Letters to the Editor

Common core standards intrusive federal takover

The Beaufort County School District recently sent parents a letter titled, "Parent's Guide to the Common Core State Standards." It outlined the standards, the major changes in English language arts and literacy, and how the standards will be assessed. What they didn't tell you is that they are an unconstitutional federal takeover of South Carolina's public school system.

It is a clear violation of the state's right to dictate curriculum and is funded through the 2009 stimulus package and implemented through state boards of education, without public consent. As usual, federal money has been the lure. States had to commit to the standards in order to receive Race to the Top stimulus funds. And then a waiver from (the hated) No Child Left Behind sealed the deal before anything was implemented.

The real danger is the states had to agree to construct a "longitudinal data system to collect data on public-school students." These systems will aggregate massive amounts of personal data, health-care histories, income information, religious affiliations, voting status and even blood types and homework completion. And despite federal student-privacy protections, private entities could be allowed to buy their way into the database. Even more alarming, the U.S. Department of Education is encouraging a radical push from aggregate-level data gathering to invasive individual student-level data collection.

If our school board is suppose to advocate for our children; why are they not advocating against this insidious system?

Bert Walker