The Race to the Top Initiative created an opportunity for President Barack Obama’s administration to wrest control over K-12 testing — from the international level to the classroom level — aligning most testing to Common Core “college and career ready” standards. Despite trying, states like Indiana and Oklahoma have found it impossible to exit Common Core because of this testing takeover. Just as Obamacare was intended to push states towards a single-payer system, Race to the Top was designed to push children into personalized learning programs that can assess personal beiefs in real-time.
According to the Bill Gates-funded KnowledgeWorks, which supports the Obama administration’s efforts, the end goal is to get all children online and into personalized learning and competency-based programs where teachers’ teaching and students’ learning can be controlled from pre-K through higher education.
Parents who are concerned about preserving religious liberty in education, and in America, should evaluate how Obama’s Race to the Top Initiative took over K-12 testing at every level so that assessments can assess and adapt individual values, as opposed to simply testing academics.
International exams — PISA (Programme for International Student Assessment) is being turned into a Common Core test through the Fed’s Race to the Top partner, Pearson. Pearson is advising PISA on implementing computer adaptive tests to track how students learn and work throughout their lives — assessing attitudes, values and beliefs.
National exams — In an August 2014 letter, Sen. Orrin Hatch and other congressional leaders chastised Secretary of Education Arne Duncan for turning NAEP into a high-stakes Common Core test. The test is being redesigned to assess “mindsets” and other psychological traits. The secretary changed Title 1 regulations to “phase out the authority of states” over testing.
State exams — Race to the Top funded the Common Core assessments: Pearson (PARCC) and AIR (SBAC). These groups were designed to help states “rethink assessments” so that curriculum embedded assessments could be developed to track students’ attitudes, values and beliefs and to adapt questions in real-time.
District exams — The SAT is headed by Common Core’s architect David Coleman. All AP courses and exams are being redesigned to support an internationalist worldview. The first AP course changes to spark controversy were to AP U.S. history. In addition, the ACT, GED, Career & Technical Ed tests, Readistep, PSAT and others are being aligned to Common Core.
Classroom formative, summative and online learning assessments — The capstone of Obama’s testing reforms was created when Race to the Top funded an international standards setting group called IMS Global Learning Consortium. IMS Global — along with Bill Gates’ SIF Association — created a way for Common Education Data Standards to be used in most online learning programs and tests. Already nearly 300 tech and testing groups have synchronized their coding specs to the Common Education Data Standards so that most personalized learning and testing platforms can be “interoperable.” Race to the Top funded projects like the Accessible Portable Item Protocol (APIP) and the Assessment Interoperability Framework (AIF).
The effect of this final play in the testing game will be that every child’s student login will operate like a Social Security number on steroids — a student’s learning can be trackedand adjusted in real-time using “interoperable” learning and assessment programs. State’s Longitudinal Data Systems will ensure that a child’s learning record is tied to the child’s medical, family, workforce and criminal records (see the White House’s Learning Registry). And, just like the doctors under Obamacare, teachers are being controlled, manipulated and pushed out by the test data. Teachers can’t stop Common Core any more than doctors can stop Obamacare.
While Utah’s leaders contemplate policies that will nudge our children into digital learning programs, parents can and should rise up to preserve our history and heritage. Honest leaders will look at Utah’s accountability system and consider that the federal tripod of standards, tests and school/teacher grading is being used against us. Can America’s history and religious liberty really be preserved under a testing system that is almost completely under federal control?
Editor’s note: This article was originally published at Deseret News and was republished with the author’s permission.