Seth Sandronsky, a journalist in California, loves Mercedes Schneider’s new book, “Common Core Dilemma: “Who Owns Our Schools?”

In this review, he summarizes the main themes of the book.

He writes:

“Uncle Sam helped to spur the Common Core State Standards, the newest “big thing” in education reform that profits businesses. Mercedes K. Schneider names the actors and unveils their deeds and words in Common Core Dilemma: Who Owns Our Schools? (Teachers College Press, 2015).

“A laser-like focus on a politically-connected class of edupreneurs propels her empirical case against education privatization’s bid to establish national test-driven assessments and standards for K-12 public schools. There is a vital history here, away from public view for years.

“Schneider clarifies such deliberate obscurity. In an Introduction, 11 chapters, Conclusion, Glossary, Notes and an Index, she investigates the relevant CCSS methods and motives.

“Schneider begins with a look at the Elementary and Secondary Education Act of 1965. It in part paved the path for the No Child Left Behind Act of 2001 under GOP President George W. Bush that Sen. And Democratic presidential candidate Bernie Sanders voted for, too.

“Central to the NCLB is high-stakes student testing. It fuels education privatization. Teachers’ livelihoods depend on their students’ test scores.

“Under this small carrot-and-big stick framework, the NCLB used state education standards to assess and punish disproportionately public schools in black and brown communities. Democratic Party politicians facilitated this process.

“Yet such a policy reliance upon state standards proved to limit the playing field of education reform. Such limits to capital accumulation generally require federal intervention, with Pres. Obama’s Race To The Top, the CCSS-friendly offspring of the NCLB, a case in point.

“The reformers nearly to a person are not teachers. That fact is striking, and runs a thread throughout Schneider’s book, outraging her and maybe readers, too.

“The CCSS solution to the limits of state standards propelled Achieve, Inc.’s grand plan to create a “common” set of K-12 standards in in English and math. Achieve is part of a triad that includes American College Testing and the College Board pushing the CCSS.

“Elected by nobody, the National Governors Association and the Council of Chief State Officers own the copyright for the CCSS. If that is not an attack on democracy, what is?

“And as Schneider shows, the plan for the CCSS slithered ahead in stealth for reasons, we read, of preparing US public schools for the intrusion of global monopoly corporations. Business knows best, according to wealthy interest such as Bill and Melinda Gates.

“For example, Schneider shines the light on Gates and luminaries such as IBM’s CEO Louis Gerstner, Jr. He drips arrogance in his ignorance of what classroom teachers and their pupils do on a daily basis, while positioning Achieve to suckle from the CCSS.

“Readers get to know the CCSS word salad of groups and terms. This language of edureform is a try to obfuscate the privatization of American public education.”

There is more, of course. The media writes about the Common Core by reading the press releases of its advocates. Schneider’s book might well be subtitled: The Secret History of the Common Core Standards.”.

A must for journalists, parents, and educators.