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From the Washington Post:

By Diane Ravitch

A new Washington Post story by Lyndsey Layton about how Bill Gates’ funded the Common Core revolution is startling. His role and the role of the U.S. Department of Education in drafting and coercing almost every state to adopt the Common Core standards should be investigated by Congress.

The idea that the richest man in America can purchase and — working closely with the U.S. Department of Education — impose new and untested academic standards on the nation’s public schools is a national scandal. A congressional investigation is warranted. The close involvement of Education Secretary Arne Duncan raises questions about whether the federal government overstepped its legal role in public education. (emphasis added)

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This paragraph, towards the end of the article, says it all:

The reality is that the most reliable predictors of test scores are family income and family education. Nearly one-quarter of America’s children live in poverty. The Common Core standards divert our attention from the root causes of low academic achievement.


     I thought in this era of “change and Hope” with our biracial President, these types of concerns would begin to disappear….. at  least that is what he had said would happen:

On Friday, the Obama administration filed an amicus brief in the U.S. Court of Appeals for the Fifth Circuit, supporting the use of racial preferences by the University of Texas in its undergraduate admissions. The brief is a full-throated endorsement of such discrimination, and it goes out of its way to say that the administration will support it at the K-12 level, too, as well as throughout university admissions: “In view of the importance of diversity in educational institutions, the United States, through the Departments of Education and Justice, supports the efforts of school systems and post-secondary educational institutions that wish to develop admissions policies that endeavor to achieve the educational benefits of diversity in accordance with [the Supreme Court’s 2003 decision upholding the use of preferences by the University of Michigan law school].”

The brief is also noteworthy because the University here wants to make sure that there is plenty of racial diversity on a classroom-by-classroom basis, and because the University was already bragging about its high degree of diversity when it decided to ramp it up through more overt preferences following the Supreme Court’s 2003 decision. There is also the usual disingenuousness of how race is only being considered “a factor” — but, of course, that factor will make the difference for many students in whether they get in or not, else why consider it at all?

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