The federal government has spent billions to move Common Core forward, and it has put billions more on the line. Unfortunately, parents, teachers, tea-party activists, and governors have every reason to believe Common Core represents major, unprecedented federal intervention into education.
In theory, Common Core is a state initiative. But the Obama administration has pushed states to adopt the new standards, Burke writes.
Washington is financing the two national testing consortia that are creating the Common Core assessments. Lawmakers have tied $4.35 billion in Race to the Top grants to the adoption of standards similar to those found in a significant number of states, and they’ve made the adoption of Common Core a major factor in securing a No Child Left Behind waiver. And now, they have established a technical-review panel to work with the testing consortia on item design and validation.
For an undertaking that claims to be largely free of federal involvement, Common Core has quite a few federal fingerprints on it.
Many parents and teachers share an “understandable fear” that “the federal government is on the brink of dictating the content taught in every school,” Burke concludes.
I wish the feds had allowed Common Core to remain a state effort.