A 1979 law prohibits the federal government from funding public school curriculum. That law was passed because Congress and the American people don't want government bureaucrats dictating what kids are taught in taxpayer-funded schools.
However, it seems that the government isn't paying any attention to that law. It is being bypassed in devious ways. This was a hot topic at a recent meeting of state policy people and academics in Atlanta. Some people simply ignore the law. Some try to make a distinction by claiming the federal government is not writing curriculum; it is merely writing curricular/instructional materials/and resources.
Education bureaucrats are making a tremendous effort to get all public schools to adopt what is called Common Core Standards. The supporters of these Common Core Standards claim that they are led by the states, not the federal government. However, federal money is being used to bribe the states to adopt the Common Core Standards in order to win some of the $4.3 billion Race to the Top federal competition money.
All except seven states have adopted the Common Core Standards for English/language arts and mathematics, and thereby given up local authority over education standards and what kids in their states are taught in those subjects. Obama's Education Department is now paying $300 million to the groups that are writing the standardized tests to determine whether students are mastering the Common core Standards, plus another $31 million to write instructional materials and professional aids to prepare teachers to transition to the new Common Core Standards. It's really impossible to deny the heavy involvement of the U.S. Department of Education is forcing the states to adopt the Common Core Standards.
Listen to the radio commentary here: