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Wednesday, June 27, 2012

June 2012 Melanie Kurdys
 A number of years ago, a collaboration of state governors and superintendents of education began work on a common set of educational standards. Their goal was to provide a common definition of what children should know and be able to do for each grade K-12, theoretically lifting up all states to the highest standards.

 Since then, the U.S. Federal government has become involved, first offering incentive money to states who commit to following these common standards, then offering to fund the development of new assessments to go with the standards and now, planning to tie Title 1 Funding for special education to the requirement that states use these standards and assessments.
There are three reasons why citizens must stand up and stop this march to national standards.
1) The standards are not modeled on the most rigorous and proven standards in the U. S., which would be Massachusetts. In fact, the standards are not as rigorous as what many states have, including Michigan.
 2) Even if the standards were excellent, the U. S. Federal government has no constitutional standing to take over the development, maintenance and assessment of educational standards. This right and responsibility belongs to the states. In the Michigan constitution, educational leadership is defined as being determined by “local control” putting the ultimate rights in the hands of parents.
 3) There is no evidence that spending all the time and money required for developing and implementing these new standards and assessments will result in better student achievement outcomes. Evidence both nationally and internationally shows that better student achievement outcomes come from empowering parents with educational options and engagement and excellent teachers.
 Here are some additional resources that explain the issue in more detail.

  We must come together in Michigan to stop Common Core. Tell your legislators to take action to prevent Common Core from being implemented in Michigan. Vote for legislators and state school board members who oppose Common Core. We all know the education system in Michigan must be improved, but we must retain the right to determine our own destiny without federal intervention.

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