Common Core: The Plan to Rewrite U.S. History

The new Advanced Placement U.S. History exam is gutting traditional American history, turning it into a leftist view of an America based on identity politics and not a Constitution meant to protect the rights of individual freedoms.

For instance James Madison, Thomas Jefferson, and the other founding fathers are largely left out of the new test, unless they are presented as examples of conflict and identity by class, gender, race, ethnicity and such.  belief in the superiority of their own culture.

The new framework forces teachers to ‘teach’ their students in a leftist, blame-America-first reading of history, while omitting traditional treatments of our founding principles.

The new exam has been authorized under David Coleman, known as the “architect” of the Common Core standards and, now, the president of the College Board, the organization responsible for the SAT college entrance exam and the various Advanced Placement exams.

Fortunately, leading the charge against the new exam is Texas, which is about 10 percent of the College Board’s market.

Texas School Board’s Ken Mercer is trying to introduce a resolution that would reject the new AP exam. Mercer is being told, however, that the resolution cannot be introduced until September, when it will be too late.

While the College Board has released a complete sample exam, it’s only done so to certified AP U.S. History teachers. And those teachers have been warned, under penalty of law not to disclose the content of the new samples exam anyone.

But don’t expect NBC to tell you the truth about the rewrite or Common Core . That’s because Bill and Melissa Gate’s ‘Gates Foundation,’ is now funding the news giant’s education coverage as noted on NBC’s website:

“Education coverage for is supported by a grant from the Bill & Melinda Gates Foundation. NBC News retains sole editorial control over the content of this coverage.”

This isn’t the first time the Gates Foundation has entered into such an agreement with the media. In October 2010, ABC News and the Gates Foundation inked a yearlong project investigating global health problems and their potential solutions.

The Gates Foundation supplied a grant of $1.5 million in order to travel the world reporting on various health crises and suggesting solutions. ABC claimed it retained full editorial control.

Beginning in 2000, the Gates Foundation spent hundreds of millions of dollars trying to ‘improve’ high schools by making them smaller, only to discover student body size has little effect on achievement. It then shifted it’s its focus on teaching and that increasing achievement is as simple as removing bad teachers, identifying good ones, and rewarding them with money.

Based on this the Gates Foundation will spend $290 million over seven years on school districts in Tampa, Memphis, Pittsburgh and Los Angeles. These districts are intended as models that, if proven successful, can be rolled out nationwide.

While cities like Denver and Cincinnati have experimented with paying teachers for performance, the Gates ‘Intensive Partnerships for Effective Teaching,’ is the largest and most comprehensive effort to test teachers in all grades and subjects based on student test gains.

In his 2009 book, ‘Picturing the Uncertain World,’ Howard Wainer says the Gates Foundation’s data showing small schools are overrepresented, is in error. Wainer says big high schools outperform small ones, adding that the larger scale lets them offer more advanced classes, electives, and extracurricular activities.

Even though, the Gates Foundation started pouring money into creating small high schools and subdividing big ones.

With Gates funding, one Denver high school split into three and lost so many students that it shut down in 2006. It reopened a year later as a single school, without the Gates Foundation’s support.

In November 2008, Gates acknowledged that “simply breaking up existing schools into smaller units often did not generate the gains we were hoping for.” Still, the Gates Foundation is crediting the smaller schools for their skill at boosting attendance and decreasing violence.

Once it became clear small schools weren’t the answer, the Gates Foundation, in 2007, started evaluating teachers based on student test score. The Gates-funded plan in Tampa will start this school year.

Of the $100 million the Gates Foundation is pouring into the Hillsborough County district, about $60 million will go to teachers. With the cash comes a new evaluation system: 40 percent of the grade will be based on student learning gains as measured by standardized tests, 60 percent on observations by the school principal and teachers from elsewhere in the district.

A higher rated teacher could earn as much in their fourth or fifth year as a teacher with 20 years’ experience. The Gates Foundations goal is to get teachers to adopt ‘best practices’ and learn from colleagues who are more effective in handling disruptions or instilling particular concepts.

As a condition of funding, the Gates Foundation also required Hillsborough and the other districts to cooperate with local unions. So, Hillsborough agreed to tell teachers in advance when peers will observe their lessons, making positive evaluations more likely.

By contrast, teachers in Cincinnati will give two lessons in front of evaluators without prior notice.

More than 99 percent of Hillsborough teachers were rated satisfactory or outstanding in 2007-2008, and 98 percent of those eligible received tenure. Hillsborough currently terminates 0.5 percent of its teaching force annually.

A study of five Florida districts from 2000 to 2005 found that only half the teachers ranked in the top 20 percent one year were in the top 40 percent the next.

In Memphis, where Gates has invested $90 million, a third of students move during the year, meaning gains can’t be credited to one school or teacher. Giving several tests a year can sort out each teacher’s contribution, but ratings still may be tainted since teachers have to account for newcomers and student departures.

In a national survey of 40,000 teachers, co-sponsored by the Gates Foundation and released in March, 36-percent said tying pay to performance is not at all important, while only eight-percent said it’s essential. Meanwhile, 30-percent said it would have no effect on student achievement.

Presently, the Gates Foundation and Education Secretary Arne Duncan seem a bit too cozy. Two of Duncan’s top aides, Chief of Staff Margot Rogers and Assistant Deputy Secretary James H. Shelton III, came from the Gates Foundation, having been given waivers by the administration from its revolving-door policy limiting involvement with former employers.

Vicki Phillips, who heads the Gates Foundation’s education programs and Duncan, participated from 2004 to 2007 in the Gates co-funded ‘Urban Superintendents Network.’ When the federal government made $4.35 billion in federal ‘Race to the Top’ awards available, the Gates Foundation paid a consultants to prepare applications for 24 states, as well as the District of Columbia.

One of two winners so far is Tennessee, which had help from Gates, and will receive about $500 million from the Obama administration.
Both Gates and his wife argue there is anything amiss in the Gates Foundation’s relationship with the administration. All the Gates Foundation wants is results, says Bill Gates, however they are achieved.

During its annual convention in Los Angeles last week, American Federation of Teacher’s president Randi Weingarten stopped short of outright opposing Common Core. Some of AFT’s local chapters, including Chicago, have called for the union to end its support for Common Core entirely.

The unions have also criticized the standards for being too hard, rewarding a small number of “profiteering” companies that make the tests and books, and punishing both teachers and students. But at the end of the conference, with a massive push from New York’s Unity Caucus, AFT delegates voted by two-thirds majority to continue to support Common Core.

This may be a calculated move on the AFT’s part to tell the Obama administration union’s backing depends on whether the administration pays attention to its other demands. For example, AFT has long called for the repeal of No Child Left Behind, which mandates annual, multiple-choice tests for most elementary and middle school students.

But the news isn’t all bad as Oklahoma’s Supreme Court ruled on Tuesday that the Legislature did have the authority to repeal Common Core for English and math in the state’s public schools. The suit alleged lawmakers violated the state Board of Education’s constitutional authority when they repealed the standards earlier this year.

Several groups maintained that the standards represented federal intrusion into Oklahoma’s public education system, and Governor Mary Fallin signed into law legislation repealing the standards last month. The legislation, repealing Common Core standards for English and math, did not include standards for science and social studies.

Other states that have repealed or formally withdrawn from the standards are Indiana and South Carolina. Meanwhile North Carolina is moving forward with a bill eliminating Common Core, while in Louisiana, Governor Bobby Jindal and Louisiana Education Superintendent John White continue to negotiate over implementing the standards.

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