In an exclusive studio interview with The New American magazine’s Dr. Duke Pesta, Heartland Institute Education Research Fellow Joy Pullmann outlined the crucial link between the Obama-backed “Common Core” nationalization of schooling, the federally funded tests that go with the standards, and the vast data-gathering apparatus being erected by the administration to gather private information on U.S. students. The Common Core assessments, which have already been adopted by about four in five state governments, are a key element underpinning the entire scheme, she explained.
“The first thing people have to know is that testing is inseparable from Common Core,” said Pullmann, a leading analyst focused on the education “reform” agenda with the non-partisan Heartland Institute. “When governors signed a bunch of documents saying ‘yeah, we want to do this nationalization of education project,’ one of the things that they signed on to was the Common Core initiative, and they defined it as standards plus assessments. So those assessments, those tests, are the enforcement mechanism to make sure that Common Core gets into the minds and into the hands of teachers and children in the classrooms.”
There are currently two testing consortia developing Common Core assessments for state governments with federal tax dollars, the Smarter Balanced Assessment Consortium (SBAC) and the Partnership for Assessment of Readiness for College and Careers (PARCC). Several state governments have started to withdraw from the testing schemes following massive public outcries, but both organizations are marching full speech ahead despite the growing outrage among parents, teachers, and experts.
As part of the agreements signed between state governments and the federally backed consortia, Pullmann explained in the interview, data gathered on children at school will be provided to the organizations. As an example of the types of data being sought, she said one of the consortia was interested in information on “student behavior, their attitudes, their persistence, their discipline, and so forth — a lot of non-academic things that a lot of parents aren't comfortable with.”
Click here to read the entire article and see video of interview.
Photo at top: Dr. Duke Pesta interviewing Joy Pullmann