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December 22 2014

Common Core Vote of No Confidence?

VIcki Alger

Common Core national standards are not a benign part of the latest federal “excellence” agenda. They’re constitutionally suspect at best, less rigorous than most states’ previous standards, and serve as a gateway to an unprecedented level of federal interference.  As Emmanuel Felton writes in The Hechinger Report:

Last month’s election spells trouble for the Common Core…With the standards increasingly being assailed by conservatives as an unwanted federal intrusion into public education, the Republican sweep of state legislatures – the party is now in control of over two-thirds of state lawmaking bodies – will likely lead to a new round of scrutiny of the standards and the tests tied to them. …

The opposition isn’t just limited to Republicans in red states.

“There is not only conservative pushback but liberal pushback as well,” said Carol Burris, principal at South Side High School in Rockville Center, New York and a frequent Common Core critic… “Look what happened in the New York [Democratic] primary with Zephyr Teachout. The group she most courted was teachers, she made a big deal about teacher evaluations and Common Core, and she got 35 percent of the vote.”

Toward the end of his reelection campaign this fall, Gov. Andrew Cuomo of New York, a Democrat, called for a moratorium on using scores from Common Core tests in decisions about whether to promote students to the next grade after opponents attempted to link him to the controversial standards. …

Even before the onslaught of anti-Common Core rhetoric in the recent election cycle, the original promise of the standards’ commonness had already been compromised says Michael McShane, an education policy researcher at the American Enterprise Institute...

“Forty-three states and D.C. nominally say they are part of the Common Core, but only 27 are using [PARCC or Smarter Balanced] tests. That’s a big change from a couple of years ago,” said McShane. “If a state is using its own tests, setting its own [pass] scores, and using its own materials, to my view that is not common.”

Independent Women's Forum is an educational 501(c)(3) dedicated to developing and advancing policies that aren’t just well intended, but actually enhance people’s freedom, choices, and opportunities. IWF is the sister organization of the Independent Women’s Voice.​
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