Bill Gates Wants You To Believe His Lies About CCSS.

Bill Gates Wants You To Believe His Lies About CCSS

By Jason Endacott

February 14, 2014 - 6:43 am CST


Lying by omission - omitting certain facts or failing to correct a misconception.


The other day one of my colleagues gave me a hard time about referring to Bill Gates as a “shyster”.  Fortunately, only a couple of days after I wrote that post, Mr. Gates has presented me with a perfect opportunity to demonstrate why I believe he deserves the “shyster” label.  Gates recently wrote an op ed piece for USA Today in which he “dispels” three common myths about the Common Core State Standards.  Here I take a look at Gates’ arguments and explain why they are lies of omission.


Gates Myth #1: Common Core was created without involving parents, teachers or state and local governments.


In fact, the standards were sponsored by organizations made up of governors and school officials. The major teacher unions and 48 states sent teams, including teachers, to participate. The Gates Foundation helped fund this process because we believe that stronger standards will help more students live up to their potential. More than 10,000 members of the general public commented on the standards during drafting. Each of the 45 states that have adopted them used the same process used to adopt previous standards.


What Gates Conveniently Left Out:


While the initiative originated with the National Governors Association, a ridiculous amount of private money used to create and influence the adoption of CCSS, especially funds originating from the Bill and Melinda Gates Foundation. The Gates Foundation granted millions of dollars to the American Federation of Teachers and the national Parent Teacher Association, two groups that would have been the most likely opponents of national standards. The largest recipients of Gates’ money were the organizations primarily involved in the creation of the CCSS, including Achieve, Inc., The Council of Chief State School Officers, and the National Governors Association Center for Best Practices.  Simply put, these monies amount to little more than bribes for buying into the new standards.


Meanwhile, the Obama administration’s education policies for Race to the Top (RTTT) monies and No Child Left Behind (NCLB) waivers left states without a REAL choice when it came to adopting CCSS.  Secretary of Education Arne Duncan and the federal government limited eligibility for RTTT awards and NCLB waivers to states that adopted a common set of “college and career ready standards”.  In other words, if states wanted to avoid the penalties of NCLB and keep the federal pipeline of education dollars flowing they had no choice but to adopt the CCSS or create their own “college and career ready” standards.


What Mr. Gates won’t tell you about the process of creating the CCSS is that the two primary writing teams for the standards included only 25 members, a pathetically small number of people for a task of this magnitude. Even worse, membership in the working groups included six test-makers from the College Board, five from test publisher ACT, and four from Achieve Inc., but did not include any classroom teachers.  Teachers were allowed to “provide feedback” on the draft of the standards.  10,000 responses did indeed flow in, and the CCSS authors somehow managed to read and give thorough attention to all of them in the TWO MONTHSbetween draft and final copy. Right.


The CCSS did not undergo extensive field-testing or validation, and in some cases the CCSS are actually inferior to the existing state standards they replaced.  In fact some state education officials were actually urged to adopt the CCSS before they had even been written.


That’s not exactly “the same process used to adopt previous standards”.


Gates Myth #2: Common Core State Standards means students will have to take even more high-stakes tests.


Common Core won’t necessarily add to the number of annual state tests students take. States will introduce new math and language arts tests based on the standards to replace tests they give now. Most states are taking a cautious approach to implementing the new tests, giving teachers and students time to adapt before scores lead to serious consequences. What’s more, unlike some of today’s tests, the new tests will help teachers and students improve by providing an ongoing diagnosis of whether students are mastering what they need to know for success after graduation.


What Mr. Gates Conveniently Left Out:


The PARCC and Smarter Balance tests do not actually exist yet. They are being created and tested on kids while states continue to have students take the existing state tests.  Heaven forbid we have a year without a standardized test.


There may not be an increase in the number of federally mandated standardized tests students take, but there is no question that the overall number of tests students take is increasing at a dizzying pace.  In order to prepare students for the tests that don’t exist, schools have been ramping up their test preparation with – you guessed it – more tests.  The same testing companies that benefit from the creation of the CCSS are selling school districts any number of CCSS “pre-tests” designed to give these anxious school officials an idea of how their students will perform on the “test to be created later”.  As if that’s not enough, school districts are also creating an avalanche of new “benchmark exams” that they give across the school district – sometimes on a weekly basis.  If you doubt it, call or email your child’s teacher today and ask them about “benchmark” tests.


As for Mr. Gates’ claim that these new tests will prepare students for what they “need to know for success after graduation” – you have to keep in mind that this magical body of knowledge is only what Gates and his corporate cronies BELIEVE students should be able to know after graduation.  In fact, the CCSS don’t actually place any premium on knowledge at all.  The CCSS are a skill/aptitude set of standards, and it is entirely possible to master tasks under the CCSS without learning a bit of knowledge.  I’ll have an example of what I mean by that next week (stay tuned).  The bottom line is that the CCSS and its tests are only based on the “knowledge students need for the world after graduation” because rich white guys tell you they are.  Of course, they’ve pretty much been running things for a while, so maybe they’re right.


Gates Myth #3: Common Core standards will limit teachers’ creativity and flexibility.


These are standards, just like the ones schools have always had; they are not a curriculum. They are a blueprint of what students need to know, but they have nothing to say about how teachers teach that information. It’s still up to local educators to select the curriculum.


In fact, the standards will give teachers more choices. When every state had its own standards, innovators making new educational software or cutting-edge lesson plans had to make many versions to reach all students. Now, consistent standards will allow more competition and innovation to help teachers do their best work.


What Mr. Gates Conveniently Left Out:


This one is almost laughable.  I won’t bore you with the details of the differences between standards and curriculum, but here Gates is either lying or is just plain ignorant.  In this case, it really could be the latter.  Even if the CCSS were not intended to be a written curriculum for schools that’s exactly what is happening in classrooms all across the country.  It is really simple to understand.  The tests I mentioned earlier will be the measure by which the government hands out “serious consequences” (Bill’s words, not mine) for failure.  Schools and teachers will be judged primarily on the basis of their success or failure on these tests.  The tests are based directly on the Common Core State Standards.


So, the rational individual says to themselves, “Well if that’s the case, and if I want to feed my family next year, then I better make sure that my teaching prepares students to take these tests.”  And that’s exactly what’s happening.  Teachers read the standards and make lesson plans directly from them.  In other places, school districts get together to create lessons from the standards and force every teacher in the district to teach them verbatim.  When these things happen then the national standards are very much a national curriculum.


As to the innovation Mr. Gates is talking about?  Please.  With a proverbial gun at their heads to have high test scores no matter what, schools and teachers aren’t looking for innovation, they are looking for safety.  Nothing is safer in a climate of high stakes accountability than doing EXACTLY what somebody in power tells you.  Lessons are being scripted for teachers all across the country by companies selling packaged CCSS units and some school administrators are actually punishing teachers for deviating from scripted lessons.  This is hardly “innovation”.


As one teacher who took part in our recent research study put it,


“I feel as though I am simply a placeholder.  My individual worth and creativity has no value in this climate of “teach-by-numbers.”


Think about it for a minute.  It makes sense.  If somebody tells you that your job is on the line,  you are going to make sure that you do exactly what you are supposed to do in order to survive.  If you are in competition with your peers (such as being compared to other schools and teachers) then why would you actually want to HELP them?  If anything, this atmosphere stifles innovation.  The irony is that you’d think that Gates would know this since his former empire Microsoft actually abandoned his system of accountability because it inhibited innovation and teamwork.  Let’s not forget that Microsoft under Bill Gates was responsible for the Zune.


Bill Gates may be a lying shyster, or maybe he’s just ignorant.  Either way, he’s hardly qualified to tell you or me anything about teaching and learning.

Michael Brown February 15, 2014 at 07:30 AM
Wow. This Bill Gates guy sounds like a total loser.
Prudence February 15, 2014 at 11:57 AM
Gary. Great In depth enlightening article. If more people read and willingly opened their eyes to behind the scenes, instead of just spouting one liners, such as above, then there would have been more insightful and revealing studies completed before this CCSS was thrown upon our education system and our innocent children. Bill Gates would never have allowed this bungled corrupt process to continue to exist in his Microsoft world. Maybe he has either become to "big for his own boots" or spread himself too thin. This obvious "Omission" of facts is truly deleterious and undermining towards building a productive, educated "free" society just as much as a "commission" of Lies is, which we have already had our fill of with this current President. So many times flawed corporate programs are thrown In the garbage when found to be inefficient and unprofitable. Sadly not in the bureaucratic government world, where so many noble sounding but corrupt programs, as in this case, are kept muddling along to feed the pockets of some unknown entity, all on the taxpayers back. This CCSS I fear will not be dismantled, too many hands in somebody's back pockets. They will just continue to increase taxes of the now 'fully obsequious' and worn out citizenry more and more to keep another inefficient, wasteful, unprofitable and bureaucratic program in place. Meanwhile allowing the certain few to keep their titles, including this President, who is truly succeeding in implementing socialistic European programs, all with the help of guilt ridden, moral elitists, who knows what's best for the masses. Bill Gates included as he is free and made it in a free America - but now for the rest of us....Welcome to Amerika!
Gary Tobin February 15, 2014 at 06:00 PM
Prudence - Your comment is right on. The administrators are part of the coup to end Milford community education, lock parents out and ruin Milford’s education system. They have lost their way and focus on the common goals of educating each individual child by using their strengths. Why could the Bill Gates, Koch Bros. and the rest of Corporate America buy certain education systems? In Milford’s case the politicians, from the local to the state level, they are collecting their campaign money, power and trying to buy their next election. Milford’s school administration has bought into the politicians ways and given up on the kids. It’s that simple. The caring, supporting community and parents say, “It’s All About The Kids”.
Prudence February 15, 2014 at 07:26 PM
Sadly this CCSS is not about the kids or just about Milford its about as you say politicians giving up on all kids" including all Americans" because they believe In their gut that the "masses are asses." I was part of a socialist system, however I had a very persistent Mother and family influence who provided their own varied educational standards - similar to homeschooling - to counteract the socialist conformity. Though growing up poor and subject to a restrictive educational system of limiting opportunity to the masses by such things as the 11 plus - 11 yrs old testing determined ones further education, (it will surely happen here.) I was encouraged to incorporate certain impermeable virtues. Those of self reliance, self discipline, work ethic, not accepting "its all relative" or "government knows best " values. That X factor is what we are missing in our local and nations communities to counteract the onslaught of many programs including this "collective" CCSS educational testing. What a shame and a sham this process has been. I hope more teachers will catch on - be brave and rebel against their unions and school districts. They are our only hope as We need some strong whistle blowers.
Concerned Parent February 16, 2014 at 10:24 AM
Keep in mind, that Common Core is very specific on different tracks...you can compare it to offshore outsourced IT resources. Very proficient in what they they've been taught, but nothing beyond that. They are unable to adapt or even look outside the box. In that regard, why wouldn't it be favorable to Bill Gates.
Concerned Parent February 16, 2014 at 10:29 AM
One last thing, parents need realize when you send your kids to public schools, you must ensure you teach and instill in them the tools needed to be successful, because the district will not. "Education is what remains after one has forgotten what one has learned in school." - Albert Einstein
Gary Tobin February 16, 2014 at 11:55 AM
"Education is what remains after one has forgotten what one has learned in school." - Albert Einstein That is so true. What is instilled in the kids, what will never be lost? What part of the new world education/CCSS is not instilled or memorized? What will not be remembered when the kids graduate and are “College, Career and Global Ready”?
Concerned Parent February 16, 2014 at 12:16 PM
@Gary...We cannot put our trust in schools providing any form of a well round academic skill-set. It's all about them and not the student. It also looks clean on paper, how convenient for them. It's up to US, the parents, to TEACH our kids. The only measure of achievement the school system is measuring and teaching is our kids ability to take and pass a test. That's it.
Prudence February 16, 2014 at 01:18 PM
CP - I love that Albert Einstein quote but not sure it refers to what's at stake here. He was referring to life's education. What is at stake here with CCSS is not just about what they are not teaching, but what they will be forced to memorize In the tests and in the test preparations. The Milford teachers, Board of education and PTA's should be reviewing the planned curriculum to see what maybe not so subtle indoctrinating words and sentences that will be inserted into the courses. So many parents are stressed just with making a living that they will be turning their children blindly over to this now "government dictated" curriculum, trusting that all is above aboard. Meanwhile these malleable young minds will be given WHAT to absorb? That is what is at stake here. You are so right we cannot put our trust in public schools providing a well rounded academic education. However, if parents for whatever reason are disinclined, ill-equipped or even too distraught to give them more of their own time at home then teachers, school boards and PTA's should be making sure that indoctrination by certain forces are not being used. In other words All of the Milford/American taxpayer money will be used to support healthy individual minds to know where to look for answers not spoon feed them some mirky socialist rhetoric. That is my concern with common core. What is in this core?
Concerned Parent February 16, 2014 at 06:16 PM
@Prudence....I think you may have missed my point....At the end of the day, we CANNOT rely on our public schools to do what is in the best interest of children. It's up to the parents to fill the void. That's my point. My approach has been to be very active in my children's education and try to open their eyes to things that the school district is incapable of comprehending.
Prudence February 16, 2014 at 09:05 PM
CP - I do understand what you meant and I agree to your point - I so applaud your approach. If only more parents were involved. But my issue is that too many parents, sadly, do not or cannot be as involved, for whatever their reasons. That is where my concern is in this overall educational system. What will CCSS be implementing not teaching to the majority of our future generations? If nothing else, I hope more good teachers, who do not have an other agenda but to educate young minds in the necessary tools to prosper, will be alert to a more subversive curriculum. For we know there are those who subscribe to inculcate them In a 'socialist philosophy' following a European model of collectivism Instead of a free thinking American philosophy of believing in individual opportunity and personal growth. That is what I have heard and read so far of parts of CCSS attempting in some of its test preparations. I know of many homeschooling parents who have chosen that route because of what has developed more subtlety over the years, but now see CCSS as an outright onslaught all under the guise of equaling the playing field across the nation. Sounds so noble!
Concerned Parent February 17, 2014 at 09:27 AM
@Prudence...I respectfully disagree...There are parents who can get involved but choose not to. In the past I was hesitant to speak out against the MBOE because my kids were very young at the time and did not want to indirectly involve them. I'm sure you understand. Our BOE is extremely unapproachable and lack any sense of community. At this point, my kids are older and have a better sense of who they are (hopefully my wife and I instilled something in them), however, I do not compromise with them nonetheless. Parents cannot compete with a group of people who are unwilling to truly listen. Frankly, you can't compete with stupid.
Prudence February 17, 2014 at 02:10 PM
Boy! do I hear you loud and Clear, it brings back memories of when I approached a 2nd grade teacher that I felt bright kids were not being stimulated enough, not even any homework? Well that teacher slapped my son a homework assignment that would have been too much for a 13 year old. All punishment for me speaking up. Shut me up for a couple of years and persisting in my own extra homework assignments - then he chose to leave and we had to go private. Now he is a Doctor and I am so glad I listened to him and my gut.
Gary Tobin February 17, 2014 at 03:58 PM
There is so much more back round to the CCSS. There are so many corporation and people behind the reason for CCSS. Bill Gates is the most pronounced name. -------------------------- https://whatiscommoncore.wordpress.com/tag/bill-and-melinda-gates-foundation/ -------------------------------------------------------------------- Surprise ---------------------------------------------------------- http://newenglandssc.org/states/connecticut
Prudence February 17, 2014 at 07:04 PM
Excellent link Gary -I have shared it on Facebook and Linked in. Thank you for all your tireless work in exposing those pulling the controls behind the curtain .
Gary Tobin February 17, 2014 at 10:46 PM
More Common Core State Standard support purchased by Bill Gates... http://www.breitbart.com/Big-Government/2014/02/15/Are-Americans-Rejecting-Academic-Standards-or-One-Size-Fits-All-Nationalized-Standards
Prudence February 18, 2014 at 07:10 AM
Gary - and CP - Here you have it in a nutshell as the article on Breitbart link above explains. “No politician - or centralized planning approach to education - should be able to decide a student's future,” said Estrada. “Students - with support and guidance from their parents and teachers - should decide what is best for the student's future, whether that is college, vocational education, or something else.” In fact, Estrada points to the success of homeschooled students as evidence of the importance of flexibility for children’s individual academic needs. People have to remember This is America and how we cannot succumb to this centralized socialist scheme. Bill Gates has forgotten his own individual opportunity. He needs to receive a memo!
Concerned Parent February 18, 2014 at 01:47 PM
The only thing that differentiates this country from any other is our ability to think freely. That fact in itself was the catalyst for innovation and why we became the envy of the world. However, to think this way, one must believe they do not know everything and how ironic that today, even living in the information age, that people are so narrow minded. Education takes work, but what makes one excel is the passion to learn things you never knew before e.g. First standing, then walking, and eventually running. What is it about these very fundamental concepts that people are so incapable of understanding today. Have we evolved into such a vane and arrogant country that we are unwilling to acknowledge our own weaknesses and work to improve them or are these people too damn lazy.


More »
Got a question? Something on your mind? Talk to your community, directly.
Note Article
Just a short thought to get the word out quickly about anything in your neighborhood.
Share something with your neighbors.What's on your mind?What's on your mind?Make an announcement, speak your mind, or sell somethingPost something
See more »