I don’t often agree with the libertarian CATO Institute, as I am not a libertarian. I appreciate the necessity of a vigorous federal government that provides a safety net and protects the neediest. However, I don’t appreciate the federal government doing what is clearly illegal, that is, controlling, directing, and supervising curriculum and instruction via the Common Core standards. Although its supporters, including President Obma nd Secretary Duncan, repeat that its development was “state-led,” that was a deception. Bill gates funded them because the Feds were barred from doing so, but the Feds funded the tests that will control curriculum and instruction. There has been no louder cheerleader than Duncan.

Now we learn from CATO that the Obama administration wants to make CCSS a permanent part of the federal Elementary and Secondary Education Act. It says,

“President Obama proposes changing Title I of the Elementary and Secondary Education Act – of which NCLB is just the most recent reauthorization – to a program called “College- and Career-Ready Students,” with an annual appropriation of over $14 billion.”

Title 1 is the key part of the original 1965 ESEA. It was intended to distribute federal aid to schools that enroll poor kids, no conditions attached. The funding is based on a formula tied to need, not a competition. Using it to cement CCSS into every school would be a travesty and a misuse of federal power.

Hopefully, there are alert members of Congress watching who will block this move. It will hurt poor kids by tying their eligibility for aid to a program of standards and standardized testing that consistently labels them as low-performing. They need equitable resources more than they need the untested CCSS.