#CommonCore: The Joke’s On Us: 20 U.S.C. § 3403 : US Code – Section 3403: Relationship with States

by Gretchen Logue of Missouri Education Watchdog

Neal McCluskey writes how the Federal Government seems to be directing testing in the Common Core consortia.  From Saying Common Core Not Federal a Joke, but Joke’s on Us:

Last week I posted video from an American Enterprise Institute conference featuring supporters of national curriculum standards—the Common Core—dismissing concerns that implementing the standards might cost lots of taxpayer arms and legs, and laughingly brushing aside concerns that the Common Core might lead to federal control of school curricula. The latter emanated largely from Chester “Checker” Finn, president of the Thomas B. Fordham Institute, whose organization is a leading national standards supporter.
Yesterday news came out that made clear just how serious—and unfunny—concerns about a federal takeover are. According to Education Week, the U.S. Department of Education will start a “technical review process” for the Department-selected consortia creating the national tests to go with the standards. And what will that review look at? Not compliance with accounting standards or something administrative, but test “item design and validation.” That means, most likely (in-depth information from the Department was off-line as of this writing) reviewing the specific questions that will go on the tests. And what is tested, of course, ultimately dictates what is taught, at least if the test results are to have any concrete impact, ranging from whether students advance to the next grade, to whether schools gain or lose funding. Since the ultimate point of uniform standards is to have essentially uniform accountability from state to state, they will have to have some concrete impact, rendering this a clear next step in a major Federal incursion into curricula. (MEW bolded)
Now, maybe Finn wasn’t aware of any of this last week when he blew me off with knee-slapping zingers about the U.N. taking over the Common Core, but I doubt it: according to Education Week, one of Fordham’s employees, Kathleen Porter-Magee, will be on the federal review team, as will frequent Fordham collaborator William Schmidt of Michigan State University. So either Finn is an extremely hands-off manager, or as he summoned his inner Don Rickles last week he knew very well that federal tentacles were inching even deeper into America’s schools.
Ha, ha, America. Joke’s on you.

 
What does the law state about the Federal Government’s involvement in education?  From findlaw.com:

20 U.S.C. § 3403 : US Code – Section 3403: Relationship with States

(a) Rights of local governments and educational institutions
It is the intention of the Congress in the establishment of the
Department to protect the rights of State and local governments and
public and private educational institutions in the areas of
educational policies and administration of programs and to
strengthen and improve the control of such governments and
institutions over their own educational programs and policies. The
establishment of the Department of Education shall not increase the
authority of the Federal Government over education or diminish the
responsibility for education which is reserved to the States and
the local school systems and other instrumentalities of the States.
(b) Curriculum, administration, and personnel; library resources
No provision of a program administered by the Secretary or by any
other officer of the Department shall be construed to authorize the
Secretary or any such officer to exercise any direction,
supervision, or control over the curriculum, program of
instruction, administration, or personnel of any educational
institution, school, or school system, over any accrediting agency
or association, or over the selection or content of library
resources, textbooks, or other instructional materials by any
educational institution or school system, except to the extent
authorized by law.
(c) Funding under pre-existing programs
The Secretary shall not, during the period within eight months
after May 4, 1980, take any action to withhold, suspend, or
terminate funds under any program transferred by this chapter by
reason of the failure of any State to comply with any applicable
law requiring the administration of such a program through a single
organizational unit.

Do you remember of know of any law passed granting the Federal Government powers pertaining to those programs appearing in red text?  No? Then why is this “technical review process” allowed to go forward and exist?

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1 Comment

Filed under National Standards (Common Core)

One response to “#CommonCore: The Joke’s On Us: 20 U.S.C. § 3403 : US Code – Section 3403: Relationship with States

  1. STEPHANIE MALEJKO

    The paragraph what does the law state—–did not come through. Please resend Date: Sun, 7 Apr 2013 19:00:35 +0000 To: smalejko@hotmail.com

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