JOLIET – Tuesday night, the controversial federal effort to standardize education will be the topic of an 11th CD candidate forum. Referred to as "Common Core State Standards," Chris Balkema, one of four GOP candidates, says he agrees with the growing concern about the legality, quality and expense the program will lay on students and taxpayers.
“Today I join Rep. Randy Hultgren and 42 other Congressman in denouncing the Obama administration’s coercion of states to adopt Common Core,” said Balkema. “Implementation of CCSS will only create more unfunded mandates for Illinois, which can’t even pay local school districts because of a backlog of $7-billion in unpaid bills. Furthermore, national standards lead to national assessments, and national assessments lead to a national curriculum—a direct violation of federal law.”
In contrast to proponents’ claims that Common Core was a “state-led” effort, the report details how the core was “not created by states, but rather by private organizations in DC, with lavish funding from private entities such as the Gates Foundation.”
It further notes how the federal Department of Education then used “legally suspect means –the Race to the Top competition and the promise of waivers from No Child Left Behind – to impose the Standards on states.”
The DOE also gave $300-million to two consortia developing the national tests, and in their application explicitly stated they would develop curricula material and instructional practice guides. This is in violation of three US statues which explicitly ban the federal government from having an influence on curriculum and instruction practice guides.
“Parents and teachers were bypassed. They arrived at these standards without deliberating with “we the people.” And when you disrespect public deliberation and the public trust, which are the cornerstones of a representative democracy, you have overstepped your authority,” Balkema said.
Balkema is hosting a “Common Core Information Forum” tomorrow, Tuesday February 18, at 7pm (doors open at 6:30pm) at Cemeno’s Restaurant, 1630 Essington Road, Joliet. A noted expert on Common Core, Erin Raasch, will be speaking.