leave our system of education. That will require our readdressing our Social Studies and Science Curriculum and evaluate if there are any issues with our current Core Curriculum in Math and Language Arts that needs additions or tweaks. This is a constant job of the State Board and our specialists at USOE. However, it is a very worthwhile assignment that truly needs to happen on a continuous basis, as our students change and require different methods of instruction and sometimes different learning objectives to insure they are ready for the 21st Century of higher education and work and are capable of competing on the world’s stage.
Thanks for asking!
It’s only a matter of time before the noose tightens and states realize they’ve lost any hope of preserving local control of education for their citizens. Contact your legislators and ask them to get us out of Common Core. We can do better and preserve our freedom and sovereignty.