Study Calls on U.S. Dept. of Education to Stop Using Adoption of Common Core as Condition or Incentive for Receipt of Federal Funds and Waivers

In preface, Iowa's U.S. Sen. Charles Grassley says education policy best made at degree of government nearest students, parents

BOSTON – America Department of Education (USED) ought to be prohibited from making adoption of national English and math standards known as Common Core a condition or incentive for receipt of federal funding, and both USED and organizations such as the National Governors Association and also the Council of Chief State School Officers, whose dues are paid with taxpayer funds, should make public the amount of time and cash they've committed to promoting Common Core based on a new study authored by Pioneer Institute.

A Republic of Republics: How Common Core Undermines Local and state Autonomy over K-12 Education

“Common Core fundamentally alters the connection between your federal government and also the states,” says former Texas Commissioner of Education Robert Scott, the writer of A Republic of Republics: How Common Core Undermines State and Local Autonomy over K-12 Education. “States are sacrificing remarkable ability to see what their students learn.”

Three federal laws explicitly prohibit the federal government from directing, supervising, funding, or controlling any nationalized standards, testing, or curriculum. Yet Race to the Top (RttT), a competitive $4.35 billion federal grant program, gave preference to states that adopted or indicated their intention to consider Common Core and took part in 1 of 2 federally funded consortia developing assessments associated with Common Core.

USED subsequently made adoption of Common Core among the criteria for granting states conditional waivers from the accountability provisions of the federal No Child Left Behind law.

In his preface for the paper, Iowa's U.S. Senator Charles Grassley writes that whenever gov-ernment makes “decisions affecting children's education, these decisions should be made in a degree of government near to the parents and students who're affected.” He goes on to criticize how what began as a intend to develop standards that states could adopt voluntarily has turned into a subject of federal coercion.

Scott notes that the adoption of recent standards normally takes years from the time they're initially written by panels of educators, made available for longer periods of public review, and revised until they are adopted. But due to RttT's deadlines, these periods were reduced to a couple months or even weeks.

As due to the rushed process, states adopted Common Core without knowing about assessments; the final results that students, and perhaps teachers, will be held accountable. Other unknowns include what the passing score is going to be, who will place it, and whether it would be the same among states.

The three most populous states – California, Texas and Florida – also provide systematic processes for adopting textbooks. These reviews happen on the regular cycle and would be disrupted and frequently expedited because of the have to adopt instructional materials aligned with the new standards in time for them to be implemented.

The expedited process through which Common Core was adopted in most states meant teachers didn't have chance to inform the standards' content. In some states, the new standards are substantially diverse from what have been taught. In most cases, teachers is going to be teaching material in various grades than it had been before.

Scott describes all of the “learning around the go” Common Core will require as a very costly gamble. The one-year price of new technology, instructional materials and teacher professional development is estimated at $10.5 billion for that 45 states and the District of Columbia, which have adopted the standards. With ongoing expenses, the price is expected to rise to about $16 billion.

Scott also describes why Texas chose not to adopt Common Core as they served as commissioner of education. Disruption of the textbook adoption cycle, the lengthy process of making the standards available to the general public and looking approval from the state Board of Education, and also the cost of changing procedures and parts of the training code were one of the reasons for the decision not to adopt.

Texas would have been in line for a $700 million RttT grant, but “it is more expensive than $300 million each day to run public schools in Texas,” Scott says. “Giving up substantial autonomy to direct education policy to acquire roughly enough money to run the colleges for 2 days wasn't a trade-off i was willing to make.”

This report is co-sponsored by the American Principles Project, the Pacific Research Institute, and also the Civitas Institute. Pioneer's extensive research on Common Core national education standards includes: Common Core Standards Still Don't Make the Grade, The Road to a National Curriculum: The Legal Aspects of the Common Core Standards, Race to the peak, and Conditional Waivers, and National Cost of Aligning States and Localities towards the Common Core Standards. Recent national media coverage includes op-eds placed in The Wall Street Journal and The Weekly Standard.