As the National Governor Association and the Council of Chiefs (CCSSO) roll out the
state-led, oops, sorry, national standards, they are distributing a sort of loyalty oath to a number of players in the industry. Remember that this is primarily about money, and the K-12 industry spends hundreds of billions of dollars a year in this country. Much of that is textbooks, and the reason the feds were livid with Texas is that it was a large buyer of textbooks and was uninterested in a centralized, national curriculum. So it decided not to participate. CA is not in yet either. Those are two mighty big prizes.
But the NGA and CCSSO can have a big impact, especially with the Gates Foundation bankrolling them. What interests would the Gates Foundation, Pearson, ETS and other testing companies have in this effort to create a uniform set of standards you ask? 😉
So testing companies, publishing companies, and all the other participants in the industry have received an “Endorsing Partner” agreement, which says:
As an endorsing partner, we support the Common Core State Standards Initiative in its mission to ensure every American student graduates high school with the skills and knowledge needed to thrive in the 21st century. We agree with the goal of the Common Core State Standards Initiative to produce a common core of voluntary state standards across grades K-12 in English/language arts, math, and eventually science that are:
o Aligned with college and career expectations;
o Internationally benchmarked against high performing nations;
o Reflective of vital cross-disciplinary skills such as critical thinking, problem
solving, logical reasoning, communication, and team work;
o Fewer in scope and deeper in meaning; and
o Clearly written and user-friendly to educators.
Then, very kindly the document tells each company what its responsibilities will be in supporting the effort and speaking nicely about it. In the 1990s, with the heyday of the cult of the CEO we had financial “masters of the universe.” The masters of the universe have migrated from Harvard and the law schools to DC now. They know all and will be obeyed… until, of course, they fail. And they will. The USED has never accomplished anything of substance.