Following the Gates-CCSS Money Trail

When I first studied the Common Core State Standards (CCSS), I was a member of the 2010-11 North Kansas City Schools’ (NKCS) Superintendent’s Leadership Institute. As part of a three-member team, which did a comparative study of the then NKCS district curriculum standards and the CCSS, I also studied the ties between the origin of the CCSS and ACT. What my team reported in regard to the comparative study is that our district’s curriculum aligned more closely to the CCSS than some expected. It was my thought that more than anything we were looking at a bigger shift in pedagogy than content. Most of the content was there. It was the delivery that would need tweaking.

On the other hand, my delving into the ties between the CCSS and ACT revealed what we all now know and that is the CCSS and ACT are closely affiliated. (The CCSS developers are actually transparent in acknowledging that when they wanted a definition for College and Career Readiness they looked to ACT.)

With that in mind, I now find it of great interest as a state which has adopted the CCSS, Missouri has become the 9th state to require all high school juniors take the ACT.

For years, my simple mind has tried to get my brain around how the CCSS were developed in what appeared to me to be a very short amount of time. From my vantage point, the CCSS went from idea to reality in little more than a blink of an eye.

Now, thanks to a recent blog post by Diane Ravitch I understand how it happened. It really boils down to a money trail between Bill Gates and David Coleman, et al.

In fact, I have a sinking feeling everything regarding recent education reform boils down to little more than money and lots of it–pure greed at the potential expense of one of our country’s greatest assets, its students.

Not to say that everything about the CCSS is bad, but I also agree with Diane Ravitch that it is time for Congress to step in and investigate just what and how it all came about.

Then again asking Congress to follow the Gates-CCSS money trail might be like asking a fox to guard the chicken coop.



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About barbarawmadden

I began teaching in 1981, but after a few years decided staying home with my children was what was best for my family. After almost 20 years raising four children, I returned to the classroom in 2005.

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