Think Common Core Standards Were a State Initiative?

• 1988: Marc Tucker became the president of the National Center for Education and the Economy (NCEE) where he joined up with Hillary Clinton, Mario Cuomo, and Ira Magaziner to get states to move away from local control of their schools and migrate to national standards. (link)
• 1990: George H. W. Bush signed an international agreement entitled, “World Education for All (EFA), the result of a United Nations “World Conference on Education for All” summit. (link)
• 1991: Tucker and Lauren Resnick created New Standards that pushed standards-based reform. (link)
• 1992: Tucker writes “Dear Hillary Letter.” This letter, written to Hillary Clinton, addressed Tucker’s ideas for radical education reform after Bill Clinton’s presidential win. The goal is “to remold the entire American system” into “a seamless web that literally extends from cradle to grave and is the same systems for everyone,” coordinated by “a system of labor market boards at the local, state and federal levels” where curriculum and “job matching” will be handled by counselors “accessing the integrated computer-based program.” (link)
• 1994: Tucker’s ambitious plan was implemented in three laws passed by Congress and signed by President Clinton: the Goals 2000 Act, the School-to-Work Act Opportunities Act, and the reauthorized Elementary and Secondary Education Act (ESEA) called “Improving America’s Schools Act of 1994.” (link)
• 1996: An organization called ACHIEVE, Inc. was formed by the nation’s governors and corporate leaders. (Many of them tied to Marc Tucker and the NCEE). The goals from an Education Summit in Palisades, NY were to ACHIEVE the goals of the 1994 school reform bills. (link)
• 1998: Tucker and Judy Codding created America’s Choice, a comprehensive school reform program, that made sure the national standards were further implemented into schools. (link)
• 2001: George W. Bush renames ESEA “The No Child Left Behind Act” and signed it into law. (link)
• 2004: Microsoft (Bill Gates) contracts with UNESCO (the United Nations Educational, Scientific and Cultural Organization) to fulfill part of UNESCO’S Millennium Campaign Goals—universal education and educating for a global economy. A “master curriculum” for teacher training in information technologies based standards, guidelines, benchmarks, and assessment techniques is to be developed. (link)
• 2005: Bill Gates funds the New Commission on the Skills of the American Workforce—created by Tucker. States begin adopting its education reform initiative, “Tough Choices or Tough Times.” In 2008, Utah’s Governor Huntsman touts it (see video in link below) and joins with 5 others states (Massachusetts, Delaware, Arizona, New Mexico, and New Hampshire) who adopt it in order to “reinvent their educational systems.” (link)
• 2008: Gates Foundation, along with two other foundations, created Strong American Schools(a successor to the STAND UP campaign launched in 2006, which was an outgrowth of UNESCO’s Millennium Campaign Goals for Universal Education). It calls for American education standards. (link 1) (link 2)
• 2008: Gates Foundation funds the International Benchmarking Advisory Group report for Common Core Standards on behalf of the National Governors AssociationCouncil of Chief State School Officers, and ACHIEVE, Inc. titled, “Benchmarking for Success: Ensuring U.S. Students Receive a World-Class Education.” This report shows the United Nations is a member of the International Benchmarking Advisory Group for Common Core Standards. The member of mention is the Organization for Economic Cooperation and Development (OECD) which developed UNESCO’s Millennium Declaration—partnering with the World Bank and the International Monetary Fund. (link)
The report states: While states must take the lead, the federal government can help. And the federal government can do that best by playing an enabling role grounded in a new vision for the historic state-federal partnership in education. (link)
• 2009:  Marc Tucker writes a chapter in the book “Change Wars: The Inspiring Future for Educational Change.” One chapter is called International Benchmarking as a Lever for Policy Reform. The book says the UN’s OECD launched Programme for International Student Assessment in 2000 to monitor the outcomes of education. Linda Darling-Hammond also contributes a chapter. Darling-Hammond heads the SBAC (see 2009, December below) (link)
• April, 2009: Gates Foundation members, along with a few dozen others, participate in a Washington conference and produce “Smart Options: Investing the Recovery Funds for Student Success.” These ideas were funded by the 2008 Stimulus (ARRA-American Recovery and Reinvestment Act) and supported Race to the Top. Priority 1: Develop Common American Standards—also called Career-Ready Standards—in most states by January 2012. (link)
• 2009 (summer): Council of Chief State School Officers, National Governors Association, and ACHIEVE, Inc. agree to partner on a common core standards project. (link)
• 2009 (fall): The U.S. Dept. of Ed signals it will fund $360M for summative assessments aligned to Common Core Standards and begins planning meetings. Two consortia begin competing for this funding: Smarter Balanced Assessment Consortium and Partnership for the Assessment of Readiness for College and Careers. States begin adopting Common Core Standards and join one of the consortia in order to receive No Child Left Behind waivers from the U.S. Department of Education Secretary, Arne Duncan. (link)
• 2009 (December): South Dakota becomes a governing member state of Smarter Balanced Assessment Consortium (SBAC) and is obligated to use the assessments created by the SBAC which is led by Bill Ayers’ friend, Linda Darling-Hammond. (link 1)
• 2009 (December): Gates Foundation gives the National PTA a $1 million grant to mobilize parents for Common Core Standards. (link 1)(link 2)
• June, 2010: National Governors Association and State Education Chiefs launch Common State Academic Standards. (link)
• April 2011: The SBAC Overview Curriculum and Assessment Conference issues a report stating that governing member states must adopt Common Core by Dec. 31, 2011. (link 1)
• 2011: The American Legislative Exchange Council’s (ALEC) education task force calls for the demise of the Common Core Standards, but puts it on hold after receiving a $376,635 grant from the Gates Foundation. (link)
• 2011: Bill Gates speaks at the November G20 Summit in Cannes and issues his report, “Innovation With Impact: Financing 21st Century Development” stating, “My report will address thefinancing needed to achieve maximum progress on the Millennium Development Goals, and to make faster progress on development over the next decade.” (link)
• 2011: Obama Education Secretary Arne Duncan announces “Today, I promise you that [the Department of Education] will be a committed partner in the national effort to build a more environmentally literate and responsible society… We must advance the sustainability movement through education… Education and sustainability are the keys to our economic future-and our ecological future.” (link)
• 2012: States begin to recognize the loss of local control and enormous cost of implementation of the Common Core Standards. Many states begin pushing back. The Heritage Foundation and the Cato Institute call the standards unconstitutional per federal education law.
• 2012: States not on Common Core and not meeting the Annual Yearly Progress requirements of NCLB petition congress for relief. Lawmakers working on options are undercut when the Obama White House circumvents congress to grant waivers from NCLB if states adopt Common Core. (link)
Texas Education Commissioner Robert Scott stated that the common standards movement amounted to a “desire for a federal takeover of public education.” Now, additional states (who originally signed on), including Massachusetts, Iowa, Kansas, and Virginia, are expressing concerns about the common standards initiative. (link)
Gov. Nikki Haley just signed a letter supporting legislation in South Carolina to block CCSS implementation stating, “South Carolina shouldn’t relinquish control to a consensus of states any more than the federal government.” (link)
Larry Shumway, Utah state superintendent, a member of the CCSSO Board of Directors, a member of the Board of Directors at West Ed which is the project management partner for SBACassessments, recommends Utah retain its relationship as a governing member of the SBAC (thus forcing Utah to use their tests).
“I am personally opposed to any changes in Utah’s public education governance, either by constitutional amendment or by statutory revision, that would have the effect of centralizing power and decreasing representation.  I oppose changes that would decrease the ability of local boards of education, elected by the citizens of that district, to guide their own schools to meet the needs of their communities as they see it, or that would diminish the ability of 104 elected legislators and 15 elected State Board members to fulfill their responsibilities to lead Utah public education as they represent their constituencies.” -Larry Shumway–State of Education Address October 11, 2011
This seems to me a clear conflict of interest for Mr. Shumway to testify to the Utah legislature on anything related to Common Core or the SBAC.
Gates’ Foundation other contributions during the time frame of consideration and development of the Common Core initiative.
Counsel of Chief State School Officers (CCSSO): 2009–$9,961,842, 2009–$3,185,750, 2010–$743,331, 2011–$9,388,911
National Governor’s Association (NGA): 2008–$2,259,780
Mark Tucker’s NCEE: 2009–$1,500,000
Total: $27,000,000
To any who still harbor the illusion that Common Core State Standards were the product of the states simply coming together, I have a bridge in Brooklyn I’d like to sell you.
Special thanks to the many people involved in digging this information up. Much work has been done by people all around the country to put this information together and help follow the money trail. Please do your part now in passing this information on to everyone you know so they can be educated about what the Common Core Initiative is really all about.
To see where Common Core fits into the scheme of related programs that make up the globalization of education, check out this visual diagram and then other links below.
RTTT Grant Connections
This chart came from a document prepared by an organization in Oklahoma. You can obtain their full document here which is a comprehensive document entitled “Common Core State Standards and Race To the Top, an Introduction to Marxism 101.

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