State-Wide Conference Call – Oct. 22nd High-Stakes Tests and Data Collection/Mining

MACC State-Wide Conference Call October 22nd 7:00 p.m. (Central Time); 8:00pm Eastern Time Dial: 1-267-507-0240 Enter the Conference Code: 362722 Minnesotans Against Common Core (MACC) will be hosting its second State-Wide Conference Call to help inform the public about the implementation of a new educational system called Common Core Standards. This call is set for October 22, 2013 at 7:00 p.m.

We are reaching out to a number of national and state experts, who are directly involved in teaching or researching Common Core. Our next two experts are Jamie Gass from the Pioneer Institute and Richard Innes of the Kentucky Bluegrass Institute.   Jamie and Richard’s topic will be:  Testing and Data Collection in the Common Core Standards.  Both gentlemen are extremely knowledgeable in these areas.

Minnesota began implementing Common Core Standards during the 2012-2013 school year through English/Language Arts.  All other subjects, including social studies, science, history and the arts (now referred to as the technical subjects) are embeded within the English/Language Arts standards.    This standard and subsequent matching curriculum is being taught due to the federal grant program called, Race to the Top, initiated only months into the Obama administration. Accepting the ELA standards was contingent upon applying for the grant money. Although our state did not receive federal funds in this lottery, we still had to accept the standards. Our Governor, Commissioner of Education and 93% of all public schools approved the move to accept federal funds for Race to the Top despite the fact that the standards had not even been written and thus could not be reviewed.   This occurred during the time of the 2009 economic crisis.   Although our state did allow for legislative review and expert testimony of the Math Standards, which were flatly refused, we know that most Minnesota school districts are unfortunately teaching Common Core Math. The Social Studies Standards were approved by the Governor and Commissioner of Education, only, without legislative review. Our present governor and department of education has stated their interest in the Next Generation Science Standards.  Additionally, President Obama’s National Sexuality Standards, K-12, were written by stakeholders and are aligned to the Common Core Standards.

Race to the Top includes four main required components according to the grant application.

1.  Implement the common standards, which can be renamed by each state

2.  Implement high-stakes testing for common core

3.  Implement data collection systems to ensure the movement of all data from local schools/district to the State Longitudinal Database

4.  Implement teacher and principal evaluations

Common Core also includes a Preschool for All initiative for 3rd and 4th graders in Minnesota (already running in four areas of the state) with plans to become mandatory preschool beginning at age 3.  Kindergarten is to start in the fall 2014 as all-day Kindergarten without the 1/2 day option.  Measurement and data collection on children will begin prenatally and extend to the workforce.  Colleges are now preparing to accept the large number of students that will be attending college, through College and Career Ready Standards.

We hope you find these informational calls beneficial!

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