Carol Burris was the only actual on-the-ground educator to participate in the Intelligence Squared debate about Common Core. Unlike the other three debaters, Burris is principal of a high school. She is also a crack researcher, who has published and done research on education issues.

She recently wrote in Valerie Strauss’s Answer Sheet blog about the four big “Flim-Flams” at the heart of the claims for the Common Core.

She writes:

“Since the standards were first introduced, Common Core supporters have created amorphous platitudes and spin to market it. Even as more Americans like me “wise up,” do not expect the Common Core-ites to give up. Think tanks have received millions from Gates to support it and education companies are making millions on new Core-aligned materials. There is big money being spent — and big money to be made — in the Common Core.”

Here is what you will hear from the “Core-ites”:

First, that they are internationally benchmarked and grounded in solid research. Not so, says Burris, with evidence to the contrary.

Second, that the standards are merely goalposts and do not tell teachers how to teach. Not so, says Burris, and offers examples.

Third, that the Common Core will close the achievement gap. Not so, says Burris, and demonstrates that it is actually widening the achievement gap and may, if the Carnegie Corporation prediction proves correct, double the dropout rate, lowering the graduation rate, especially among minorities, to levels unseen since the 1940s.

Fourth, that the problems with the Common Core can. Be solved at he state or local level. Not so, says Burris: the standards were copyrighted and states signed a memorandum agreeing not to change them but allowing states or locals to add another 15% to them.

Burris concludes:

“Curriculum will standardize and narrow as students practice three English Language Arts tasks for the PARCC exam. All that will vary will be the difficulty of the texts to which they respond. The lack of imagination, as well as the lack of knowledge on how writing and critical thinking skills develop, is breathtaking. The combination of common, prescriptive standards, national tests and a re-alignment of the SAT and GED will act as a vise pushing schools toward similar curricular experiences for American students. Make no mistake, this is by design.

“If the goal of Common Core supporters is to create a standardized curriculum across states and schools, then they are obligated to make sure that the Common Core standards are both remarkable and sound. They are neither. It will take more than a public relations campaign to convince the American public to buy the homogenized vision of the few who created the Common Core.”