Niagara Gazette

Bob Confer

January 13, 2014

CONFER: What Common Core means to education's stakeholders

Niagara Gazette — Editor’s note: This is the seventh article in an eight-part series exploring Common Core.

Common Core is an unwelcome addition to our educational system. It’s an all-out assault on classroom performance, individual privacy and America’s competitive position in the global economy.

To further this analysis, let’s briefly look at the impacts Common Core is having and will have on key stakeholders:

• Taxpayers: Undertaking such a transformation of American education does not come without a considerable investment of resources. School districts need to re-align their policies and procedures and management systems. Teachers need to be re-taught how to teach. Text books, curricula, software and hardware need to be developed and/or purchased.

What does all of this mean to taxpayers? Billions of dollars.

The Pioneer Institute released a white paper in 2012 on the cost of Common Core implementation. Over the seven-year roll out, participating states will spend $1.2 billion on new assessments, $5.3 billion on professional development, $2.5 billion on textbooks and instructional materials and $6.9 billion on technology.

Their report was fairly concise but left out the $4.35 billion that the feds are spending on Race to the Top, the official federal program to launch Common Core. Their report may have been too conservative, as well. Other organizations, such as the Washington Policy Center, estimate the total nationwide cost of implementation at $30 billion, twice what Pioneer estimated.

• Educators: Over the past seven weeks my inbox has been flooded with emails from teachers concerned about Common Core. A pessimist might say, “of course they are concerned. They are getting graded on the results, too.” That’s not the case. Not one email among the dozens I’ve received has mentioned teacher evaluations at all.

Every writer to a person expressed his or her frustrations with the standards and what the new curricula will mean to their pupils and how children’s development will suffer because of it. I have yet to receive an email from an educator who is in favor of the new way.

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Bob Confer
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