Eagle Forum Legislative Alerts

Thursday, December 12, 2013

Follow the Money About Common Core

A weekly newspaper called Education Week is the periodical of record for what goes on in public schools. It is interesting that every issue of Education Week includes many ads promoting Common Core aligned products. But a lot of school districts don’t have enough employees qualified to determine what “Common Core aligned” actually means, to determine which projects are Common Core aligned and which are not, much less which products are the best. Despite this general lack of good information about what they are buying, a multibillion-dollar industry of competing vendors is promoting a tremendous array of new products – textbooks, curriculum, teacher-training workshops, software, laptops, iPads, kid magazines, games and even Lego blocks.

An organization called Accountability Works estimates that national implementation of Common Core could cost as much as $15.8 billion.

Pioneer Institute estimates it will cost $16 billion over the next seven years. Pioneer’s executive director said, “With state and local taxpayers footing 90% of the bill for K-12 public education, the federal government’s push to get states to adopt national [Common Core] standards and tests amounts to one big unfunded mandate.” One reason why Common Core is so expensive is that Common Core tests will be administered using a computer, which means that every student needs either a computer or an iPad with a keyboard. Those who have examined the Common Core standards for English say that teachers will need substantially more professional training, so they can understand what the new standards include, and how to fill the gaps in instruction that will be needed. Big business has been baited into supporting Common Core on the promise that the new national standards will train kids for entry into the workforce, but no one has yet proved that Common Core will achieve that objective.

Listen to the radio commentary here:

Further Reading: Common Core

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