The Common Core Hoax

Students in Computer Lab --- Image by © Royalty-Free/Corbis

Below is a guest op/ed submitted by Robert R. Logan, PhD. He is a homeschool parent, a retired economics professor from the University of Alaska-Fairbanks, and an economics researcher who resides in Fairbanks, AK.

The Common Core Hoax

By Robert R. Logan, PhD

When I was a professor I used to put a proposed law up on an overhead projector entitled the “Care for Infants Act”.    In the body of the Act, I described grinding up children and turning them into food and fertilizer in deceptive language but clear enough to anyone who was actually thinking.  Then I would have the students discuss whether the government had any business interceding in the sovereignty of the family in cases of abuse or neglect.    

It was rare that a student would raise their hand and object that the debate had nothing to do with the act they were voting on.  I could usually see some confused faces, but it was terribly easy to misdirect peoples’ attention and get them squabbling about something they wanted to argue about anyway.   That is how I got them to pass the Care for Infants Act.   The only thing Bill Gates has done differently is bribe people for their vote.   I could have gotten 100% passing rates had I incorporated bribes.     

If Common Core is all about increasing academic achievement, why is it necessary to convert all tests nationwide into computerized online testing?   Logically, that does not follow.   How is it that taking a test on a computer is any different from taking it with paper and pencil?   If computer-based tests are better than paper and pencil, then why does it have to be online?   If there is a technical failure to an online test then potentially millions of students are affected.   

We homeschool, but enrolled in online tests for a number of reasons.   The tests were timed.   But it took longer to download the questions than it did to answer them.   Whenever we call our provider about this, they lie to us.   For example, we see the clear pattern of slowest speeds, far less than promised, during the internet rush hour.  We have learned to disable our phones when we call technical support because they have been trained to tell customers in an accusatory tone that “I see you have TWO I-phones” and tell us it is our phones updating even when we have the update feature turned off. 

I can see my download speed in real time.   I think the tech people can too, but they never acknowledge so.  I tell them I will go to any site of their choosing and they can watch my download speed.   But they won’t do it.  We understand throttling and our ISP insists they don’t do it.   But that doesn’t mean someone else in the chain isn’t doing it or that a host site is capable of handling the traffic directed to it.   There are innumerable potentials for catastrophic failure with an online test that are nonexistent for other delivery methods and this was obvious to us the first time we tried to take an online test

Alaska’s tests were cancelled after allocating $25 million for computers, bandwidth, and development.    A worker in Kansas severed a fiber optic cable.  Even after attempts to fix the problem students’ answers were being lost.   So the state cancelled the tests.   How could something so easily foreseen have been overlooked by the smartest people in the room telling us how inferior our previous tests were?    Because Common Core is a hoax:  the real purpose behind Bill Gates’ billions spent bribing the Governor’s Association, Unions, and think tanks was to line the pockets of the Tech industry by converting the test delivery method: to online computerized testing, using Bill Gates’ products.

On the propaganda site for Common Core, there isn’t one word explaining why computerized online testing is superior to other test delivery methods.   Instead, there is a lot of puerile talk about being ready for work and college, about the “grass roots” origins of the movement, and completely contradictory assertions about states being free to choose their own standards when the entire purpose was developing a common standard.   How can people be this stupid?   How has it gone virtually unnoticed that the most significant change has been to the test delivery method and not the content of the tests?   

If higher performance is the objective, the easiest thing to do is require higher scores on existing tests.  Changing the tests themselves makes no sense.   It introduces a statistical incompatibility between the years leading up to the change and the years afterwards.   How do you determine whether performance has increased or decreased when the tests are different?   There are ways to approximate, but it is one of the most basic concepts in statistics: using the same measure or instrument from sample to sample.

Complaints were made about some states being more lax than others.   So why does that require states with high standards to change anything at all? Why do they need to change from paper and pencil to computerized, let alone online testing?   Our stress levels went through the roof when we were trying to take online tests.   Interactive tests can be downloaded onto every computer individually and scores can be easily assembled into a national database if this is an objective.   It does not require that they be taken online. 

One of the most telling “reveals” in this hoax is trade groups and even state educational bureaucracies adopting the standards before they were written.   You cannot legitimately do this even conceptually, let alone before field testing.   But it happened.   Bill Gates gave money and Obama used Race to the Top funding along with exemption from the No Child Left Behind debacle in order to hook states into the Common Core.

Since the hoax required misdirecting our attention away from the real change – computerized online testing – it required another radical contradiction:  the claim that curriculum would be unaffected while forcing changes in curriculum.  There was no national debate over the way math should be taught for example.   But you have to do something.  When the math standards came out there was no tying of research in math instruction and problem-solving to the Common Core methodology. 

Bill Gates couldn’t simply come out and announce a program of converting the exact same tests into an online computerized format.   People would have pointed out the obvious problems of catastrophic failure like Alaska just went through.   They would have asked the obvious question:  why waste tens or even hundreds of billions of dollars on more expensive means of delivery?   

So to perpetrate a hoax like this you have to pretend it is about something else and produce changes in test content.  No public debate took place on the process by which content would be changed.   Gates created a committee headed by David Coleman and a process that took place completely outside public scrutiny while Gates was busy bribing various organizations to back something that hadn’t even been written yet.   It worked brilliantly.

Gates couldn’t care less what the committee did with math or English.  He couldn’t care less whether teacher evaluations and student promotion were tied to the tests.   That’s why the Gates Foundation in 2014 announced urgent support for a moratorium on those very things.   The one thing Gates is clear about is that Common Core standards should not be used as standards.   That contradiction only makes sense if the goal is computerized online testing instead of standards.

We are now engaged in an after-the-fact debate over whether this new method of doing math is any better than the New Math debacle of the 1960’s.   It is beyond belief that this debate is taking place after, and not before it was imposed.  This is a consequence of Gates and the Obama administration bribing key organizations and bureaucracies to accept something before it had been researched and debated in public.   It is a consequence of a hoax designed to enrich tech companies and other education industry parasites like text publishers while we argue ignorantly about something else. 

I know how easy this is to do because I have done it myself.   I began doing so after seeing our government attach extremely deceptive titles to Acts it was passing.   You can assume the purpose of an Act is very different, even opposite, from its title and be right most of the time.   That’s what Bill Gates has gotten away with because he could not have gotten a “Computerized Online Testing Act” passed.

5 thoughts on “The Common Core Hoax

  1. Everything is a failure according to Common Core zealots. Everything.

    Students, teachers, parents, schools … you name it, they’re all failures. Every last one of them.

    If some lonesome alien just floated into this nation … and had only the Common Core pronouncements as a guide … they’d immediately assume that they were now stuck in some bottom-of-the-barrel country populated by a species that was about an inch beyond bacteria on the evolutionary scale.

    This is their tiresome ploy. Failure is all around … and we’re all too, too oblivious to see all of this with our very own eyes … because near-bacteria hasn’t that sort of sophistication. If all of this were true, we’d all be packing our trunks and marching off to blissful lives in Guatemala or Mali or Nepal. I guess we’re too stupid to even move. That must be it, right?

    What’s so stunning to me is the fact that so many of us are still here … and that our miserable, failing nation is the most desired destination on the planet. All of which begs certain questions that are never, ever addressed by the Common Core corps.

    Here’s the real mystery. How has America maintained its premier economic circumstances when we are populated by such uneducated dolts? How is that this nation is ground zero for all sorts of medical innovations … and that people from the Arab world and Asia and Europe zoom here for medical treatment? Oh! And why are our universities the most desired in the world? And can they explain the happy accident why we have the best standard of living the world has ever experienced? Help me out here, will ya?

    How is it that our military is the most technologically advanced? And what explains the fact that we produce enough food-stuffs to feed ourselves … and vast portions of the world? I’m stumped why we’re the first to offer emergency services when disaster strikes around the globe … and folks seem numb to the USA insignia on replacement equipment, food, and supplies. Did I fail to mention the doctors, engineers, and EMT professionals we send as well?

    That’s a lot of very dumb folks doing some miraculous things.

    Now, to our schools. Something’s wrong, alright. Our schools don’t behave according to the Common Core observations. Our public school faculties are some of the most credentialed on the planet.These public schools lay the foundation that has made America the most recognized Nobel prize producing nation of all-time. No country has ever been so inventive as America. None. We lead in medical inventions and innovations … the same for computer technologies … as well as for mechanical innovations of all sorts. Man, those dumb Americans are the luckiest folks the world’s ever seen!

    These failing public schools have produced world-renown playwrights, artists, actors, musicians, vocalists, and authors of all sorts. These dreadful public schools have given rise to admired engineers and architects and urban planners. They’ve yielded ship designers and astronauts … and the vessels they use to speed around space. We accidentally put men on the moon and recently bumped into Pluto. Ooops! Hope that mistake doesn’t happen again! … some folks will be very embarrassed.

    I hate to mention our political maturity, but I have to. I know we’re supposed to be extremely basic thinkers according to those gifted Common Core pushers, but what explains the relative historical, non-violent political experience in America? We don’t lop off the noggins of lousy rulers. We don’t have a coup every other full moon. And we have dozens of nations world-wide that have modeled themselves after our political foundations. We’d better call them with the bad news that we’re not worth emulating. We’re failures.

    Apologies for the over-the-top sarcasm, but lots and lots of very fine people have had their reputations battered by these frauds who premise that American schools are huge disasters. It’s time to get in their faces …

    It’s ironic that even these asinine Common Core diehards can’t give credit to the very educational training that allowed their fertile minds to crank out such a creative and embellishing litany of lies. What ungrateful failures!

    Denis Ian

    1. Our country and children won’t be smart anymore. All they are learning in public school is a bunch of worthless facts. Once kids hit third grade, out with books and in with worthless articles with worthless facts and history books with Twisted history of the U.S. and of the world. You wait! I bet you don’t have kids?

    2. Denis Ian, what world are you living in? Our military is being decimated, our high school students need remedial courses to be eligible for college, we have to hitch rides to the space station from the Russians. People are flooding in here based on our past reputation and the free “stuff”. We have been falling in the ratings charts on every level. Not one thing seems to be improving here, it’s just the opposite. Our debt is a level never before seen in world history. Our national government is corrupt. We are heading to a Third World status and record speed. You haven’t really examined the Common Core curriculum or you would see the insanity of it.

    3. Wow… I couldn’t have said it any better. I opt my daughter out of these tests every time and i get grief for it every time. She’s gotten old enough to stand up for herself and tell the school she’s not doing it. (Made me a super proud momma when she did! ) The teachers are now pushing her to do it because she’s smart and it will increase the schools score, as well as the teachers score. It’s been a sad demise we saw coming years ago. ..

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