Although many would like Americans to believe that the Common Core standards were developed by states, were state led, and belong to the states, that is simply false. The standards belong solely to the National Governors Association Center for Best Practices (NGA Center) and the Council of Chief State School Officers (CCSSO). The NGA and CCSSO license of the standards only “grants” a limited license of the Common Core Standards to the states that supposedly developed them. The NGA and CCSSO Common Core Public License can be seen in its entirety here: http://www.corestandards.org/public-license
The license agreement states that: “NGA/CCSSO shall be acknowledged as the sole owners and developers of the Common Core State Standards, and no claims to the contrary shall be made.” So does Oregon own the standards? No. Does Wisconsin own the standards? No. Does Massachusetts own the standards? No. No state owns the standards.
The license agreement makes it clear that although the NGA and the CCSSO own the standards, they do not stand behind them or make any claim to their efficacy or effectiveness. In fact, they want nothing to do with accountability, outcomes, or any damage the standards may cause.
Reading the policy, one is reminded of the “Sold As-Is” sticker on the window of a used car. This part of the license is written by the NGA and CCSSO lawyers in all capital letters, presumably so states don’t miss it and fail to understand the implications:
THE COMMON CORE STATE STANDARDS ARE PROVIDED AS-IS AND WITH ALL FAULTS, AND NGA CENTER/CCSSO MAKE NO REPRESENTATIONS OR WARRANTIES OF ANY KIND, EXPRESS, IMPLIED, STATUTORY OR OTHERWISE, INCLUDING, WITHOUT LIMITATION, WARRANTIES OF TITLE, MERCHANTIBILITY [sic], FITNESS FOR A PARTICULAR PURPOSE, NONINFRINGEMENT, ACCURACY, OR THE PRESENCE OR ABSENCE OF ERRORS, WHETHER OR NOT DISCOVERABLE.
The standards have no guarantee of “fitness for a particular purpose.” The purpose of the standards is college- and career-readiness for K-12 students in all states where they were adopted. But the NGA and the CCSSO clearly do not warranty or guarantee their fitness, accuracy, or absence of errors.
If anything is found lacking in the standards, or if in fact our education system circles the drain in the coming years, the NGA and the CCSSO want nothing to do with any liability for the standards. Children, parents, teachers, school districts, and states are on their own. This section is presented in all capital letters, as well, lest anyone become confused and believe the developers can be held responsible in any way for what was developed:
UNDER NO CIRCUMSTANCES SHALL NGA CENTER OR CCSSO, INDIVIDUALLY OR JOINTLY, BE LIABLE FOR ANY DIRECT, INDIRECT, INCIDENTAL, SPECIAL, EXEMPLARY, CONSEQUENTIAL, OR PUNITIVE DAMAGES HOWEVER CAUSED AND ON ANY LEGAL THEORY OF LIABILITY, WHETHER FOR CONTRACT, TORT, STRICT LIABILITY, OR A COMBINATION THEREOF (INCLUDING NEGLIGENCE OR OTHERWISE) ARISING IN ANY WAY OUT OF THE USE OF THE COMMON CORE STATE STANDARDS, EVEN IF ADVISED OF THE POSSIBILITY OF SUCH RISK AND POTENTIAL DAMAGE. WITHOUT LIMITING THE FOREGOING, LICENSEE WAIVES THE RIGHT TO SEEK LEGAL REDRESS AGAINST, AND RELEASES FROM ALL LIABILITY AND COVENANTS NOT TO SUE, NGA CENTER AND CCSSO.
Some are left wondering why there is such emphasis on not being held responsible for the results of something that is supposedly well-researched, benchmarked, and developed by experts. In fact, Common Core is not benchmarked or based on any scientific or education studies. It’s simply based on what the NGA, CCSSO, and their agent, Achieve, Inc., wanted to produce. And they are not education “experts.”
It seems that if the giant, national experiment that is Common Core fails, those opponents who are sending up warnings that this is a bad idea will have to be satisfied with saying, “We told you so.”
It will come as no surprise to those who have studied Common Core to learn that should some entity be foolish enough to be undeterred by all the legal protections with which the developers have shielded themselves, a lawsuit could not be filed in any state where the “state-led” standards were supposedly developed. The NGA and the CCSSO are private lobbying organizations headquartered in Washington, D.C., and as such: “A court of competent jurisdiction in Washington, D.C. shall be the exclusive forum for the resolution of any disputes regarding this License, and consent to the personal and subject matter jurisdiction, and venue, of such court is irrevocably given.”
The Common Core license agreement demonstrates a lack of confidence in the product. If it were a used car, no one would buy it.
Used with the permission of Eagle Forum.
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