Common Core? No Thank You
Common Core opponents are surfacing in more states as lawmakers, teachers, and parents become more vocal in protest of the standards that were forced on schools, often without legislative approval. Some states question why there was a switch to Common Core (CC) standards when previous standards were clearly superior. Others are concerned about the focus on testing and the negative effect it has on actual student learning. Concerns over student privacy due to federal government demands for personally identifiable information collection and requirements to share that information is a focal issue in some states. Many are also experiencing sticker shock, as they face costs of new curriculum, testing fees and increased technology demands because students will take computerized tests; some are realizing that in every case a proponent of CC profits from those expenditures.
There are grassroots movements to stop Common Core in every state where it was enacted. Some 20 states have begun legislative activity to slow down, change, or stop Common Core implementation or funding.
The largest state teachers union has withdrawn its support of Common Core. The board of New York State United Teachers, which is affiliated with both the National Education Association and the American Federation of Teachers unions, voted unanimously that support of CC is unjustifiable unless there are “major course corrections.” The union president said, “We’ll have to be the first to say it’s failed.” (Politico, 1-26-14)
South Carolina Gov. Nikki Haley promised to sign Senate Bill 300 that would end Common Core in that state if it makes it to her desk. She said, “We are telling the legislature: Roll back Common Core. Let’s take it back to South Carolina standards.” (Education Week, 1-17-14)
Indiana Gov. Mike Pence indicated in his State of the State speech that the current Common Core slowdown in his state could become a dead stop for CC. He said academic standards in his state “will be written by Hoosiers, for Hoosiers, and will be among the best in the nation.” (Education Week, 1-15-14)
Referring to the sneaky and cajoling manner in which Common Core was foisted upon states, political commentator George Will wrote in the Washington Post (1-15-14):
Political dishonesty has swift, radiating, and condign consequences. Opposition to the Common Core is surging because Washington, hoping to mollify opponents, is saying, in effect: ‘If you like your local control of education, you can keep it. Period.’ To which a burgeoning movement is responding: ‘No. Period.’