In the latest in the move to nationalize the public schools, the groups leading the Common Core Initiative, namely the National Governor’s Association and the Council of Chief State School Officers, are looking for partners to endorse their effort.
I have to admit that it all sounds wonderful. A common core of fewer, clearer, higher standards which states could voluntarily* adopt and a uniform assessment by which student achievement could be gauged – it all sounds great.
But then I look a little closer and realize that what they want is blind faith.
The NGA and CCSSO want us to blindly accept that the experts they’ve consulted are the experts we trust, that the research they’re relying on is accurate and scientifically valid, and that the conclusions of this unknown group based on unspecified research in secret deliberations will exceed our expectations. But they haven’t presented or done anything to deserve this trust: the names and qualifications of those involved in the effort are still secret, the research they’re relying has not been disclosed, and the groups deliberations are not a matter of public record.
The secrecy is bad enough, but now they want us to endorse their secret effort and the conclusions they reach without giving us anything on which to base that faith.
Experience has taught me that if you place blind faith in the government, you’re lucky if all they cut off is your tail.
Perhaps it’s time to send the NGA and the CCSSO a note and let them know that if they want us to believe in and support what they’re doing in the Common Core Initiative, then they need to open the initiative to public scrutiny. The email contacts for each group are below:
* States which voluntarily adopt 85% of the CCI standards will continue to receive federal funding for public education.