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Saturday, October 18, 2014

Common Core: Public Education or Personal Enrichment?

Below is an excellent Op-Ed piece from Marianne Gasiecki of the Mansfield Tea Party on following the Common Core money trail that fuels the national push of a select few to control our children's minds through education. 

Highlighting Bill Gates & The Gates Foundation financial influence and corporate cronyism perverting education in our country, you will see Common Core has nothing to do with education of our children and everything to do with personal enrichment off of our children.

On a side note, this would be the same Bill Gates & Gates Foundation that has duped many conservatives into blindly supporting the nationwide push for Charter Schools - that fly under the Gates-funded Trojan Horse banner of "School Choice." 

I have always been a firm believer of “follow the money.” Unfortunately, Common Core (CC) is no exception.

The state’s position has always been that every school district has the right to opt out of CC, but when considering that option, schools receive threatening letters from the Ohio Department of Education (ODE).

The latest threat is that schools will lose money if students opt out of the testing this fall. False. There is nothing in the Ohio Revised Code tying a child’s test to funding.

All this coercion makes sense when you learn that the ODE received $4.5 million, and the National Assoc. of State School Boards received $3.3 million from the Gates Foundation, for implementation of CC.

And that’s just a drop in the bucket. The Council of Chief State School Officers and the National Governors Assoc., two D.C. based private organizations, received over $65 million and over $3 million, respectively, from the Gates Foundation, along with their D.C. based Partner Achieve Inc., which received over $9 million, in exchange for aiding the Obama Administration in their efforts to implement a one-size-fits-all, nationalization of education. So much for being “state led.”

Struggling states accepted Race to the Top and stimulus money in exchange for implementing a set of standards, sight unseen. The standards had yet to be developed.

Now we’ve seen them. The two most qualified members of the CC Validation Committee refused to sign off on them, stating they would put us years behind other countries in mathematics alone. Parents and students are struggling to understand the convoluted math homework, and teachers are spending more time testing and being assessed than they are teaching. Bill Gates hopes his “education stuff works...but we won’t know for probably a decade”. That’s a generation lost to an experiment.

So why is Bill Gates supporting this experiment on our children? Money.

Schools (the taxpayer) using computer-based, Common Core-aligned tests will now need to spend “a bunch of money — on Microsoft products.” Click here to read more.

Textbook publishers, like McGraw Hill and Pearson, are also making a fortune as taxpayers are forced to fund all new textbooks to align with CC. Pearson has purchased a bio-behavioral testing company so they can do more behavioral testing in the schools. Why is a textbook company getting into the bio-behavioral testing business? Think about it.

Our children have been reduced to nothing more than “human capital” in the game of “workforce development,” as privacy is continually violated and 400+ data points are gathered through the excessive online assessing and mandated use of technology in instruction.

Who benefits from this data? Big business. In the era of online data collection, Bill Gates is clearly excited about how the sharing of this information will make it easier for companies to market their products to your children when he said, “When the tests are aligned to the common standards, the curriculum will line up as well—and that will unleash powerful market forces…”

Who else benefits? Universities. The National Science Foundation (a federal agency) just awarded $4.8 million of our tax dollars to prominent research universities “aiming to build a massive repository for storing, sharing, and analyzing the information students generate when using digital learning tools.”

No one is opposed to standards, but CC has nothing to do with elevating the education of our children, and everything to do with elevating corporate cronyism off the backs of our children.

If people truly believe in putting our children first, then we should all be supporting the complete repeal of CC through Ohio House Bill 597.

Marianne Gasiecki, Mansfield

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