Keeping the Message about “Reform” Clear and Simple


The next time you see a news article, a blog, or a Facebook comment going down the rabbit hole of confusion over whose purpose CCSS serves, please just cut and paste this brief explanation. It’s short and simple enough to paste into any FB comment box, or to send as a Letter to the Editor, or as a response to a news article.

Use it the next time you are sitting in a town hall, PTA meeting, or school related event. For Internet use, there are supporting hyperlinks.

We need to keep the message about CCSS, high stakes testing, and their connections to bigger ed deform policies clear, simple, consistent and grounded in what we know to be true. We can avoid unnecessary divisions amongst our shared efforts, limit confusion about CCSS in the public eye, and focus on the issues for what and whom they truly represent.

A research-based and fact driven argument against CCSS anyone can use:

Pearson publishing spent large sums lobbying for the legislation to create new tests, new curricula, and new teacher evaluations, and then wait on the other end with their hands out receiving the millions of dollars to deliver the new tests, new curricula, and new teacher “training” needed to implement the polices for which they lobbied. Achieve, Foundation for Excellent Education, the Business Roundtable, and testing companies like ACT pushed for and wrote the CCSS standards to reflect their own educational a nd business interests, micromanaging the outcomes of education for children toward their own agendas. Nationalized testing and standards have been part of the corporate-government dialogue ever since NCLB. Efforts to push for more and newer testing methods (via PARCC and SBAC) are led by Bill Gates, along with inBloom, and other tech savvy data- interested corporations. Most of these corporations are members of the conservative-led American Legislative Exchange Council (such as State Farm, Walton, and Lumina), who have their own vested interests in having access to “big data.” The governing boards for PARCC and SBAC are political and economic footballs for the politicians who serve on their boards. The federal government uses abusive, intrusive, and invasive techniques (ironically, in the name of “equity”) to serve the interests of the corporations with whom they partner. Additionally, some of these same corporations are being paid handsomely to collect the 400 points of data embedded in both CCSS and the new PARCC and SBAC tests that go along with it.  And when our schools, our children, and our teachers “fail” to meet the expectation set forth by the aforementioned corporate interests, hedge fund corporations and billionaires line up to fund the charter schools and other forms of “reform” designed to privatize our public schools, because there’s profit to be gained. These same private interests promise to “fix” the problem, which, of course they created in the first place. This, despite research that has shown again and again how and why such “reform” efforts have failed our children.

It’s not rocket science. It’s simple. It’s money.


Published by educationalchemy

Morna McDermott has been an educator for over twenty years in both k-12 and post secondary classrooms. She received her doctorate in education, with a dissertation focus on arts-based educational research, from The University of Virginia in 2001. Morna's teaching, scholarship, and activism center around the ways in which creativity, art, social justice, and democracy can transform education and empower communities. She is currently a Professor of Education at Towson University.

3 thoughts on “Keeping the Message about “Reform” Clear and Simple

  1. To beat the CORE, we need to drop the conservative / liberal labels. Blame will continue to divide us.

    I know people don’t want to hear it, but I was ready to copy and paste this until I hit “conservative-led.” Truth or not, labels are divisive and in my state of Idaho – the reddest of the red, almost complete one party rule (which is the definition of a fascist state) – conservatives are allies with the mostly independent people opposing the CORE.

    ….but I love your stuff here and appreciate all your hard work. I share where I can. Thank you.

    In Solidarity.

    1. i agree with you so much! my definition of ALEC is not intended to “divide” at all- i don’t think for a moment that ALEC (which self defines as conservative-not my interpretation of it) reflects the values of conservative parents anymore than Gates reflects mine–perhaps a better label for ALEC would be corporate interests…my goal was only to remind readers that CCSS and corporate style reform is bipartisan—liberal and conservative sell out of all our children-led by $$$ interests…maybe if i ever find myself in Idaho we will be standing side by side fighting together

  2. Thank you very much for this. A groundswell of concern surrounding CCSSI has prompted our readers to ask for more posts/explanations on our own, local blog. This is among the best, (and just in time for a “Parents’ Information night”).

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