Remember when we were told Common Core was not a federal program and the feds weren’t federalizing anything? Apparently that doesn’t apply to punishing those who opt-out of Common Core testing. In addition, people who opt-out are hurting minorities and the disabled according to Education Secretary Arne Duncan.
The Common Core initiative was alleged to be states-driven. It was the brainchild of governors, not the feds, even though most governors didn’t know much about it beyond the monies coming into their state. Anyone who said it arose out of the federal government was called a conspiracy theorist – a wacko bird for sure.
Last week, 184,000 out of 1.1 million students nationwide opted-out of the testing.
Education Secretary Arne Duncan responded by threatening Americans. If the states can’t stop this, the federal government will “have an obligation to step in,” he said.
“The feds are discussing the possibility of imposing penalties for failing to hit participation rate targets.” He added that the state is also expected to “consider imposing sanctions” on districts that fail to meet the 95 percent threshold, which could include withholding money “in the most egregious cases.”
The federal government will first pressure the states and if that doesn’t work, they will punish school districts.
National Review Online reported that Education Week summarized Duncan’s responses to opt-outs like this:
In the past, English Language Learners, students in special education, and racial minorities were “swept under the rug,” Duncan said. “Folks in the civil rights community, folks in the disability community, they want their kids being assessed. They want to know if they are making progress or growth.”
He’s trying to blame the white suburban moms for sweeping minorities and the disabled under the rug. It’s simply fictitious, it’s insulting, and it’s another straw man meant to force us all into compliance.
As recorded in the same Education Week interview, Duncan was asked, “What’s your biggest regret in the past seven years? Would it be saying that white suburban moms are the biggest critics of the Common Core State Standards initiative?”
The part of his answer that is most telling is this: “I try to speak from the heart and try and speak honestly.”
He’s being honest. He doesn’t regret it and he’s a bigot against white moms. It’s as simple as that.
Some states are not going along with the testing though most are.
Colorado’s state board of education was one that passed a resolution in February saying that the state’s education department cannot penalize districts with low rates of student participation in standardized tests due to parent opt outs. And a bill that would protect parents’ right to opt students out of tests passed in the state Senate earlier this month.
The punishment the federal education department is considering for now is withholding funding from states with too few numbers. If that doesn’t work, how far would they go?
Source: National Review Online