Susie Makens: What is Common Core? |

Susie Makens: What is Common Core?

On Wednesday at 5:30 p.m. in the Steamboat Springs School District’s administration office, a presentation will be given about Common Core. What is Common Core? It is about the future education of our children and their personal lives as well as yours.

Common Core is the new federal framework for education in American schools. Grant money was offered to all the states; 45 states took the bait, called “Race to the Top.” States had to agree to four major components:

  1. Adopt standards and assessments aligned to Common Core.

  2. Build a data system that measures student growth and success and statewide longitudinal data systems.

  3. Recruit, develop, reward and retain effective teachers and principals.

  4. Bring low-achieving schools up to Common Core standards.

How would you like to have our government track your children’s health records, testing, teachers’ observations, personal information (religious, political, behavior problems, racial identity, etc.)? It only gets better. The information now can be shared with other organizations around the country if not the world. You pick an organization, and they will be able to access your children’s records if they technically claim to have an educational interest.

The Family Education Rights to Privacy Act was thrown out the window in 2012. The U.S. Department of Education rewrote this act. Parents’ rights have been railroaded; they no longer have the right to protect their children’s information.

This information will be passed up to the federal government all in the name to accommodate Common Core standards. Colorado is 100 percent on board. Colorado P-20 Education reports that under HB 1364, which was passed in 2008, permission was given for state agencies to implement cross-departmental protocols for data sharing across state agencies. The new system will collect student data from multiple sources and will make it available to educators, policymakers, researchers and who knows who else.

As mentioned in the paper this week, Colorado has just passed another law creating a commission that will make annual recommendations for additional legislation. So now, tracking can start at birth and acquire information on school readiness, heath care, parental involvement, family support, childcare, early learning, etc., all for “the best interest of the state.”

What are the true objectives of this data collection? Do you want your child’s information made available for the public? Our Fourth Amendment has been ransacked.

You should applaud Colorado’s Department of Education for allowing our children to become part of a pilot program called “inBloom, Inc.” As mentioned before, all their personnel information will be stored on a “data cloud” and shared with a for-profit corporation.

Scheduled to start in January 2014, schools have begun the massive data collection. We can thank Mr. Bill Gates; it is his organization that is behind “inBloom.” Some states have pulled out of this because of the privacy concerns and parent protests.

All testing will be done online. The SATs and ACTs are being rewritten to Common Core standards. What are these standards? Are the standards being further “dumbed down?” If you have a vested interest in our children’s future, please do the research and attend this meeting to listen with an open mind.

Common Core affects everyone and has no political boundaries. Education was a right reserved for the states not the federal government.

Susie Makens

Steamboat Springs

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