Who are we?

Stop Common Core Illinois is a non-partisan community of Illinois citizens united by our concerns about Common Core in Illinois. We are the typical people you can see whenever you open your garage doors to take your car out every morning.

Our core mission is to:

  • Foster communication and collaboration among activists striving to Stop Common Core in Illinois
  • Educate the general public about our concerns regarding Common Core
  • Collate the latest news and information in one convenient place
  • Work with the media to shine a spotlight on Common Core and related issues
  • Share our experiences in Illinois with other state and national organizations


What are the concerns?

How Race to the Top Funds Fundamentally Transformed our Schools :

  • What many call ‘Common Core’ is really a set of initiatives that were introduced to states via theRace To The Top Funds and theState Stabilization Funds.  
  • These funds were offered to states as part of the Obama Stimulus Bill.
  • In order for states to quality for funds, they were required to:
    • Implement the new Common Core State Learning Standards
    • Use new standardized tests to evaluate student and teacher performance
    • Set-up a longitudinal database which contains student demographics and performance data from preschool through age 20
  • As a deal ‘sweetener’, many states also qualified for a waiver from the Race to the Top requirements which financially penalized failing schools
  • No state legislature voted in Race to the Top education reforms; they were simply applied for by state governors and administrators while most state legislatures were out of session
  • Initially, all states except Alaska, Texas Virginia and Nebraska adopted the Common Core  Standards.


Who Wrote the Standards:

  • The Bill & Melinda Gates Foundationprovided the funding to write the new standards.
  • Two Washington DC trade organizations:  The national Governor’s Association (NGA) and the Counsel of Chief State School Officers (CCSSO) worked with education industry partners to write and trademark the new standards.
  • Many on a panel of educators and business leaders refused to sign off on the final draft of the Common Core Learning Standards.


Why Should You Be Concerned about the Common Core State Standards and Standardized Tests?

  • Some advocates of Common Core insist that Common Core is “not a curriculum” and that it will promulgate “an academic curriculum based on great works of Western civilization and the American republic.”  But the standards are being used to write the tables of contents for all the textbooks used in K-12 math and English classes. This may not technically constitute a curriculum, but it certainly defines what children will be taught, especially when they and their teachers will be judged by performance on national tests that are aligned with these standards.
  • Why should centrally controlled, taxpayer-funded, unaccountable-to-the-public committees have the power to define what nearly every U.S. school child will learn?
  • The most important thing to understand about education standards is that research has demonstrated they have no effect on student achievement. That’s right: no effect at all. A series of data analyses from the left-leaning Brookings Institution found no link between high state standards and high student achievement.
  • No state, school district, or even school has ever used the Core. It has no track record. Ordinarily, changes to curriculum, even small ones, are made incrementally, giving experts, policymakers, teachers, and parents time to review and respond to them. Even so, curriculum experts and consultants continue to chant that the proposed Common Core standards are “rigorous” and “internationally benchmarked.” The new standards are neither. The Core’s Web site labels skepticism about this as one of many Common Core “myths,” insisting “international benchmarking played a significant role in both sets of standards.”
  • No one really knows how much it will cost to implement Common Core. Most states did not estimate costs before adopting it. Estimates of the Core’s phase-in cost vary from $3 billion to$16 billion nationwide.  The new tests will also cost far more to administer each year. Georgia testing officials, for example, said previous tests cost taxpayers $5 per student per year, but Common Core tests would cost $22 per student annually, more than four times as much.
  • Defenders of Common Core standards assert that the project is state-instigated and -controlled.  Why, then, do national government officials need to review these tests? Because the federal government provided all the funds for these national tests and major grants to the nonprofit groups who wrote Common Core.  They and big funders of government expansion such as the Bill and Melinda Gates Foundationbankrolled the entire project. Big businesses (including Microsoft) have significant financial stakes in national education markets. They are leading the effort to promote Common Core to lawmakers and business leaders.
  • Special interests are the only ones to have had a seat at the table in developing Common Core:  Parents and elected officials were largely shut out. Common Core represents an improvement over most state standards only because those standards were so awful. It replaces low benchmarks with barely better benchmarks, is confusing and of poor quality itself, and introduces a host of privacy and curricular concerns.
  • Firms that earn significant income by selling tests, textbooks, and professional development sponsor the entities that developed the Core and own its copyright (the National Governors Association and Council of Chief State School Officers). Earning money isn’t bad, but a centralized education market is a significant boon to big companies, giving them a large financial stake in getting it and keeping it that way regardless of the instructional effects and costs to taxpayers. “Everybody’s excited about it,” a Chicago investment firm founder told Reuters.

Source:  The Heartland Institute – Fight Common Core.  Full brochure available on our printable items list under ‘resources and links’ tab.

Why Should You Be Concerned about the Longitudinal Database? 

  • Without US Congressional debate or votes, the Department of Education weakened the student privacy laws which have historically protected student records (FERPA.)
  • New federal guidelines allow for the collection of controversial demographic information about the student and their family including political and religious affiliation, relationships with doctors and ministers, and income.  Also tracked are  student and parental behavioral, mental and medical information.
  • In Illinois, the student data collection can begin at 24 hours old and will follow the child into college and the workforce (until age 20.)
  • There is very little information regarding how and when the demographic data will be utilized.
  • The new nationally standardized database design will allow access to student data via an internet portal (API.)  Privately owned educational applications will allowed to access and write student data to ‘personalize’ online learning materials for students.  Research firms and numerous governmental and workforce agencies will also have access to the data.


We Stand As One

We Stop Common Core Illinois!

This is the advocacy we’ve been trying to fight for since the Common Core State Standards started to be adopted several years ago. With the goal of the federal government centering on equity among students across the United States when it comes to competency and efficiency of the education they acquire, it is still not apparent how this will serve the interest of the students – how by having an equal measure of standards could make them excel more.

But how about those students who have been competitive enough even before this regulation was put into place? They are the living evidence that competitiveness does not come after the implementation of the regulation. That with or without the implementation of common core, they are still competitive notwithstanding. What more is that this removes the power to parents to make smart decisions for their kids. This is tyranny coated in technical, sweet sounding promises. This is revoking their right to choose. So where is the good in that?

The impact of the implementation of the common core does not only lies on the students and the parents, it also has a negative impact on the teachers and the schools as a whole. One, this is another difficult adjustment for curriculum that are already set up since time immemorial. The adjustment is not instant and although realistically speaking this is expected, the adjustment is just hampering the education of the students. The teaching style is not only changed but the way students learn as well. This brings to those schools who are just starting the implementation of this regulation now compare to those who have been using the same educational system longer. Also due to this difficulty, many veteran instructors have long since resigning and moving on to new careers because of this. And have anyone considered the requirements of those students with special needs? Common Core does not provide any allowances for this from their standardized examinations and mode of learning. They even focus only on two subjects namely English and Math. Where are other important subjects of learning such as science which is also one important area of studies? Are electives and extra courses not any more important?

Since we are all in this together we would like to hear more about what you think. We want to be able to create a comprehensive plan that would initiate an action. As such, we would like to host a forum at our place in Illinois. It will be held on February 15. Free snacks and drinks to those who will come. We specifically fixed our garage to accommodate the number of participants. We even had our garage door fixed with the help of a garage door service we found at this site – www.garagedoornation.com.

We’ll be waiting for you as we create better choices for our children and the children of our community. They say that the ower of the nation lies on the youth. Let us help them be the country’s ammunition by providing them the right choice to education.