Most state legislatures and assemblies are in the midst of their legislative sessions. Last year we saw an attempt by a few legislators in a handful of states attempt to undo the work of State Boards of Education, teachers, students and schools around Common Core through legislation. They didn't have much success, but they're trying again in 2014. From local education associations to respected editorial boards, communities are speaking out against efforts to lower standards for students.
By the Editorial Board, Milwaukee Journal Sentinel
February 23, 2014
"Much of the resistance to the standards comes from tea party groups that fear the intrusion of the federal government into local schools... some critics have spread unfounded rumors that Common Core standards could lead to such alarming tests as retinal scans, fingerprint scans, blood-pressure cuffs or posture chairs for kids. There also have been allegations that the federal government coerced states into approving the standards. Nonsense. These are merely scare tactics meant to arouse fear.
"The standards were developed by state superintendents, governors and curriculum experts; they simply set national standards that districts should strive to meet. In a global economy that requires a skilled workforce, this just makes sense."
By Mike Cason, Al.com
February 20, 2014
"The school boards association called Beason's bill 'politics at its worst.'
"'This ill-conceived legislation would throw out new, world-class standards being taught today in classrooms across the state and throw Alabama back into the educational dark ages by forcing schools to teach 2003 math and 1999 English language arts standards,' AASB's statement said.
"'Those standards do not align with those used by any other state or global competitor and would leave our students unprepared for the jobs of the future.'"
By the Editorial Board, the Arizona Republic
February 20, 2014
"Republican senators huffed and puffed Thursday, seeking to blow down all the evils they see in setting high academic standards for Arizona students and teachers.
"They succeeded in gaining Education Committee approval for a raft of bills that would launch Arizona education into the 20th century. And, "Senators ignored Arizona Department of Education testimony about how the standards actually work and the freedom charters and school districts have in meeting them.
"They ignored business leaders, who see the new standards as a pathway to producing a better-educated workforce.
By Rich Galen, Politico
February 20, 2014
"This is so transparently a good thing that it's hard to figure out why anyone would be opposed. That's especially true for conservatives, who have long believed our education system is underperforming; that student progress needs to be measured; and that teachers and school superintendents should be accountable for better outcomes in the classroom.
"If every high-school student in the country were able to demonstrate a basic capacity for the Common Core, they could-and should-then feel free to decide what they want to do post-high school. Think about how much more valuable a two-year course in a vocational environment would be if the first year didn't have to focus on improving basic reading, writing, math and reasoning skills. Those are the skills we should be teaching in high school so the post-secondary environment, whether vocational or academic, can be that much more valuable to the students and to our economy.
"Those who oppose Common Core because it's a 'nationalized' model that infringes on 'local control' couldn't be more wrong. Common Core started with the states; has vast bipartisan support from governors of both parties; and has the stamp of approval from credible conservatives, ranging from Jeb Bush to Bill Bennett to any number of other serious people. And there's a reason for this: Standards and accountability are conservative values that we have promoted for decades!"
Achieve has developed materials to help states, districts, and others understand the organization and content of the standards and the content and evidence base used to support the standards. Visit www.achieve.org/achieving-common-core.
If you find a news clip supportive of the Common Core, please send it to Chad Colby at firstname.lastname@example.org.