Former Department of Education Officials: Obama is Illegally Forcing Federal ‘Common Core’ Education Standards On the States

Posted by The P/Oed Patriot

According to an article on Missouri Education Watchdog, a press release from the Pioneer Institute states that Robert S Eitel (former Department of Education Deputy General Counsel), Kent D. Talbert (former Department of Education General Counsel) and William M. Evers (former senior adviser to U.S. Secretary of Education Margaret Spellings) have completed a report titled, “The Road to a National Curriculum: The Legal Aspects of the Common Core Standards, Race to the Top, and Conditional Waivers“.  This report points out how the Obama administration has been illegally forcing ‘Common Core’ Education standards onto the states:

“Despite three federal laws that prohibit federal departments or agencies from directing, supervising or controlling elementary and secondary school curricula, programs of instruction and instructional materials, the U.S. Department of Education (“Department”) has placed the nation on the road to a national curriculum, according to a new report written by a former general counsel and former deputy general counsel of the United States Department of Education.

With only minor exceptions, the General Education Provisions Act, the Department of Education Organization Act, and the Elementary and Secondary Education Act of 1965, as amended by the No Child Left Behind Act (NCLB), ban the Department from directing, supervising, or controlling elementary and secondary school curriculum, programs of instruction, and instructional materials.

“The Department has designed a system of discretionary grants and conditional waivers that effectively herds states into accepting specific standards and assessments favored by the Department,” said Robert S. Eitel, who co-authored the report with Kent D. Talbert.

The authors find that the Obama administration has used the Race to the Top Fund and the Race to the Top Assessment Program to push states to adopt standards and assessments that are substantially the same across nearly all states. “By leveraging funds through its Race to the Top Fund and the Race to the Top Assessment Program, the Department has accelerated the adoption and implementation of the Common Core State Standards (“CCSS”) in English language arts and mathematics, as well as the development of common assessments based on those standards,” added Talbert, former General Counsel of the Department.

Through its Race to the Top Assessment Program, the authors explain how the Department has awarded $362 million to consortia to develop common assessments and measure student achievement.  Two consortia have won a total of $330 million, and each has been awarded an additional $15.9 million supplemental grant to “help” states move to common standards and assessments.

“There is no constitutional or statutory basis for national standards, national assessments, or national curricula,” said Bill Evers, research fellow at Stanford University‟s Hoover Institution and Koret Task Force on K-12 Education member. “The two testing consortia funded by the U.S. Department of Education have already expanded their activities well beyond the limits of the law. As this paper recommends, the actions of the Department warrant congressional hearings.”

 

 

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