Niagara Gazette

Columns

December 10, 2013

CONFER: Who is behind the Common Core standards?

Editor’s note: This is the third in an eight-part series about Common Core.

While the National Governors Association was instrumental in promoting and distributing the Common Core standards, it was an organization that calls itself Achieve, Inc. that created the standards themselves.

In 2006, Education Week ranked Achieve as one of the most influential education policy organizations in the nation. Achieve, founded in 1996, touts itself as, “… an independent, nonpartisan, nonprofit education reform organization dedicated to working with states to raise academic standards and graduation requirements, improve assessments, and strengthen accountability.” It hangs its hat on being “…the only education reform organization led by a board of directors of governors and business leaders.”

You will notice that despite identifying itself or being recognized as one of the leaders in American education, Achieve’s board of directors is missing the most important part of the equation – the educators. Instead, the emphasis of power in deciding who should learn what is placed on people who don’t administer education or fail to be directly involved with it — and shouldn’t be.

Yes, governors may budget for state spending on schools, but in the day-to-day operations of a state government their personal involvement in primary and secondary education is minimal. They aren’t trained in education (when is the last time you saw a governor with a teaching degree?) and they leave such matters to their staff – who ultimately assume control through top-down methods proven to broken (i.e. Regents).

While it sounds good that business leaders are involved in the process (they are, after all, consumers of the final product of public education through employment), and it’s something that this columnist has advocated, it is best left at the local level where consortiums of business leaders, teachers, and superintendents can more effectively work together to address the needs of the workforce and students in that specific region. As you get higher up in the food chain and further away from local efforts and local control, corruption – both illegal and in its legalized form of corporatism – run rampant (that is something we will discuss in Part 8 of this series when we look at the private entities benefitting from the institution of Common Core).

Text Only | Photo Reprints
Columns
  • NIA Bradberry, Bill mug BRADBERRY: To every thing there is a season; this is OURS I'm not sure what The Byrds had in mind way back in 1965 when they popularized Pete Seeger's 1950s rendition of Ecclesiastes 3, but I am inclined to agree with novelist Thomas Wolfe who wrote: "[O]f all I have ever seen or learned, that book seems to me the noblest, the wisest, and the most powerful expression of man's life upon this earth."

    April 23, 2014 1 Photo

  • NIA Confer, Bob Mug CONFER: Property rights and the Clean Water Act The United States of America was founded on the premise of natural rights, succinctly dictated as the unalienable rights of "life, liberty, and the pursuit of happiness."

    April 22, 2014 1 Photo

  • NIA Higgs, Norma mug HIGGS: St. Peter's Episcopal Church, inside and out When I had a couple of questions I checked in with Whitney Mallam, a long-time church member who introduced me to Solon Myron Napoleon Whitney (commonly known as "The Major"), one of his relatives from the early days of this church's history. I was intrigued by some of Whit's comments and hope to learn more about him in the future.

    April 21, 2014 1 Photo

  • NIA Glynn, Don mug GLYNN: Seneca Niagara Casino in billionaire category One of the Niagara area's biggest businesses is now part of the billionaire class.

    April 20, 2014 1 Photo

  • SINGER: Bridging the ideological gap Being both liberal and conservative, as currently designated, makes one perhaps sound wishy-washy; but one can't go down the line on everything.

    April 20, 2014

  • NIA Smith, Doug and Polly LETTERS FROM THE ISLAND: Home alone on the Island Yeah, you know who I mean. Hard to start this project without you but deadline looms and you're still bein' Nana, the role you were born to play. I know, I know, if you'd known grandchildren were this much fun, you'd have had them first.

    April 19, 2014 1 Photo

  • NIA Hamilton, Ken mug HAMILTON: The Bills stadium and the proverbs We are what we are because of the way that we think, and we got the nothingness that have as a result of it.

    April 18, 2014 1 Photo

  • NIA DeLuca, Michele mug DELUCA: Say it ain't so, Joe I had just parked my car in front of the Gazette offices on Niagara Street last week Thursday when a man approached me and stood by my door.

    April 17, 2014 1 Photo

  • NIA Tom T mug TOM'S CORNER: Bringing your own parts to repair shop is a bad idea The Gazette has partnered with local automotive expert Tom Torbjornsen to publish his weekly national column. Tom's Corner will appear in Thursday's editions.

    April 17, 2014 1 Photo

  • NIA Glynn, Don mug GLYNN: Tourism operators ready for new season Niagara area hospitality industry people will mark National Tourism Week, May 3 to May 11, with special events focusing on the assets that shape the Cataract City as a major destination.

    April 17, 2014 1 Photo

Featured Ads
House Ads
AP Video
Opinion
House Ads
Night & Day
Twitter News
Follow us on twitter
Hyperlocal Search
Premier Guide
Find a business

Walking Fingers
Maps, Menus, Store hours, Coupons, and more...
Premier Guide
Front page