We oppose the CCSSI because it continues the failed education reforms of the past and violates privacy rights as it builds a system for centrally managed student training for the future workforce of the “Global Economy.” This central goal will dismantle liberal arts education, which most contributes to the development of mature thinkers who are prepared to thrive in any chosen life path and sustain a free civilization.
After weeks of deliberate, methodical discussions on key points of current education reforms in the U.S., the Left-Right Alliance for Education has concluded that there is a solid foundation for multi-partisan opposition to the Common Core State Standards Initiative. Below are our statements of opposition to the CCSSI and the rationales for them.
- We oppose the philosophy of standardization built into all federal education initiatives, including the Common Core State Standards Initiative.
- We oppose high-stakes testing.
- We oppose a national student data system.
1. We oppose the philosophy of standardization built into all federal education initiatives, including the Common Core State Standards Initiative.
- The CCSSI will expand the failed philosophy of standardization in an attempt to build a workforce-oriented school system at the expense of the greater characteristics of sound education.
- Education policies based on the philosophy of standardization lead to a hyper-focus on quantifiable skills that fail to provide students with the instructional supports that develop mature thinkers prepared to thrive in any chosen life path.
- These policies ignore accepted scientific research on human development and correlate education with the processes applied in the manufacturing sector; deluge kids with test taking and assignment rubrics; bore and frustrate; squash the love of learning; impede quality teaching; pit schools against parents, and fail to develop creative, mature human beings.
- The standardization intrinsic in the CCSSI, and others like it, causes great harm to the development of children and is especially detrimental to disadvantaged children.
- Local decision making for education and educational choice serve both students and teachers better, facilitating individualized learning and teaching styles instead of putting every child and teacher in the same box.
- The CCSSI high-stakes assessments lead to a hyper-focus on a narrow set of quantifiable skills at the expense of the greater characteristics of education founded in a broad curriculum.
- These assessments rely on computer-generated testing, excludes other ways students demonstrate proficiency and progress, and ignore the fact that teachers and parents are best able to judge a student's progress.
- The infrastructure and technology demands divert school and classroom resources away from those components that most impact student success.
- High-stakes testing has transformed schools into centers for test preparation and chip away at a child’s innate love of learning.
- Federal and state mandated high-stakes tests lead to excessive pressure on students and teachers and to bullying and punitive actions when parents choose to opt their children out of testing.
3. We oppose national student data systems.
- We oppose the CCSSI P-20 State Longitudinal Data Systems being integrated across state lines with some data available to government agencies and research organizations without parental consent via U.S. DOE regulatory change.
- We are concerned that these databases are not secure and unnecessarily expose student data to hacking, misuse, and publication, and violate the intent of protecting student privacy provided under FERPA.
- The rush to implementation is enticing for-profit companies to provide products and services without accountability to parents, individual students, and taxpayers.
- When coupled with highly predictive computer testing and learning data, which includes physiological and behavioral profiles, the database will store a “learning profile” that will follow students into their adult lives and may negatively impact future opportunities.
- When commercial interests are combined with the core vision of the CCSSI to build a system for centrally managed student training with the purpose of fitting the future generation in a managed workforce for the “Global Economy,” the data systems may be the component that most concerns parents.