by Gretchen Logue of Missouri Education Watchdog
Why are meetings that use tax dollars for public education planning closed to the taxpayers who are paying for the services and providing the children for the public education system?
Truth in American Education wondered why taxpayer Heather Crossin was unable to attend a recent meeting of the Council of Chief State School Officers held in Indiana. CCSSO is a private trade organization using federal and state funding (taxpayer money) to write/direct public education standards/assessments. Crossin not only could not attend the meetings, she could not discover the persons on the panel writing the Social Studies standards your teachers will be teaching and your children will be learning. From heartland.org:
Indiana resident Heather Crossin, whose children attend schools implementing the Core, attempted to attend an October 2012 CCSSO meeting in her Indianapolis hometown. Crossin called Michele Parks, a CCSSO meeting planner, to see if she could attend. No, Parks said. Crossin asked to see a list of people on the Social Studies standards writing team: “I was told that was not available for public release,” Crossin said.
Ten weeks entailing dozens of emails and phone calls to at least six CCSSO spokesmen and personnel for access to the Indianapolis meeting or any others at last yielded an email to School Reform News from spokeswoman Kate Dando in December: “our meetings/sessions at our meetings are open to press really on a case by case basis,” she wrote.
How much money does CCSSO receive?
CCSSO receives tax money from more than state dues. It receives millions from the U.S. Department of Education.
“Approximately 13% and 33% of the Council’s revenue and 25% and 34% of accounts receivable were provided by U.S. Department of Education grants or contracts for fiscal years 2011 and 2010, respectively,” the nonprofit’s 2010-2011 financial statement reads.
Applying the 2011 percentage to that year’s revenues yields an estimated $3,450,930 in CCSSO revenue from the federal government, just in that year. In 2011, $558,000 came from the 2009 stimulus bill for CCSSO’s involvement with one of two networks creating new tests to fit the standards.
In 2010, the U.S. DOE granted those two networks $330 million in stimulus funds. This action, more than any other, led conservative supporters of the Common Core to complain of federal interference in education, a constitutionally protected state function.
Maybe it’s time to ask your state educational agency and legislators how much money is paid to CCSSO with taxpayer funding in your state. If you can’t get a seat at the table, then maybe it’s time to pull the state and district funding for this organization and allow the Federal government to fully fund this organization.
Oh, but that’s right. It’s “state led”, right? If it’s “state led” then why are there mandates set by the DOEd that the states must pay for via CCSSO costs and district costs for implementation? It’s illegal for the Federal government to set Federally mandated educational direction for states but does it seem to you that’s what has happened?
Some reporters have attended some CCSSO meetings, usually on background, she said, which means they cannot directly quote what they hear. Why?
Why? Exactly… what do they have to hide?