Though 46 states will spend an estimated $5 to $12 billion  to implement a new set of national education standards called the Common Core, public officials are arranging these standards in hundreds of closed-door meetings.
Meetings between members of the Council of Chief State School Officers to write and discuss these standards and corresponding tests are closed to the public, though taxpayers pay for state officials to attend these meetings and to be CCSSO members.
“[T]he Council of Chief State School Officers holds over one hundred meetings per year,” its meeting webpage states . “CCSSO meetings are closed to the public and attendance is by invitation only unless otherwise denoted” (emphasis in original).
CCSSO and the National Governor’s Association are two nonprofits that coordinated state involvement and adoption of the Core. The Core outlines what states will expect K-12 children to know in math and English/language arts in each grade. Nearly all states adopted them in 2010 within five months of their release, and say they plan to fully implement them, along with matching tests currently in development, by 2014-2015.
“What was behind those policies, what was considered, the different elements that went into them, the ideas that went into them—it’s a black box,” said Bill Allison, editorial director of the Sunlight Foundation, a government transparency watchdog. “The public do have the right to know the laws that are going to affect them and their families, especially when they’re paying for them.”
Supported by State Tax Dollars
State membership in each related CCSSO committee costs $16,000 each year, and states can and do participate in several committees. Committee leader Indiana, for example, participates in the math and social studies comm