Common Core State Standards commentary lacked facts

September 27, 2013 

The Sept. 22 Common Core commentary by Andrew Vega was glowing and long but lacked one vital component: facts. Nothing on cost, student and school achievement ratings, as well as the number of students and teachers involved.

As a 73-year-old retired business individual using Manatee School District information, I submit my commentary.

Manatee schools contain roughly 45,000 students, 7,000 teachers and 34 schools. These schools were given the following grades in 2013 based on state standards: A-5, B-6, C-10, D-8, F-5.

Budgeting for these schools this year is almost $590 million dollars.

Based on these numbers, with the diversity of the students and schools, it appears to make the one standard approach not obtainable. Add in the remainder of Florida's 67 counties and the balance of the states, which have signed on to this one standard approach, and the numbers become monumental. Having worked with quality levels and standards, it works out that levels always go lower as the number of incidents increase.

All of this is without knowing the cost of the program, where the money is to come from, how it is to be dispersed and who will receive it. The recently hired superintendent stated during the recent budget process that monies for Common Core were not included as the costs were unknown.

Two adages come to mind: If it sounds to good to be true, it probably is; there is no such thing as a free lunch.

With this information, or lack of, to consider it appears to me that Common Core is going to become the Affordable Care Act of education: Passed without knowing what was in it and how much it will cost.

Jim Heuberger


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