Gentle reader Becky posted a challenge to opponents of Common Core on a post from Wednesday.

A challenge: I challenge those against Common Core to provide an unbiased, objective reason on WHY you are so against CC (here’s the bonus part) WITHOUT using the words “liberty”, “sovereignty”, “freedom” or “right”. Is that possible?

Several opponents were more than happy to respond to Becky’s challenge. We told them the rules she provided and asked them to keep their response under 500 words. Here are just a few of our favorites.

Is this a trick question?  Is being “unbiased” relative?  With that being said, I object on a whole host of things but I’m limited on space. #1. I object to CC because I object to “state” or “national” standards owned exclusively by private organizations (I would use the word “copyrighted” but wasn’t sure if that counts against the rules…). So these standards are not governed by the laws of my state which means my voice does not count.  They cannot be governed by the laws of my state because the government cannot own {copyrights}.  In the introduction of the CC it states, “The Standards are intended to be a living work: as new and better evidence emerges, the Standards will be revised accordingly”. This means that tomorrow, next week, next month, next year, in five years or all of the above the people who OWN the standards can change the language of the standards and they don’t have to ask anyone, not a single teacher, administrator, parent, expert anywhere has to weigh in. If the organizations decide that new “evidence” emerges that fish can fly they can change the standards to reflect that. If it is included on the assessment test, teachers will teach it. There is danger in this because new “evidence” emerges all the time to disprove the “evidence” produced the day before.  One day eggs are good for you, the next day eggs are bad for you. Bill Gates said it best: Only when the tests and curriculum align will we know if they work. #2. I do not approve of evaluating teachers on assessment tests at any level.  Teachers can do their damnedest to teach but ultimately they cannot force a kid to learn, or force parents to force their kids to learn or even CARE. Not to mention we are human and have good days and bad days. I will support assessments only to the extent that they instruct learning and improvement and we seem to have gotten away from that purpose!  #3. I believe Jason Zimba, one of the CC authors, when he said that “college ready” does not mean for STEM or for selective colleges. Who else besides the author would know better what “college ready” means? These people that dreamt up this whole thing are being very transparent about the purpose of these standards. But my child can do better. I EXPECT my kid to go to college but I KNOW they might change their mind and decide to go to technical school or become an entrepreneur instead. Under common core, according to Zimba, they won’t even have a CHANCE of being STEM college ready, especially in a small rural district like ours.  Let my kids decide for themselves when they are READY to decide, by ensuring ALL the options are available not just one or two.


I am against Common Core State Standards  c.2010 Initiative because:

  • Standards have been copyrighted by a private entity and cannot be modified and/or changed by states, districts or schools
  • They were adopted without the vote of state legislatures and voters
  • I am opposed to the CCSS Initiative.  They are not just standards; they were adopted as part of the four assurances put forth by the Federal Government in order to receive money and/or ESEA waiver.  These include: college- and career- ready standards and high-quality, valid and reliable assessments for all students; development and use of pre-K through post-secondary and career data systems; increasing teacher effectiveness and ensuring an equitable distribution of qualified teachers; and turning around the lowest-performing schools.  These assurances were set by the USDOEd and states must meet them for compliance
  • The adoption of Common Core State Standards c.2010 creates unfunded and unknown debt to the state and local districts
  • The standards are NOT internationally benchmarked (that claim has been withdrawn by CCSSO)
  • The assessments are not written by Missouri teachers for Missouri students
  • Chester Finn of the Fordham Institute (a proponent of the standards) has stated “CCSS is like building an airplane while it is flying” and admits it is an “experiment”
  • Michael Petrilli of Fordham (and a DESE witness) and Michael Zimba, chief architect of the Math standards agree CCSS will only make students ready for 2 year community college and not STEM ready
  • Commissioner Chris Nicastro stated in a House hearing the standards are “the floor” after we’ve heard for 4 years they are “high quality”
  • Bill Gates (who has funded at least $200 Million into organizations supporting CCSS) states we’ll know if the CCSS is a success when the assessments line up to the standards and the curriculum lines up as well
  • Michael Cohen of Achieve says we won’t know for 12 years whether or not the standards have been successful or not
  • The two main validators on the CCSS committee refused to sign off that the ELA and Math standards would deliver what was promised
  • The intent to adopt the standards was signed by Governor Nixon, Commissioner of Education Chris Nicastro and the State Board of Education even before they were written
  • There is no legal process to adapt or change the standards by Missouri

All the reasons I gave you are based on actual fact and are verifiable by video recordings, government documents and statements of the reformers and participants in the crafting of the standards. Bottom line:  The CCSS Initiative is a set of standards (with other agreements such as data gathering & teacher evaluations set by Federal guidelines) developed, written and owned by private organizations held unaccountable to legislatures and voters.

I never used the words “liberty”, “sovereignty”, “freedom” or “right”.  Now I have a challenge for you! Tell me in 500 words or less why you support CCSS without using the words/phrases: higher, clearer, fewer, rigorous, global, college and career ready, equity, 21st Century skills, critical thinking.


This person just cut to the chase.

Look at me….one word!

For those who forget the meaning fas·cism[ fá shìzzəm ] – dictatorial movement: any movement, ideology, or attitude that favors dictatorial government, centralized control of private enterprise, repression of all opposition, and extreme nationalism.

Becky was impatient for a response and wrote this update yesterday.

 I could have sworn I posted a comment here last night. Hmm. I’ll try again. It offered a challenge to those who oppose CC. My challenge is for someone to explain WHY they are AGAINST CC WITHOUT using the terms (and their synonyms) “freedom”, “liberty”, “Obama”, “Hitler”, “rights”, “Founding Fathers” or “American Principles”. Can it be done?

Anyone who insists on looking at education without considering American principles or rights is someone whose education was deficient in teaching them the critical importance of these ideas. They are fully ready to accept an education system that denies American exceptionalism, one whose only purpose is to train people for a job. We will never convince people like Becky that there is reason to oppose the system that Common Core is establishing; a government supported monopoly like Fannie and Freddie, or now student loan system that grants private entities vast control with little or no public accountability. People like that are happy to put their hands out for all that government can give them or do for them and will only realize the shackles that were put on their wrists at the same time when it is far too late to try to break free of them.  Luckily for people like Becky, there are people who can see the future by studying the past and they are standing up to common core and student data tracking and centralized control. Because of them we may have a shot at remaining free.


Anne Gassel

Anne has been writing on MEW since 2012 and has been a citizen lobbyist on Common Core since 2013. Some day she would like to see a national Hippocratic oath for educators “I will remember that there is an art to teaching as well as science, and that warmth, sympathy and understanding are sometimes more important than policy or what the data say. My first priority is to do no harm to the children entrusted to my temporary care.”

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