Montana residents keep hearing how the federal government had no role in Common Core. With just a little research though, this claim can be found false.

The following is a post from the Missouri Education Watchdog that helps refute what Montanans are being told by our OPI and Board of Public Education.

Attendees at all the statewide Common Core DESE meetings on May 2 were told the Federal Government didn’t have a role in the Common Core standards.

Research calls this statement into question:

●     It has been established CCSS were crafted by the Council of Chief State School Officers and the National Governor’s Association, both private organizations, funded by federal stimulus money.

●     CCSS could be adopted by states via a Federal waiver given by Arne Duncan to escape from the No Child Left Behind (NCLB)  requirements.

●      Memorandums of Understanding (MOU’s) were signed by Missouri to Smarter Balanced Assessment Consortia to send individual student, teacher, principal data to the consortia….and SBAC consequently signed a MOU with the USDOEd to send data to this federal agency for dissemination and research.

The federal government’s fingerprints all over Common Core State standards.

Look at this report from McGraw-Hill in 2011.  From education_brief:

pg. 4:

What role will the U.S. DOE play?

Although the U.S. DOE supports the Common Core Initiative, they have had no role in the development of the Common Core State Standards. Their involvement moving forward will depend heavily on future elections and overall changes to the role of the Federal Government in education. If the Fed continues to be a driving force in setting the education agenda with a reauthorization of the Elementary and Secondary Education Act then they could play a big role in linking competitive grant funding to the adoption and successful implementation of the Common Core Standards and new requirements for College and Career ready students.

(MEW note: would the Federal Government support development of standards that it didn’t agree with?)

How will states assess the Common Core?

Two consortia have been awarded competitive grant funds for the development of tests to assess the Common Core Standards. SMARTER Balanced Assessment Consortium (SBAC) was awarded a four-year$176 million Race to the Top assessment grant by the U.S. Department of Education to develop a student assessment system aligned to a Common Core of academic standards. Partnership for the Assessment of Readiness for College and Careers (PARCC or Partnership) PARCC RttT Assessment Consortium was awarded $170 of the $330 million. Assessments are expected for 2014 and are expected to include results from performance-based tasks through testing and traditional end-of-year assessments. Both plan to include end of year assessments offered online.

pg. 7:

The Common Core Standards and Race to the Top

“While states voluntarily agreed to participate in the process, the effort gained a great deal of momentum when the Obama Administration included participation in the Common Core as an eligibility criterion for many of the programs created out of the $110 billion stimulus funds. Programs such as Race to the Top rewarded states that not only participated in developing the Common Core, but also adopted them.”

(From Education Insider: Common Core Standards and Assessment Coalitions: Whiteboard Advisors)

Assessing the Common Core Standards

A significant piece of the CCSSI is the adoption of a common (or comparable) assessment system across the participating states. Supported through $330 million in funding from the ARRA, the Administration held a number of hearings to develop a competition to fund next generation assessment systems aligned to the standards. This competition resulted in two assessment consortia who would lead development efforts for a common assessment of the Common Core Standards.

pg. 8:

SMARTER Balanced Consortium (SBAC)

“A second consortium, The SMARTER Balanced Assessment Consortium (SBAC), is a collection of 30 states that have been working collaboratively since December 2009 to develop a student assessment system aligned to a Common Core of academic content standards. The SBAC was awarded a four-year $176 million Race to the Top assessment grant by the US Department of Education (USED) to develop a student assessment system aligned to a Common Core of academic standards.”

(From OSPI SBAChttp://www.k12.wa.us/smarter/)

 

pg. 12…what happens when this Federal money runs out?

State and District Implementation Plans

States and districts are unsure what the true cost of implementing Common Core will be and worry that the money needed will not be available in state or federal budgets. The recession and widespread budget cuts can adversely affect efforts to implement. States adopting these standards must be prepared to implement strategies and support as these will soon become the basis on which students are judged.  (MEW note: Where will this “support” come from?  This will be an unpleasant surprise to state legislators when they are left to pick up the bill for the implementation that bypassed them.)

State and District Implementation Plans

States and districts are unsure what the true cost of implementing Common Core will be and worry that the money needed will not be available in state or federal budgets. The recession and widespread budget cuts can adversely affect efforts to implement. States adopting these standards must be prepared to implement strategies and support as these will soon become the basis on which students are judged. (MEW note: if there is no federal involvement, why should states worry there will be no money available from the Federal government?)

(From Educator Insider: Whiteboard Advisor)

The Role of Federal Government in the Common Core

While the federal government has had no role in the development of the Common Core state standards, according to the CCSSI, the federal government may have the opportunity to support states as they begin adopting the standards.

For example, the federal government may:

•  Support this effort through a range of tiered incentives, such as providing states with greater flexibility in the use of existing federal funds, supporting a revised state accountability structure, and offering financial support for states to implement the standards.

•  Provide long-term financial support for the development and implementation of common assessments, teacher and principal professional development, and research to help continually improve the Common Core state standards over time.

•  Revise and align existing federal education laws with the lessons learned from the best of what works in other nations and from research.

(From http://www.corestandards.org/frequently-asked-questions)

Just because Arne Duncan’s signature is not on the state MOUs agreeing to adopt Common Core, do proponents really believe citizens accept the talking point that “the federal government has had no role in the development of the Common Core state standards?”   This is a false assertion as the initiative was funded by stimulus money, the Federal government is establishing guidelines the states have to follow, state assessment systems were funded by federal dollars, states will be rewarded (or not) for implementation, and federal laws will be realigned that the states must follow.

 

As a reader commented on a previous post about DESE’s claims:

You gotta love their logic. Let’s see, we don’t have to get legislative approval for CC because it is stimulus money, but the federal gov isn’t paying for CCSS.

Montana isn’t any different than Missouri.  We signed up for the same Common Core Standards as the other 44 states.  And yes, there are plenty of federal fingerprints all over Common Core.

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