BY: B. Keith Plunkett @Keithplunkett
The Mississippi Department of Education’s lap dog lobbyist Nancy Loome of the Parents Campaign (don’t let the name fool you, parents have nothing to do with it) is at it again spreading misleading and outright incorrect information about Common Core Standards and the implementation in Mississippi Schools.
In a recent email, Loome attempts to question the motives of those in Mississippi who question the standards saying they are only “mimicking” talking points from outside influences. She can’t defend against all the concerns being brought to light, so it must be outside influences, right? Surely no one in the state of Mississippi is smart enough to know more about education policy than the bureaucrats at MDE.
It is Loome who is doing the “mimicking” to distract from her own poor attempts at explanation and those at MDE who have agreed to an unprecedented takeover of Mississippi’s education system, and the handing over of students personal data to private companies without parents approval.
The real in-depth explanations so far are coming from those who oppose Common Core. Mississippian Rita Anderson isn’t “mimicking talking points”, she’s producing a wealth of evidence. Anderson produced a White Paper back in March 2013 and updated it again in May. It’s chocked full of reasons to take a step back and why. READ IT HERE
Loome provides a link to a post on the Parents Campaign website titled Myth vs. Reality: Common Core State Standards, then goes about repeating the same things that have been said before, and disproven by mounds of evidence.
Loome says it is a Myth that Mississippi has set racial quotas for the new Common Core assessments and has set the bar lower for black students than for other students. But, in her explanation of reality she only gives a brief statement.
There is no racial quota in the new assessments. The standards are the same for every student.
“These are not the droids you’re looking for.”
That’s it. No evidence. No elaboration as to why she believes this to be the case. Nothing.
Just a lame attempt at a Jedi mind trick, maybe? Didn’t work on me. You?
Why she can’t do a better job of proving her point about racial standards may have something to do with the facts that show otherwise. The evidence is very clear and was provided last week by the Senate Conservative Coalition pulled directly from the Dept. of Educations ESEA application to the Feds (see below).
Loome says it is Myth that Common Core Standards are lower than Mississippi’s standards. How she would know this is unclear since none of Common Core standards have been tested. There is no empirical evidence or research to suggest this is anything other than a bureaucratic wish list of ways to nationalize education standards, and further monopolize ALL education. While that may be a great way to keep her $120,000 salary, and the exorbitant salaries of the administrators at MDE paid, it doesn’t do much for Mississippi students or teachers.
Common Core was never–NEVER–approved by Mississippi’s elected officials. The adoption of the standards was a unilateral move by the state Dept. of Education to adopt an unproven, untested, and unreliable new testing standard handed down from a consortium of unelected bureaucrats and consultants from D.C., most of whom have never set foot in a classroom.
The Bureaucrats Educator Is Not Really An Educator
But, the real kicker of Loome’s list is where she references the “renowned education reform expert” Marc Tucker. Tucker is the brain-child behind Common Core. He spoke to a Dept. of Education sponsored forum in 2011.
Tucker went to both Brown and Yale on academic scholarships. His bachelor’s degree was in philosophy and American literature. He was involved with the drama department at Yale until he dropped out of his graduate program there. His masters at George Washington University was in telecommunications policy.
Yes. Telecommunications policy. He has no education degree, has never taught or been directly involved in K-12, and only for a brief two-year stint taught a college course.
Tucker’s plan, now realized in Common Core, was first introduced to the liberal minded education re-makers in 1992 when he wrote a letter to Hillary Clinton that is now simply referred to as the “Dear Hillary Letter”. In it Tucker describes the plan “to remold the entire American system” into “a seamless web that literally extends from cradle to grave and is the same system for everyone,” coordinated by “a system of labor market boards at the local, state and federal levels” where curriculum and “job matching” will be handled by counselors “accessing the integrated computer-based program.”
Tucker’s plan would change the mission of the schools from teaching children academic basics and knowledge to training them to serve the global economy in jobs selected by workforce boards. Nothing in this comprehensive plan has anything to do with teaching schoolchildren how to read, write, or calculate.
Tucker’s ambitious plan was implemented in three laws passed by Congress and signed by President Clinton in 1994: the Goals 2000 Act, the School-to-Work Act, and the reauthorized Elementary and Secondary Education Act. These laws establish the following mechanisms to restructure the public schools:
- Bypass all elected officials on school boards and in state legislatures by making federal funds flow to the Governor and his appointees on workforce development boards.
- Use a computer database, a.k.a. “a labor market information system,” into which school personnel would scan all information about every schoolchild and his family, identified by the child’s social security number: academic, medical, mental, psychological, behavioral, and interrogations by counselors. The computerized data would be available to the school, the government, and future employers.
- Use “national standards” and “national testing” to cement national control of tests, assessments, school honors and rewards, financial aid, and the Certificate of Initial Mastery (CIM), which is designed to replace the high school diploma.
And that is what Mrs. Loome’s benefactors at the Mississippi Dept. of Education have signed your children up for, unprecedented and unquestioned collection, redistribution and use of data on students. Parents never got a say.
In 1988, Tucker became the president of the National Center for Education and the Economy (NCEE) where he joined up with Hillary Clinton, Mario Cuomo, and Ira Magaziner to get states to move away from local control of their schools and migrate to national standards.
In 1991, Marc Tucker and Lauren Resnick created New Standards that pushed standards-based reform. In 1998, he and Judy Codding created America’s Choice that made sure the national standards were further implemented into the schools; and in 2005, Tucker created the New Commission on the Skills of the American Workforce.
Tucker’s whole plan has been to require public school teachers to quit focusing on knowledge-based, academic content that emphasizes mostly objective testing with right-or-wrong answers. Instead Tucker and his cohorts have managed to restructure completely the public schools, leading to the dumbing down of America’s school students.
This effort has been given a new level of control under Obama and Arne Duncan who have added federal “teeth” by creating Common Core Standards and the millions of federal dollars available through Race to the Top funding. The Mississippi Dept. of Education agreed to the changes to be eligible for the Race to the Top grant money, which they never received.
The federally funded National Governors Association and Council for Chief State School Officers have been patsy’s in the whole thing. The two groups are nothing more than trade and networking organizations. The real work of Common Core was done by a connected group of cronies at a Washington, D.C. non-profit called Achieve.
Teachers, researchers, professors and a growing chorus of educators involved in the actual development of the standards are coming forward and saying Common Core must be stopped. 30 states have either stopped Common Core to further study the standards, have rejected it outright, or are debating legislation to halt its implementation.
Parents–that is, actual parents–should ask Mrs. Loome, if this is so good for Mississippi students then why all the secrecy? What could be bad about further study of a set of standards if they are indeed so grand?
Stay tuned folks. There is a great deal more to come on this.
About Keith: Keith Plunkett has worked on communications issues with a range of public officials from aldermen to Congressmen, and a variety of businesses, governmental agencies and non-profits. He serves or has served as a board member of several non-profit, civic and political organizations. Contact him by going to HorizonMediaMarketing.com or follow him on Twitter @Keithplunkett
- Senate Conservatives say Common Core’s race-based standards a case of blatant discrimination. (mississippipep.wordpress.com)
- PLUNKETT: Common Core endangers innovation and choices in education. (mississippipep.wordpress.com)