The Ugly Truth behind the Florida Core Standards Test

The jig is up on education bureaucrats in Florida. It’s not bad enough that taxpayers have been bombarded with television commercials in a pathetic attempt to sell “Common Core,” or manipulated with the condescending semantics of changing the name to the “Florida Standards.” Now we learn the primary test to evaluate the competency of children and teachers in Florida is being created by an organization that has, at its core, a social justice agenda.

The American Institutes for Research (AIR) has been contracted by the state to write the new “Florida “Core” Standards Test” to replace the FCAT. The reason this is disturbing is simple: those who write the test set the curriculum; and any focus other than reading, writing, and math has no place in our schools.

AIR, a progressive nonprofit “think tank” located in Washington D.C., is focused on far more than evaluating whether or not children are literate. Their promotion of Common Core’s ideological and political aims would make even Lois Lerner blush. What can we expect in the design, implementation, and evaluation process of Florida’s flagship test?

AIR’s “National Clearinghouse on Supportive School Discipline (NCSSD) supports educational practitioners in their efforts to transform the conditions for learning as well as harsh, exclusionary and disproportionate disciplinary practices in our nation’s schools.” 

Their goal: “Changing the culture of communities and schools in which certain groups of students -- racial and ethnic minorities; lesbian, gay, bisexual, transgender and questioning (LGBTQ) youth; and/or students with emotional, behavioral and cognitive disabilities -- face disproportionate school disciplinary action.”

This means ending what Attorney General Holder said was a disproportionate number of minority suspensions in the schools by promoting a new class of victims through “exclusionary school discipline” and “supportive school discipline” practices.

And this has to do with education in what way?

If this was not weird enough, AIR believes that “Institutionalized racism, heterosexism, and biases can interfere with providing culturally and linguistically competent services.” This involves “respecting the individual, their family, culture, traditions, rituals, and preferred language;” and “Integrating cultural knowledge, values, and beliefs into services, policies, and research.” AIR is focused on “Multiculturalism” and “diversity” in “regulations, rules, policies, performance appraisal measures, and budgets/funding.”  In short, AIR aims to fight white privilege, traditional American cultural values, and the English language. Sounds like an organization with a distorted worldview and an ax to grind at the expense of children.

AIR promotes “Response to Intervention (RTI)” practices which is education-speak for Common Core’s universal “screening” of children and vast data collection practices.

AIR writes “Race to the Top” guidance papers to foster implementation of President Obama’s nationalized education agenda.

AIR champions “College and career readiness,” which is euphemistic terminology for Common Core’s agenda of centralized control over children’s career paths.

AIR is a driver of “universal pre-school” which is aligned with progressive’s cradle to grave philosophy.

AIR advances the "Value added measures in education,” an empirically discredited methodology of teacher evaluation.

 AIR focuses on controversial “social and emotional intelligence” theories that distort achievement differences to blur the line of competency.

AIR works directly with the Center for American Progress, John Podesta’s overarching progressive think tank. Even AIR CEO David Myers, who holds a Ph.D. in Sociology from Washington State University and earns a reported $566,304 yearly salary, believes “in the use of experimental designs in education settings.”

If this is not enough to raise an eyebrow of concern, you either don’t care about children or are too busy growing organic arugula.

Common Core’s centralized progressive federal control over education to compel students to become social justice activists and politically correct illiterates is Orwell in reality. Based on evidence and common sense, American Institutes for Research has no business creating the new Florida Core Standards Test. It’s time to end the partnerships with AIR, Common Core, and politicians who have no clue on how to educate children.

The jig is up; the core behind “Common Core” is rotten no matter how they slice it.