Reacting to growing nationwide pushback on Common Core State Standards (CCSS), Kentucky Commissioner of Education Terry Holliday recently posted an item in his Doc. H’s Blog dealing with what he claims is:
“…a lot of misinformation being pushed by folks who are not supportive of more rigorous standards for students….”
In Part 1 of this blog series, I dealt with the silly assertion that those who oppose CCSS are all against higher education standards. Now, let’s talk about the Commissioner’s allegation that:
“These standards were developed by teachers, college professors, and national education organizations.”
The truth is the public has no way to know who REALLY created CCSS, what the real creators’ qualifications are, and if the CCSS fairly represent what Kentucky’s educators wanted from Senate Bill 1.
However, after examining two lists here and here that supposedly show the members of various CCSS work groups, I must note that all of the listed teachers, professors and national education organization members didn’t come from Kentucky – not a single one, as far as I can tell.
But, did the people on these lists REALLY create CCSS?
We know that the CCSS were created under the auspices of the National Governors’ Association (NGA) and the Council of Chief State School Officers (CCSSO), two private groups not subject to any sunshine laws such as the federal Freedom of Information Act or Kentucky’s own open meetings and open records laws. In fact, a July 1, 2009 press release from the NGA discusses the formation of the work groups that would create the CCSS. That press release admits:
“The Work Group’s deliberations will be confidential throughout the process.”
This secretive process used to create the CCSS is VERY different from the one actually contemplated in SB-1, which required the creation – not just adoption – of Kentucky’s new standards to be overseen by the Kentucky Department of Education and the Council on Postsecondary Education. Both of those Kentucky public organizations ARE subject to transparency rules and are far more accessible to Kentucky’s educators and citizens.
Furthermore, these Kentucky public education organizations certainly would have included KENTUCKY teachers and KENTUCKY college professors in any work they had performed.
By the way, the NGA’s press release also contains this very interesting comment:
“Additionally, CCSSO and the NGA Center have selected an independent facilitator and an independent writer as well as resource advisors to support each content area work group throughout the standards development process.”
That could have rendered the CCSS work group meetings wide open to manipulation by a well known process known as the Delphi Technique.
Since the NGA/CCSSO work group meetings were all kept secret, the public will probably never know if well-meaning educators on the work groups got Delphied during CCSS development. In fact – if this happened – many of the participants could still be unaware they were “Delphied” without their knowledge. After all, that is the whole purpose of this manipulative, group-think approach – fool the group into thinking they developed what was actually from someone else’s pre-ordained agenda.
So, we really don’t know who created CCSS. Was it really done by teachers, etc.? I honestly don’t know, and neither do you. But, it sure doesn’t look like whoever did it came from Kentucky.