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Dan Forest on DPI’s Common Core response: “This is government bureaucracy at its best.”

Last month, Dan Forest asked the Department of Public Instruction to respond to a lengthy memorandum [1] in which he outlined his questions and concerns about the Common Core State Standards.

On August 2, Forest received DPI’s response—and today he posted a link to his website of a YouTube video [2] that admonishes DPI for taking more than 40,000 pieces of paper to respond to his inquiry.

Forest says his letter contains 67 questions—but upon further examination his letter actually contains 222 substantive questions, thanks to the fact that there are many sub questions throughout the document.

In his original letter, Forest questions the cost of the implementation of the Common Core, the technological needs that the standards demand and the degree to which students’ privacy will be safeguarded.

He also included very specific questions, like “please provide all Common Core-related correspondence between DPI and any elected member of the General Assembly between January 2009 and June 2010.”

DPI carefully responded to each of his questions and sub-questions – with, as he details, 12 boxes containing approximately 40,000 sheets of paper. DPI’s cover letter, Forest says, did not directly answer any of his questions but instead referred him to 134 separate websites, 320 separate reports, hundreds of original documents, 40 presentations, 1 blog post and 1 thumb drive.

This lengthy and detailed response on the part of DPI staff and the state superintendent was labeled “government bureaucracy at its best” by Forest. “When an administrative body that is required to provide information to its board members fails to be forthcoming with the requested information it should raise a red flag.”

Forest also accused DPI of “hiding behind mountains of information.”

reamsofpaper [3]On July 19, Forest tweeted this photo to the right. It’s ten reams of paper – that’s 10,000 pages—that he sent to DPI so they could respond to his inquiry.

You can read DPI’s cover letter here [4].

*This story was changed to update the number of questions included in Forest’s letter to DPI. Previously we reported approximately 150, instead of 222, which is the actual number of questions he asked.