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Common Core Estimated Costs per pupil for Bradley County and Tennessee

In Uncategorized on August 4, 2013 at 8:06 PM

Common Core Estimated Costs: Per pupil in Bradley County and across Tennessee

When someone speaks of introducing a “national” standard to drive a curriculum for use in every state in the US to include a total change of that system, two quick thoughts come to mind. First, the indoctrination of our children and secondly, th cost to me or the state I live in to implement.

Trying to find out the cost of Common core has been like trying to pull a bad tooth from a sleeping bear. 

Just the thought of trying to get “cost figures” from our elected and non-elected reps has proven to be quite a daunting and elusive task.

I have posed the question via email to several folks locally and have either not gotten an answer, totally ignored my question or have offered that it’s paid for by federal grants, no strings attached.

If one of these are truly your answer you are either oblivious or are trying to hide the cost fearing the publics backlash of such an expensive and unproven program.

It is pretty safe to assume that when I meet high resistance or avoidance of a question, there is a pretty good reason for it. Someone is trying to hide the facts.

Either way our schools get nationalized, our kids indoctrinated while the taxpayer gets duped once again.

I had to do a little research, which has now become one of my favorite pastimes and I had to look no further than the NGO, Non Governmental Organization, (a term first used by the UN in 1945, by the way) The NCSL, National Conference of State Legislators, where every legislator is an honorary member and their level of involvement on committees from there is an additional choice.

Jessica Mathews, a historian and Pulitzer Prize winner, once said this about NGOs  in Foreign Affairs in 1997:  “For all their strengths, NGOs are special interests. The best of them … often suffer from tunnel vision, judging every public act by how it affects their particular interest”. Since NGOs do have to worry about policy trade-offs, the overall impact of their cause might bring more harm to society.

No time has been wasted, as several of  our local reps have taken to the task of implementing Common Core in our communities and working quitely behind the scenes, seemingly trying to not look at the cost factor.

Take Todd Gardenhire,  Delores Gresham, Kevin Brooks (also an ALEC education committee member), Harry Brooks, Stacey Campfield for instance. They are deeply involved in this NGO (NCSL) and no one has barely heard of this organization. Again, a big opportunity for them to affect state policy, but very little oversight or accountability. Sources below:

http://m.ncsl.org/state-federal-committees.aspx?tabs=855,22,629

http://m.ncsl.org/state-federal-committees.aspx?tabs=855,25,661

Let’s cut to the chase and begin to see what this will potentially cost our state and our community.

Since no one has offered to relinquish the “Golden Budget” on their own, I found a nugget on the NCSL website, a presentation by Patrick Murphy in 2011, presumably to NCSL committee members, perhaps updated numbers are out there but I couldn’t find them.

http://www.ncsl.org/Portals/1/Documents/educ/PatrickMurphyPPT.pdf

In this presentation he touched on many issues that may affect the Common Core cost outcome to include the unknown, retooling teacher programs, technology infrastructure, staff training, staff reductions, changes in leadership, future market costs, costs not adjusted per state, existing costs and factors with no control like inflation or individual community adjustment costs for data, assessment and software upgrades.

From what I can gather and he has lumped the cost into three different paths, the business as usual approach (the most costly), Bare bones(mostly online) and a mix of the two (lowest cost). 

These approaches will be determined by the school districts approach using the technology provided and what upgrades may be needed to their present environment and their desire to spend the extra cash this program demands. 

The business as usual seems to take the lesser demand on the present infrastructure, this seems to be the least path of resistance, requiring the least change, yet the most expensive up front. So, we will use the business as usual model to form our costs to implement Common Core in our community, Bradley County.

In summary the gross costs per pupil in all states using the business as usual model will be about 289 dollars per child and 2,000 per teacher, I am assuming per year.

Lets take the number of kids in Cleveland/Bradley County: roughly 15,100. Using the numbers provided by NCSL above that’s a high end, business as usual, around 4.4 million add in fixed costs of 4 million  provided by NCSL and that’s around 8.4million.

With 15 ,100 students in Bradley County and a 17-18 students per teacher ratio that equates to about 888 teachers or let’s round to 900. 900 times 2,000 per teacher head and we have an additional  1.8 million in cost.

Combined teacher and student cost is estimated to be about 10.2 million for Bradley County. 

Now factor in all the Bill Gates computer software, training, upgrades, system parts and things that go whizz and you safely have another 2  to 3 million and around 13.2 million seems to be the implementation costs for Common Core. 

Tennessee has about 1 million students and that could equate to billions, I’ll let you do the math.

I am sure there will be people alot smarter than me look at the “numbers” I have provided and come up with another number and dispute my numbers. But you know what? I haven’t seen anyone else even attempt to take a stab at it but I bet I’m not too far off. And from your vantage point that’s the easy route to take.

I, too would attempt to hide these costs. Our community or state does not have this type of surplus. 132 million over 10 years. I feel my taxes going up as I peck away at the keyboard.

Look at the provided presentation and look at the numbers. Come to your own conclusion.

My conclusion;  I believe we need to talk with our elected leaders, look at the decisions they are making and take the needed steps to protect our children from this horrible set of standards that will dictate the curriculum. Thus leaving our teachers with no option other than to be a pawn of the federal government inside our sovereign state.

Other sources of info:

http://m.ncsl.org/issues-research/educ/challenged-to-the-core.aspx

http://www.localschooldirectory.com/state-schools/TN

http://mobile.edweek.org/c.jsp?DISPATCHED=true&cid=25983841&item=http%3A%2F%2Fblogs.edweek.org%2Fedweek%2Fcurriculum%2F2013%2F04%2Fi_recent_heard_from_a.html

  1. There is suppose to be a time for people to review these textbooks at MTSU and TSU. Not sure when as of yet.

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  2. Thank you so very much for all the time and research you put into this project! I will forward this on and try to get the word out. May I post this on the “As A Mom” .org website? They are fighting hard against common core, and have a Tennessee Mom area. Thanks again! Kim

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