The Common Core State Standards is an initiative funded by special interests and the federal government with the goal of nationalizing education. You may have heard that these are superior standards that are internationally benchmarked. You may have heard that the standards were created by the states, or that states retain local control over their own standards. These and many other things that you may have heard are simply not true. Like forty-four other states and the District of Columbia, Maine was enticed into signing away our independence and local control of our education by the lure of federal money in the form of Race to the Top grants and waivers from No Child Left Behind (NCLB) mandates. After doing so, we didn't get a dime and then there is the implementing of LD 1422, Proficiency-Based Diplomas.
We think that national education standards and testing set by groups that are funded by federal tax and private concerns is a really bad idea. There is a tendency to focus just on what is happening today in your own school or to your own child but Common Core has not been implemented yet and all of its associated parts will take time to reach your district. We will discuss these parts and how they will fit together. Common Core will dramatically affect your child. Our information will not match the happy narrative and expected outcomes you will read at the Maine Department of Education website but we feel that you need to know the whole story.
Although there are many pieces to this puzzle, we hope to identify and provide information on each of these pieces. We will name names and draw connections where it is important. This site will expand in the coming year to cover Common Core, Smarter Balanced Assessments, Mass Customized Learning (MCL) and other related topics but we encourage you to do your own research and form your own conclusions. We have received many questions from those with no understanding of Common Core so here are some excellent FAQs from the 'Home School Legal Defense Association's' page.
On April 12, 2010 Maine passed LD 1800, “Act to Adopt Common Core State Standards Initiative” as emergency legislation. On April 14, 2010
Governor Baldacci issued an Executive Order "Convene Stakeholders to Begin Reviewing Evaluation Models That Meet Federal Race to the Top Criteria". In it he directs the Department of Education to convene the stakeholders group defined in LD 1799. Our Race To The Top (RTTT) application was submitted on June 1, 2010, which was before any Common Core standards were even released. On August 2, 2010 Acting Commissioner Angela Faherty puts forth a Proposed Rule Change for Adoption of Common Core Standards. Governor Paul LePage took office in 2011 and on January 6th the CCSS was presented to the Education and Cultural Affairs committee. On March 7, 2011 the committee unanimously passed LD 12. Maine became the 42nd state to approve the Common Core State Standards when Governor LePage signed that bill into law on April 1, 2011.
The Common Core State Standards Initiative (CCSSI) is the effort that created and is attempting to impose on states a set of national K-12 standards (Common Core). Common Core was developed primarily by a nonprofit called Achieve, Inc., in Washington, D.C., under the auspices of the National Governors Association (NGA) and the Council of Chief State School Officers (CCSSO). The Standards cover mathematics and English language arts now with Science and other subjects to follow.
Like many other states, Maine signed onto Common Core as a chance to win some of the 2009 stimulus money that was made available to states via a federal competition called Race to the Top (RTTT). Maine was part of the second wave of applicants and had to create or change laws to meet the requirements of the application. Those changes included allowing charter schools, tying teacher's pay to test results and the acceptance of Common Core.
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