Per Kentucky’s state education leaders, it was a big deal last year when the results came back from the Kentucky Core Academic Standards Challenge public comment program. Supposedly, there was overwhelming support to keep the Common Core based standards just as they are.
Of course, the entire operation of the Challenge was biased. For starters, outright calls to drop the standards for something better (e.g. the old Massachusetts standards) were explicitly prohibited. The design of the web site also tended to force comments into a mold favoring the standards as is.
But, Kentuckians were not fooled by claims from state educators that the Challenge showed an 88 percent approval rate for the standards as is. The best proof of that came in November when Matt Bevin, who openly called for massive changes or repeal of the Common Core, handily beat his opponent.
Others are not fooled, either. Columnist Robert Holland, writing for TownHall.com, talks about how Kentucky and other states tried to load the dice in favor of keeping Common Core even though the public is clearly unhappy with the standards.
Holland points out that Academic Benchmarks (AB), the web support company that provided the site for the Challenge and for similar efforts in other states, isn’t exactly an unbiased operation. Per Holland, bias in the way the web sites questions about the standards are set up is “clear.” Holland writes:
“This methodology clearly favors those in AB’s Common Core community who wish to preserve the status quo; it takes only one click to agree, and no comment is required. That lends itself to organized amen choirs. Conversely, those who think the educrats should amend or delete standards must offer extensive rewrites or commentary.”
In the end, Holland makes a case that ‘Big Data’ tries to zero out parents in Common Core reviews.
But, Holland is betting on parents. BIPPS is doing the same.