The Common Core Face-off: Hiding the Truth About School Choice and Charter Schools

“Those who have the privilege to know, have the duty to act.” Albert Einstein

Obama and ‘Conservative’ Groups Use Bait and Switch Tactics. They are using the momentum against Common Core to complete and further their agenda—”Choice” and Charter Schools.

The truth has uneasy consequences. ‘Conservatives’ and Republicans are revealing their so-called “Choice Plan” that mimics the Obama-Duncan Plan. In an article posted by the ‘conservative’ organization FreedomWorks, their entire proposed controversial agenda for “choice” in education demands rebuttal, discussion and dissection. The Einstein quote at the top of this article validates my decision to act on current documentation, explaining to the American people the danger that these ‘conservative groups’ represent to parents when they demand “choice.”

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Republican Governors who say that Common Core is gone are using fraud and deception to further their cause. Their cause is government-controlled, taxpayer-funded “choice” and charter schools. Republicans are now conveniently using the slogan “No Common Core” as a litmus test—a popular hot button that will cue the Fall elections. But, are citizens and parents aware of where that path will take us? For example, see the following quote:

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Common Core has emerged as the newest Republican litmus test for gauging candidates’ conservative bona fides, and experts say the controversial national education [Common Core] standard will help shape elections from school boards to the White House for the foreseeable future.

This is the agenda that was divulged by FreedomWorks:

A draft action plan by the advocacy group FreedomWorks lays out the effort as a series of stepping stones: First, mobilize to strike down the Common Core. Then push to expand school choice by offering parents tax credits or vouchers to help pay tuition at private and religious schools. Next, rally the troops to abolish the U.S. Department of Education. Then it’s on to eliminating teacher tenure.

Let me explain these real issues:

The ‘Anti-Common Core Movement’ is clouding the real issue. While states are thinking they have struck down Common Core, Obama is using the ESEA Flexibility Waivers to hide his real agenda—to Continue Common Core. Many ‘conservatives’ are—wittingly or unwittingly—helping Obama’s cause.

The move to “Strike Down Common Core” is a fake. It is a sophisticated machination to masquerade the real agenda embraced by ‘conservative’ groups who are working in tandem with the Obama Administration. “Race to the Top” and the Common Core Copyright made up the ‘foot in the door’ for standardizing the 50-state strategy. This was the first step towards nationalizing education—with national standards, a national test, and moving toward a national curriculum. Parents against Common Core are being used, especially by directing them to a new, easy answer to sidestep Common Core, i.e., government-controlled “choice.”

‘Conservative’ groups have told parents they can save their children from the federal government by supporting this “choice.” Little do these ‘new-to-the-system’ parents realize that they are being set up for a trap. Choice is that trap, and charter schools are right behind, for the bigger trap agenda. When this agenda becomes fully operational, parents will actually lose their voice. They will lose their vote in our representative form of government. There will be no true representation. The word “accountability” has meaning; it means being in compliance to federal law. You know, the federal strings attached to federal money. This fake “choice” is attached to federal strings.

What happens with Common Core? College and Career Ready Standards, or Workforce Readiness Skills, in a standards-based system will identify your child to the federal government as an individual future global worker. It doesn’t matter what name the standards use—it is within the power of the federal government to access your individual child through these individual standards. This plan was laid out by the U.S. Department of Labor in the Secretary’s Commission for Achieving Necessary Skills (SCANS) report way back in 1992. Obama has set out his plan through “Race to the Top,” his plan to nationalize education. This is also hidden in the ESEA Flexibility Waiver, called Title I (explained below). Here is the hard part for people to understand—the fact is that this same plan was also once called the Reagan Plan, the Clinton Plan, the Bush Plan, and the Romney Plan. Romney called for using Title I funds and IDEA, which is Special Education, the Individuals with Disabilities in Education Act for school “choice.”

Here is the plan, or let’s call it “The Big Picture”:

Individual standards are to be met by individual students, taught by individual teachers. Individual students must be taught with validated—approved and certified–curriculum. All three entities are controlled through “accountability”—the federal test. This triad–controlled standards, controlled teachers, and controlled curriculum–is the plan.

This 3-faceted plan controls the outcome—your child or student. The ‘Conservatives” plan is to fund individual children wherever they go to school, so this “choice” money “follows the child” and extends the accountability even to private and religious schools.

Both the Liberal and Conservative plans take advantage (profit from) the money-making schemes that result from the expansion of for-profit charter schools. Both sides of the political spectrum have plans that converge. They all want the same results—nationalizing education with federal control of ALL children, ALL teachers, ALL curriculum, and ALL schools or “knowledge-dispensing centers.” Oh, and by the way, they want your local tax base, too.

Here is how this plan will work:

It is all about Title I

The Obama Administration has given states ESEA
Flexibility Waivers to the Elementary and Secondary Education Act (ESEA), which is Bush’s No Child Left Behind legislation. ALL ESEA Flex Waivers require College and Career Ready Standards. What we have seen so far is deceptive. A state will withdraw from the Memorandum of Understanding (MOU), the copyright for Common Core, and then align Common Core into its own state standards when accepting the waiver.

But, parents must realize that Common Core has been transformed with a new name. The state will still conform to College and Career Ready Standards mandated by “Race to the Top” (RTTTT) funding, but further explained in these flexibility waivers. Particularly, these standards must go beyond language arts and math toward workforce readiness skills, which originally started as Common Core. Sometimes a state will include P20W, pre-natal through age 20, standards into the workforce training, expanding the K-12 agenda. (See, for example, “Oregon’s Common Core Goes P-20”: and Kentucky, too:

NOTE: The following pilot states—Ohio, Kentucky, Maine, West Virginia, Wisconsin, New York, New Hampshire, and Oregon—are redesigning their educational systems to correlate with federal standards called Innovation Lab Network, funded by the international Organization of Economic and Cultural Development (OECD), Lumina Foundation, and Chief State School Officers (CCSSO). CCSSO is the group that copyrighted the Common Core Standards along with the National Governors Association.

Oklahoma’s passage of House Bill 3399, that supposedly removed Common Core Standards, stated this in their bill:

Upon the effective date of this act, the State Board of Education shall seek certification from the State Regents for Higher Education that the subject matter standards for English Language Arts and Mathematics which were in place prior to the revisions adopted by the Board in June 2010 are college-and career-ready as defined in the Federal Elementary and Secondary Education Act (ESEA) Flexibility document issued by the United States Department of Education…. [emphasis added]

Oh no! The legislature put Common Core into law through their Flex Waiver! Governor Fallin is the Chairman of the National Governors Association (the other group that copyrighted the Common Core Standards). Oklahoma now calls their standards “Oklahoma Academic Standards,” and on the front of their Flex Waiver called their agenda “C3, College, Career, Citizenship Standards”—exactly the same as the CCSSO were calling it–to expand the standards to include dispositions, or attitudinal and value standards. We can assume that these standards will include testing and interventions in the non-cognitive domain.

Indiana’s supposed departure from Common Core is referred to as the “grand deception.” Indiana’s HB 1427 states:

Provides that the state board shall implement educational standards that use the common core standards as the base model for academic standards to the extent necessary to comply with federal standards to receive a Flexibility Waiver.

[emphasis added]

South Carolina’s bill, H3893, to stop Common Core and the Smarter Balanced Test states:

The summative assessment must assess students in English/language arts and mathematics, including those students as required by the federal Individuals with Disabilities Education Act and by Title I of the Elementary and Secondary Education Act. For purposes of this subsection, ‘English/language arts’ includes English, reading, and writing skills as required by existing state standards. [emphasis added]

Existing state standards? You guessed it! Common Core. Do you see a pattern here? This has happened in several states where Common Core is most controversial. While parents believe Common Core is gone, little do they know those standards were just embedded in the ESEA Title I Flexibility Waivers signed by your state’s secretary or superintendent of education. Unfortunately, Oklahoma, Indiana, and South Carolina have taken the bait. Common Core is still there, with other new forceful accountability measures, like Value Added Models (VAM), to be sure teachers are teaching Common Core, and interventions using special education funds from the Individuals with Disabilities Education Act (IDEA) called “Response to Intervention.” RtI is used for ALL students to make sure they are covered by IDEA to meet Common Core Standards.

The Plan to Use Title I to Expand School Choice to Private and Religious schools

How will EVERY child become Title I? President Johnson’s “War on Poverty” gave schools funding, called ESEA Title I, to help those schools where there were concentrations of students who were poor. Interestingly enough, the term was “educationally deprived.” So, the issue with the ESEA Flexibility Waiver is that the poverty guidelines were removed. This means that children who qualified for free and reduced lunches, where a school had to have 40% of students that qualified under poverty guidelines, are now in a school where that requirement is reduced to “0%.” This means ALL individual children in an entire school can receive federal ESEA Title I funds for EVERY child: the funds “follow the child.”

This means that a child is considered “educationally deprived” if he/she does not meet standards. Interestingly, the ‘Conservative’ organization American Legislative Exchange Council, (ALEC) just released model legislation for choice and charter schools for every state in the country. They refer to students not meeting standards with the term “academically disadvantaged.” This is what is needed to move forward with federal “choice.” EVERY child must be identified for “choice” funds, no matter where they go to school. Obama has done this through the ESEA Flexibility Waiver.

Now that ALL children in public school are Title I, the Republicans can take over from here. They want “choice” [those Title I funds] for EVERY student who goes to private and religious schools, too! This is a terrible bait and switch deception for those parents and citizens who think that choice means freedom of choice for private and religious education! This is not freedom, nor true choice.

Where is the federal “choice” agenda now? ESEA Re-authorization Is held up by Senator Reid… at the moment.

The Re-authorization of ESEA is the bill in Congress that changes how funding will now follow the child. The Republicans in the House of Representatives added “choice” amendments to the ESEA Re-authorization in HR 5 that can “follow the child” with Title I funds into any private or religious school. This passed the House in July of 2013. The Democrats, on the Senate side, voted to have SB 1094 come out of committee, but it has not been brought up for an entire Senate vote. SB 1094 wants Title I funds to follow the child to any public or charter school. But, Obama’s Flexibility Waivers are doing most of that job already without the passage of the Re-authorization of ESEA legislation. Obama supports “choice” in the Flexibility Waivers in public schools. The passage of the entire ESEA package (with Republican amendments in conference committee using federal “choice” funding) will allow federal Title I funds to be attached to your child, to have the “choice” to go to any school, anywhere. This is the legislation that Obama and the ‘Conservative’ groups want to pass for federal “choice” to become a reality.

WARNING! There are strings attached! Title I Choice funds can be connected to your child to go to any charter, private or religious school you choose. Obama wants “equity” in education. This means the same amount of money for every child with federal accountability strings attached. The compromise will be “choice” for everyone, potentially even home schoolers. There will be no differences in schools anywhere, nationalizing education in the United States through “choice” and Common Core—all will have to “drink the Kool-Aid.” That’s what “equity in education” means. All schools will become government schools under the Re-authorization of ESEA. You get “choice.” But they control all the schools!

Here is the

Let’s say the Re-authorization of ESEA is passed with the “choice” amendments. Your child has already been identified by the national database through the state longitudinal data system. Your child has been identified for funding under Title I because of the Flex Waiver. Now, with this “choice” the Title I funds will “follow” your child to whichever school you choose.

Here is an example of what can happen once your child has the “choice” funds in his/her backpack, with their name allotted to the scholarship, and you (the parent) decide to use this “choice” funding to send your child to Immaculate Conception Catholic School in Washington, Pennsylvania. This school will be mandated by federal law to comply with ESEA, better known as Common Core. This will be disguised as academic standards or College and Career Ready Standards (CCRS). Under this sort of “choice,” there can be no discrimination for this Catholic school to turn down a student. [NOTE: This changes the hope that a private school can bypass this issue by just refusing federal funding. The private school must refuse the child. This is where discrimination comes into play.] So, Immaculate Conception must enroll your child. This would be the same for any private school or religious school.

Immaculate Conception will be mandated to administer the federal test. This national test will also evaluate the teachers. If Immaculate Conception School is not teaching Common Core, they will be targeted as a priority or focus school to be brought into compliance with the law. This will be the demise of “private” in your group of “choice” schools. This will be the end of truly private education in America, because your private or religious school just became a government school—it must use the standards passed in your state (Common Core warmed over), and take the assessment aligned to the national curriculum and national test. All schools become government schools with “choice.”

Is This the End of Public Schools?

Now, what happens to the old public school that your child just left? Your old public school will struggle. Your local district must pay for at least 50% of your child’s stipend or scholarship with taxes collected locally so that your child can go to another school. Your federal Title I “Choice” fund pays the other 50%. Your public school loses 100% of funding for every student who leaves to go to a “choice” school. Your public school system locally will collapse, because there will not be enough money in the budget to support your community’s school. Plus, your tax money will be following students everywhere, even across state lines.

Your locally elected school directors will be fired or retired. What happens to “voting” for locally elected representatives? What happens to your tax base, to property taxes that were collected to run your neighborhood school? Where will property taxes go if there are no public schools? What happens to wealthier districts if funding for students becomes equalized? This is the “punch in the gut” that Secretary Duncan was talking about when he chastised soccer moms that were against Common Core.

Meanwhile, everyone is fiddling around with Common Core, states are taking the caps off the number of charter schools, expanding them, closing down public schools, and sometimes transforming a public school into a charter school. Parent trigger bills are allowing parents to set up charter schools. Charter schools are not private schools. Charters are public schools. They have with no elected boards, but they do have access to public funds.

A June 24, 2014 article in the Detroit Free Press explains the powerless authority of a Charter School Board when told, “none of the board’s business” as to how the school was run.

“In its investigation into how Michigan’s charter schools perform and spend nearly $1 billion a year in taxpayer dollars, the Free Press found board members who were kept clueless by their management companies about school budgets or threatened and removed by a school’s authorizer when they tried to exercise the responsibilities that come with their oath of office. Board members removed by an authorizer have no recourse in Michigan.”

“There have been board members who have basically said, ‘We tried to make changes, we tried to instill our rights as board members overseeing a public school’ and were essentially told to back off,” said Casandra Ulbrich, vice president of the state Board of Education, which sets education policy and advises lawmakers. “You have to question who’s really running the show here because technically and legally, it’s supposed to be the board.” In traditional school districts, with elected boards, members can’t be removed for asking tough questions. Voters get to decide whether to re-elect a board member.” [emphases mine]

By supporting the Common Core agenda you have just agreed to diminish our American representative form of government by supporting “choice” and charter schools. Taxation without representation. Will taxes be centralized or regionalized toward a central base? Will the people have any power or voice to change this system?

So, think again. “What is your choice?” Charter schools, private schools, religious schools, and remaining public schools—all conforming to the ESEA federal law with Common Core embedded in the standards. Your state will continue to reduce caps on charter schools, and some public schools will become community “hub centers” or school-based clinics. And lest you forget, SB 1094 also changed the definition of a “Family Member.” You, the parent are demoted to a “partner” who is responsible for your child along with many “other” government officials. Please do an Internet search for the definition of partnership. You won’t like it when the government takes away your authority as a parent, your voice and your representative voting power is lost forever and your child belongs to the state, with reduced in authority to “partner.” And if your child moves to another city or state to go to a school more suited to his/her abilities and can produce more “human capital” from your child, who will “partner” with him/her there?

Will these ‘Conservative’ groups and Obama give you the straight talk about ESEA and ESEA Flexibility Waivers? Will they tell you the truth about what will happen to your private, Catholic, or Christian school with federal “choice”? No! They are NOT talking about it! They continue to insist that “choice” is the answer. Keep in mind that there is a profit motive for many of these groups to continue to advocate this phony “choice.”

What Will Happen if the U.S. Department of Education is Abolished?

So, what about abolishing the U.S. Department of Education? Watch the switcheroo!

Who better to monitor human capital than the U.S. Department of Labor? Plus, another aspect of SB 1094 (Re-authorization of ESEA) is that they want a national assessment board that monitors compliance to the national test, most likely the National Assessment of Educational Progress (NAEP). Well, this “appointed” commission was the plan all along, too.

The Gordon Commission has already been set up by Obama and the Educational Testing Service (ETS),the contractor for NAEP, which calls for an unelected board to manage the national test. Want to talk about top down control? Why not just use the U.S. Department of Labor to monitor the “human capital” (your child’s economic value to the state) that is being processed by all schools in America? The national testing, along with the National Center of Education Statistics (NCES), will monitor compliance from the national database on ALL aspects of education.

Who needs the U.S. Department of Education? Who needs state control of funding when Title I federal funds “follow the child” and do NOT pass through state government? Who needs locally elected school boards when public schools fail?

CEO Reed Hastings of Netflix, who is a big charter school supporter and an investor in the Rocketship Education charter school network, agrees. His big idea is to “kill” elected school boards. “At a meeting of the California Charter Schools Association on March 4, he said in a keynote speech that the problem with public schools is that they are governed by elected local school boards.”

Effectively, this charter school system destroys representative government.

Why the System Needs Traditional Teachers Out of the Way

Traditional teachers must be gotten rid of. The Vergara case in Los Angeles ruled teacher tenure unconstitutional, and it serves as the precedent doing away with teacher tenure. Soon you will see lawsuits erupting all over the country against teacher tenure with the Obama gang members presiding.

Teachers unions are girding for a tough fight to defend tenure laws against a coming blitz of lawsuits — and an all-out public relations campaign led by former aides to President Barack Obama.

But, wait a minute! Wasn’t that the so-called ‘conservative’ FreedomWorks agenda? So, now you know the rest of the story. Who is on whose side?

Teachers will be manipulated to leave the education system through the Value-Added Measurement Model (VAMM) incorporated into the ESEA Fexibility Waiver. Teachers will be evaluated by how their students score on the national test. Teachers MUST teach to the test, and must be evaluated with the Charlotte Danielson Evaluation, spelled out in the Flex Waivers. [NOTE: Charlotte Danielson was an official with the Northwest Regional Educational Laboratory during development of the original Course Goals Collection, the forerunner of Outcome-Based Education and the Common Core.] All curriculum used will be developed with total alignment to the standards aligned system (SAS), which matches curriculum, teaching, and testing to the standards. Teachers must perform and teach the standards, period.

Removing teacher tenure easily allows traditional teachers who know what is best for children, to be replaced if they do not conform to the Common Core agenda. The Fexibility Waiver is very clear about replacing the principals and the teachers not in compliance. Young, inexperienced Teach For America members are standing on the sidelines ready to jump at the chance to replace traditional teachers. Eager and committed, they will comply with the plan.

All barriers are now removed for federal takeover.

A Little Background on Choice

When the controversy exploded in the 1990’s over Outcome Based Education (OBE), the education bureaucrats did not expect the explosion of fury from parents against OBE and the subjective learning outcomes that were trying to be placed in every state at that time. OBE failed. The bureaucrats have gotten smarter, but very little else has changed.

Copyright the standards, call them academic, and align them to “Race to the Top” funds so every state could be the same. Change Title I in ESEA for every child to be funded the same, equity in education. Test every child to see where their weaknesses are in meeting standards that were expanded to values and attitudes. Then use Special Ed funds for remediation or intervention to meet those standards. Monitor and force teachers to teach the standards, and implement choice to throw the net over everyone. Here was the sentiment then, as it is now:

“TO OBE OR NOT TO OBE?” WAS THE QUESTION POSED BY MARJORIE LEDELL, ASSOCIATE of William Spady’s in his High Success Network in her article for Educational
Leadership‘s January 1994 issue. On page 18 of her article we read the following:

Finally, raise the real issue and depend on democracy. Don’t let “to OBE (common core) or Not to OBE (common core)” or “to implement or not implement efforts to improve student learning” cloud the overdue national debate about whether public education should exist or be replaced with publicly funded private education.

[Emphasis added. OBE quote taken from The Deliberate Dumbing Down of America
by Charlotte T. Iserbyt.]

Sorry, FreedomWorks. Freedom doesn’t work this way.

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