To the Editor:
Raise your hand if you’ve heard of Common Core, which is a national set of math and English standards defining what every student should learn from first grade through 12th.
Pitched to the states by conditioning eligibility for Race to the Top funding and waivers from No Child Left Behind on adoption of Common Core, it was adopted by the Illinois Board of Education without legislative or parental input. This year, it came to a school district near you.
Common Core standards and assessments are being used by the U.S. Department of Education to construct state student databases.
Reuters reported that “the database already holds files on millions of children identified by name, address and, sometimes, Social Security number.
Learning disabilities are documented, test scores recorded, attendance noted. In some cases, the database tracks student hobbies, career goals, attitudes toward school – even homework completion.”
Federal law allows local districts to share files in their portion of the database with private companies selling educational products and services.
How long will it be before that data show up on a college or job application?
There’s no constitutional authority for federal control over education, but by tying grant money to the adoption of national standards, the federal government, with the active participation of a state grasping for cash, has further undermined parental authority.
Indiana recently stopped the implementation of Common Core. Illinois should do the same until there’s been a full hearing to determine what Common Core means to Illinois’ children.