(Editor: The Report Card www.thereportcard.org has been publishing a series of articles on the Common Core Standard. Today’s post by Paul Horton, History Teacher at the University of Chicago Laboratory School is a petition calling for an investigation of undue financial influence of the Common Core. Mr. Horton believes that the many same organizations calling for a standardized national curriculum stand to benefit financially from the adoption of Common Core, Race to the Top, and other data driven assessments)
Citizens Against Corporate Collusion in Education (CACCE)
As American parents, students, educators, and concerned citizens, we are united in opposition to the agenda of those corporate, foundation, and government interests that seek to influence local district boards of education, state boards of education, state governments, governors, and the Office of the Secretary of Education. This agenda calls for standardization of national curricula in the form of the Common Core Standards mandated in the Federal initiative “Race to the Top,” data-driven assessments of students and teachers, and the creation and implementation of standardized discrete item testing to measure compliance to the Common Core Standards. The president of the College Board’s recent announcement that a new SAT will be created to measure Common Core Standards skills proficiency also alarms us. In addition, the Secretary of Education’s former press secretary has recently used the “revolving door” of public office to acquire a job with a company that is related to Pearson LLC.
We demand transparency and public accountability for decisions that are being made on the above issues without open hearings or public debate on the influence of corporate lobbying and marketing at local, state, and federal levels. We strongly suspect the existence of quid pro quo understandings between the current Secretary of Education and Bill Gates, The Bill and Melina Gates Foundation, The College Board and David Coleman, The Educational Testing Service (ETS), and Pearson Education LLC that amount to collusion between a Federal Public servant(s) and corporate interests that appear to be working together to limit competition in an open marketplace.
We therefore resolve:
1) That State Attorneys General investigate possible quid pro quo agreements between the above parties and members of state boards of education and commissioners,
2) That State Attorneys General investigate lobbying of the above parties to determine whether bribery laws have been violated,
3) That all state governments conduct investigations of the contributions of Pearson LLC, The Bill and Melinda Gates Foundation, Bill Gates, the Walton Family Foundation, and the Students First Foundation to local school board elections and the elections or appointments of state education commissioners and state boards of education,
4) And that each state file a complaint with the Anti-Trust Division of the Department of Justice in Washington preliminary to discovery of evidence of possible collusion of the above parties.
5) We call for a Joint House-Senate Committee to be formed to investigate possible collusion and influence peddling between the above parties.
6) We call for the Attorney General of the United States to select an independent prosecutor to investigate the possibility of quid pro quo dealings and collusion between the parties above.
7) We understand that the Tunney Act does not apply to this case and we argue that is precisely why collusion is involved, to avoid merger or the appearance of merger that would trigger a court hearing.
8) We strongly recommend that the Special Prosecutor (6) investigate all contracts let by the Department of Education to Pearson Education LLC.
9) We strongly recommend that all State Attorneys General investigate all state contracts let by Pearson LLC.
Illinois Council for History Education
University High School
The University of Chicago Laboratory Schools