Almost daily I continue to submit my requests to Congress, asking them to cut the federal funding of Common Core Standards, Race to the Top, and the national assessments.
Besides the obvious — that CCS/RTTT is a federal takeover of the public schools and lies way outside the provisions of the U. S. Constitution — American taxpayers simply cannot afford it.
Besides the cost of states’ dumping their own textbooks, standards, and tests in order to implement the Common Core Standards, the cost of the national assessments alone would be horrendous!
An education technology expert whose name I shall keep confidential explained to me how expensive the national assessments would actually be, and the costs would fall squarely on the shoulders of local taxpayers.
To take the national assessments, every student in a school (K-12) would be required to have his/he own individual technology device because the multi-media, interactive assessments are to be given online; and students would continually be taking formative assessments (a.k.a., periodic, benchmarked) throughout the entire school year.
The USAC Universal Service Fund, which is presently tacked onto the price of all of our cell phones and home phone bills, already supplies Internet Access (IA) at a reduced fee for every public school and library in the country.
The USAC spends $2.5 Billion each year just on telecom, IA, and building infrastructure to these schools and libraries. Therefore, the costs are very substantial already.
Recently the federal government put $10 Million into a pilot project to give Internet Access (IA) to individual school students. The federal funding for this pilot project, which provides only the IA, was eaten up almost instantly by just a few school districts.
For us to understand the scope of the problem, we must realize that states such as Texas have 1,237 separate public school districts and charters, 8,435 campuses, and over 4.8 million students. California has 1050 districts. The nation has over 35,000 districts.
Unfortunately, there is not a cost-effective way to deliver IA to every public school student without their also paying a $30 a month IA fee along with the cost of the technology device. In fact, the cost of the device itself is becoming incidental to the monthly fees over which AT&T, Verizon, and other companies are salivating.
This is similar to companies giving a free cell phone to a customer if he signs up for the two-year plan; the companies know the monthly fees will more than make up for the cost of the devices themselves.
As people in the telecommunications industry consider the money to be made under the Common Core Standards, Race to the Top, and the national assessments, talks have begun surfacing about building mesh networks around the public schools. This would allow Internet Access (IA) to everyone living around the schools (the outliers), and they could use the same IA that the feds through the USAC fees are currently purchasing at the school sites. The “gotcha” is that the outliers would be required to pay the monthly technology usage fees.
A huge fiscal problem is that building out these mesh networks around all the public schools in America would cost billions, and the USAC fees would not pay for this part.
It is easy to see why AT&T, Verizon, Microsoft, Cisco, and Dell are all planning on benefitting from the implementation of the Common Core Standards, Race to the Top, and the national assessments. [From the very first moment that Obama came into the White House, Bill Gates has been using his moneybags to promote CCS/RTTT.)
As usual, it would be the taxpayers who would have to foot the bill for these national assessments and the technology infrastructure required.
Please contact your Congressmen and ask them to cut immediately the funding for the Common Core Standards, Race to the Top, and the national assessments.