In February 2011 Missouri Commissioner of Education Chris Nicastro published a document stating Common Core standards wouldn't cost the state of Missouri any significant money.
DESE published a document online entitled:
COMMON CORE STATE STANDARDS
What implications do the Common Core State Standards have for Missouri?
The Department has prepared a frequently asked questions document to address recent questions about the Common Core State Standards.
• FAQ – Common Core State Standards
Don't try to find the link now online, it's not there any longer. It's a good thing we highlighted in the previous article what DESE contended about Common Core cost. Here are some snippets from the DESE document sent to legislators by Commissioner Nicastro:
No additional costs are anticipated for revising and maintaining the standards in Missouri. In states where curriculum development is centralized and textbooks or programs are chosen by the state, there probably would be a significant cost. However, that is not the case in Missouri. It is also true that states, where there are numerous differences between former state standards and the Common Core, may see a need to support a statewide initiative for professional development; however, the gap analysis conducted shows close alignment between the ShowMe Standards and the Common Core. The work to implement the 3rd edition of the ShowMe Standards will be part of the ongoing curriculum revision process that districts routinely conduct as part of business.
There is no cost to Missouri associated with the SMARTER‐development assessment system.
No additional state funding for this system has been requested....Additional funds for further developing Missouri’s comprehensive data system will be met through various state, federal and foundation programs as they become available.
As stated earlier, the Department has not requested additional or new funding for the implementation or professional development associated with revised standards and assessments...Districts also should not have additional costs over and above their current investments in ongoing curriculum and professional development. These costs are built into current budgets and devoted to current activities related to instructional improvement.
(Link to the MEW article questioning the validity and accuracy of these statements by DESE).
Read the Pioneer white paper and think about DESE's contention that common core won't cost Missouri any significant amount. Which group do you believe? How can the standards cost states at least $16 Billion and Missouri doesn't incur any implementation cost? Are we in some bubble that the other states don't know about? Are we the favored state out of 45 states that will skate through the implementation of national standards and they will be...at no additional cost in the educational budget? I certainly hope that's the fairy tale ending for DESE. Last year a spokesperson for the agency thought DESE would be looking at a minimum budget shortfall of $900 Million.
Is it time for our legislature to demand from DESE some additional facts and figures other than a FAQ sheet that can't be found on the Internet any longer? How much debt has our Commissioner, State Board of Education and Governor saddled taxpayers with that is unsustainable?
The Pioneer Study gives estimates for individual states implementing these unproven, untested and unconstitutional standards. Will DESE revise its previous statements from February 2011 based on Pioneer's research?
The press release from the Pioneer Institute on cost estimates of national education standards:
STUDY ESTIMATES COST OF TRANSITION TO NATIONAL EDUCATION STANDARDS AT $16 BILLION
Cost far exceeds sums doled out in federal grants used to persuade states to adopt.
BOSTON/WASHINGTON, D.C./SAN FRANCISCO – Aligning state and local educational systems to the Common Core State Standards in English language arts and math will cost the 45 states plus the District of Columbia that have adopted them nearly $16 billion over seven years according to a new study published by Pioneer Institute, the American Principles Project, and the Pacific Research Institute of California. This does not include additional spending for reforms to help students meet the new standards.
“Very few of the states that adopted Common Core vetted the costs and benefits beforehand,” said Theodor Rebarber, lead contributor to the analysis, National Cost of Aligning States and Localities to the Common Core Standards. “While test-development costs will be covered by federal grants, these states are also likely to see their overall expenditures increase significantly.”;
The study, which only calculates expenses directly associated with the transition, finds that states are likely to incur $10.5 billion in one-time costs. These include the price of familiarizing educators with the new standards, obtaining textbooks and instructional materials aligned with the standards, and necessary technology infrastructure upgrades.
An estimated $503 million will be incurred in first-year operational costs like technology training and support and higher assessment costs for some states.
AccountabilityWorks (AW), which developed the analysis, estimates that an additional $801 million will be incurred annually in years two through seven for ongoing support of the enhanced technology infrastructure and the introduction of new assessments that are currently under development.
“The nearly $16 billion in additional costs is nearly four times the federal government's Race to the Top grant awards,” said Pioneer Institute Executive Director Jim Stergios. “With state and local taxpayers footing 90 percent of the bill for K-12 public education, the federal government's push to get states to adopt national standards and tests amounts to one big unfunded mandate.”;
The study uses California, whose current academic standards are among the nation’s best but has adopted Common Core, as an example. AccountabilityWorks estimates the Golden State will incur additional costs of over $1 billion for technology and support, $606 million for professional development and $374 million for textbooks and materials over seven years. The additional costs would exacerbate California’s recent budget woes, which have been even worse than what most other states have endured.
“In coercing states to adopt the Common Core State Standards program, the US DOE and various private trade groups have denied the American people and their elected state legislators any meaningful chance to study either its academic quality or cost implications,” said Emmett McGroarty of the American Principles Project. “;Sadly, now state and local taxpayers will have to pay for Common Core’s distortion of the democratic process.”;
The study includes several recommendations. The first is that the 45 states and the District of Columbia that have adopted Common Core and joined one of the two federally-sponsored testing consortia should engage in a public discussion about the costs and benefits of adoption and whether it represents the best investment of scarce education resources.
"The cruel irony is that in their chase for elusive federal grant dollars states have largely ignored the cost of implementing the national education standards that the US DOE and DC special interests are foisting on them,” said Lance Izumi, Koret Senior Fellow in Education Studies at the Pacific Research Institute. “Especially in deficit-plagued states like California, it was simply fiscal madness to agree to the national-standards regime and its massive future costs."
AccountabilityWorks also recommends that states conduct a technology feasibility assessment to determine their readiness to implement the standards, ensure that thorough professional development is available to all teachers so students have an adequate opportunity to learn the material they will be tested on, identify the resources needed to fully align instructional resources and materials with Common Core, and analyze the future annual costs associated with national standards-based assessments that are currently under development.
AccountabilityWorks is a nonprofit organization dedicated to the dual goals of research that supports sound educational policy as well as supporting states and schools in implementing high quality assessment and accountability systems. Among its initiatives, AW has conducted cost studies on the implementation of federal education initiatives, developed paper and online assessments, and conducted research on state standards. Theodor Rebarber is chief executive officer of AW. Previously he was chief education officer of a system of charter schools, served as staff in Congress and at the U.S. Department of Education, and researched state education reform at the Vanderbilt Institute of Public Policy Studies. Rebarber has testified to Congress on state costs of implementing federal education initiatives.
Pioneer Institute led a campaign in 2010 to oppose the adoption of national standards, producing a four-part series reviewing evolving drafts. The reports compared them with existing Massachusetts and California standards, and found that the federal versions contained weaker content in both ELA and math. The reports, listed below, were authored by curriculum experts R. James Milgram, emeritus professor of mathematics at Stanford University; Sandra Stotsky, former Massachusetts Board of Education member and University of Arkansas Professor; and Ze’ev Wurman, a Silicon Valley executive who helped develop California's education standards and assessments.
In addition, along with the Federalist Society, the American Principles Project, and the Pacific Research Institute, Pioneer recently released a research paper co-authored by former general counsel and former deputy general counsel of the United States Department of Education, Robert S. Eitel and Kent D. Talbert, on the legal concerns about national standards and assessments.
The state oversight of private and parochial education is likely to increase slowly, especially along the lines of uniformity in statistics and records, sanitary inspection, common standards of work, and the enforcement of the attendance laws. In particular, the attitude toward the control of the child is likely to change. Each year the child is coming to belong more and more to the state, and less and less to the parent. - Ellwood P. Cubberley 1909