The Common Core State [sic] Standards are corporate, top-down educational imperatives brought to Vermont villages and towns by money provided by the Bill and Melinda Gates Foundation and political muscle provided by the Obama administration. We didn't ask for them and had the citizenry known what was involved, there would have been outrage against them.
Here's one tiny example of what the Common Core curriculum--written by people who have never set foot in a classroom since their own student days--will mean.
In the Vermont Standards, standards which put us at the top of achievement by national and international measures (Vermont Literacy Grade Level Expectations Formatted by Grade Level) we find this expectation:
Grade 7: clear pronoun referent,subject-verb agreement, consistency of verb tense, irregular forms of verbs and nouns
Now the Common Core imperative moves this to Grade 3: Ensure subject-verb and pronoun-antecedent agreement.
Vermont educators who worked with children judged this to be a skill appropriate for 12- and 13-year-olds. Now Bill Gates experts-for-hire say 8-year-olds should know it--in order to become workers in the Global Economy. This is just one small bit from a huge document of hubris, misinformation, and just plane whackiness.
Governor Shumlin wanted this Vermont compliance to the Bill and Melinda Gates Foundation agenda which came via the National Governors Association. And what Governor Shumlin wants, Governor Shumlin gets.
Over the past several years, the Bill and Melinda Gates Foundation has given the National Governors Association nearly $30 million to promote the Common Core and related curriculum goals.
Of course it is just coincidental that, according to VT Digger Shumlin aspires to lead the Governors Association.
It is way past time that someone ask Gov. Shumlin why Vermont needs these Common Core Standards. "Because Bill Gates wants them" just doesn't seem like a good enough answer for Vermonters who pride their autonomy. However you slice it, this grab for control of education policy signals a shift away from local decision-making to top-down federal and corporate mandates.
How many parents and teachers were asked about the Common Core before Vermont signed on?
For those who care about local control of or schools, I run a website where I collect outrages about the Common Core. Anyone who cares about local education will be astounded and affronted by what's happening.