The Common Core questions NOT being answered

Editor’s note: This op-ed is by Susan Ohanian of Charlotte, a longtime teacher and author of 25 books on education policy and practice. Her website is at   Selected questions:

Origin of the Common Core

22. Do you think that the fact that the Bill and Melinda Gates Foundation spent several hundred million dollars to create and promote the CCSS, shutting teachers out of the process, puts the democratic process in jeopardy?

23. In his State of the Union address President Obama referenced CCSS: “We’ve convinced nearly every state in the country …” What form did federal “persuasion” take in Vermont’s decision?

24. In a June 2013 letter sent to the Chief State School Officers, U.S. Secretary of Education Arne Duncan stated, “The Department of Education (DOE) is open to additional flexibility for states in … one particular element of teacher and leader evaluation.”

• If CCSS and assessments are not federally mandated programs, why and how is the federal government able to offer flexibility to states?

25. Secretary Duncan: “Given … the dramatic changes in curricula that teachers and principals are now starting to teach, and the transition to new assessments aligned to those standards, the Department will, on a state-by-state basis, allow states up to one additional year before using their new evaluation systems to inform personnel determinations.”

• Exactly what does “evaluation systems to inform personnel determinations” mean in Vermont? What is the federal role in how we evaluate our teachers?

See all the questions at:

– See more at:

Leave a Reply