Here is the company that was hired to to it.  Here is their sales pitch.

If you connect the dots, you too will see that Common Core standards were designed not as standards, but as a means to collect the data.

There is a reason why The Common Core State Standards cannot be decoupled. As Curmudgucation eludicates:  don’t think of them as standards.  Think of them as tags.

Like when you tag a picture on facebook.

When you tag a picture on facebook, to you it is personal thing.  You are saying: hey, tagged person; this is for you…. But to facebook, once you’ve tagged that person, they know who it is through facial recognition in every other picture he shows up. Whether tagged or not….

We probably don’t know it it is happening to us.  But the data miners in Facebook do:  Oh see there he is in church; there he is in the park with some old person,  there he is walking down 7th Avenue. There he is at McGlynn’s Pub, in the background ordering a pitcher it looks like while these three girls take their selfie…

It use to be there was no way to stream those loose items across a day into one stream.  As I said, … it used to be.  Now at a push of a button, a file with your behavior is available to anyone with enough money.

Knewton, the company whose rep is in the above video is partnered with Microsoft and Pearson, is collecting data right down to what it calls the atomic level… Test by test, question by question…

If you watch the entire video above (it’s hard I know, but if you just let it wash over you like the Ganges River; you will get the enlightenment you need), in there you will see where he boasts that from homework assignments they will predict a student is on track for a “B” grade and can say with certainty, that if you spend 15 more minutes a day, you can bring that up to an A-.  As an analogy, he says if we mine what your child eats for breakfast every day, we can after a semester, predict when they will do well or mediocre, based on what they ate.  “You had scrambled eggs today, didn’t you?”  In fact by analyzing data we can tell them what they should be eating.

What does this have to do with Common Core?

For data to mean something it has to be consistent.  Curmudgucation uses the example of Facebook emoticons.  Did you notice how they came out with their own?  That was because it tags a number to how you are feeling and that can be massed in lots of clean data.   So at a button push, FaceBook can say 40 million more are feeling hungry at breakfast time ever since we started running the ads for Taco Bell’s breakfast.   Prior there would be too much noise to provide that clear data.

So that is why you need the lesson in Sussex County to equal the lesson in Toms River, New Jersey, to equal the lesson in Bangor, Maine… That is why you needed one standard; one test, one purveyor of homework packets, all in the same data language to solidify results, and to be used to compare them….

  • “What color is this paint swab?”  
  • “Easy, it’s chartreuse…. “
  • “Chartreuse is not a possible answer,  Choose one of the answers provided.”
  • “But you don’t have Chartreuse;  it is a color unlike any other. If you’d put chartreuse down as an option, I could have picked it.”
  • “Just answer the question… You have these options:  red, orange, yellow, green, blue, violet.”
  • “It’s not yellow and it’s not green; it’s Chartreuse!”
  • You are unnecessarily holding us up;  Pick either yellow or green.  Which is it more like to you?  Yellow or Green?”
  • Neither, it’s completely different, It’s chartreuse.

And thus you came immediately to the problem of Common Core.  In putting children, and teachers, and schools into boxes, you didn’t make enough different types of boxes.  They were all one size based on averages.  Fat people didn’t fit; thin ones had room to run around in…. Art gets rated by English data;  Economics get evaluated by the school’s math scores….  What do you do with data that doesn’t fit?  You just … “put it somewhere”.

“People, we just have to do the best we can; I’m sorry they didn’t give us the right boxes, but we are committed to doing this, we can’t go home until it is done, so we just have to force it and make it work, ok?”

In order to get the data, you needed standards…. fabricated standards would do.  But you couldn’t gather data on this scale if you had Georgia on one curriculum, and Kentucky on another, or Minnesota on a third.  The children would be fine, but you couldn’t collect data on how answering this question right or wrong would predict at what point one will walk across the stage to gather their diploma…

We’ve been saying that CCSS are limited because the standards were written around what can be tested. That’s not exactly correct. The standards have been written around what can be tracked.  The standards aren’t just about defining what should be taught. They’re about cataloging what students have done.

So why the test?  If the whole purpose was to collect this gigantic pool of data, why do we need the expense of the test and the time we use to teach it?

The answer is in the adjective:  “High Stakes”  ….  Most parents would be up in arms to have someone know their child better than them just from creepily studying every thing they’ve done across 12 years of school…  But if you choose to fire teachers over ones child’s test, you get parents to buy into the data mining as a tool to get their child better prepared to help that teacher keep her job.

If you say, “we don’t need a test, we can see what your child is learning just by tracking her keystrokes”… most every parent would say:  What right to you have to track my child’s keystrokes?”  And the data mining wouldn’t happen….

But if you say, “you child will be held back if he fails this test” parents suddenly don’t mine the data being mined.

Now when you go and change the standards, as Indiana just did two days ago, you are suddenly messing with the tagging system… You are using someone else emoticons. And someone else’s face-reader software.  The data being mined suddenly becomes worthless, or now, requires a translator to read one and correspond every byte to the other system.

that is why after Indiana, we are seeing a parade of “education reformers” all lining up to keep the standards intact.   They know what is at stake.   That is why you see them use terms like “force”, “hammer”, “grit”, “rigor”, “punish”,  all attack words…

Attack words?  We are talking about the education of children, not holding down the beach of Normandy… If you have to use attack words to get your way with children, you are a bully; no other way to call it….  Mature people discuss ideas, and look for the best possible option.  Bullies say “my way or the highway” and “I’ll force you to do this.”

Common Core was never about raising standards….  It was about farming your children’s data.  To do that you needed one standard, one curriculum, one vendor, the ability to monitor every keystroke, which means a lot of personal information gets swept up as well.  You needed high stakes testing to cover that concern…

Common Core has lost the moral high ground. It’s proponents can no longer say with straight faces that it is good for America’s kids.  The marketing has fallen off.  Sort of like you feel in a car showroom? where the manager, the financial officer, the salesperson, are all yelling at you as to why you won’t buy their overpriced crappy car?…

That is where America is today… Time to simply walk away.