Sunday, April 21, 2013

Common Core movement . . .

In case you haven't had a chance to keep up on the latest developments with the Common Core State Standards, this piece by Valerie Strauss in the Washington Post tells you everything you need to know.  There have been two recent decisions with the potential to dramatically alter what has thus far been a bipartisan initiative supported by 45 states.  First, the Republican National Committee passed a resolution rejecting the CCSS initiative.
RESOLVED, the Republican National Committee recognizes the CCSS for what it is — an inappropriate overreach to standardize and control the education of our children so they will conform to a preconceived “normal,” and, be it further . . .
The second development was Senator Grassley (R-Iowa) last week asking his colleagues to co-sign a letter asking the Senate Appropriations Committee to cut off all future funds that would allow the Obama administration to push states into participating in the Common Core State Standards and it’s assessments.  In an email to colleagues he shared the following five examples of how this has been done.

  • Making adoption of Common Core a pre-requisite for a state even being able to compete for Race to the Top funds.
  • Directly funding the two assessment consortia developing tests aligned to Common Core using Race to the Top funds.
  • Assembling a panel to review the work of the two assessment consortia.
  • Making implementation of Common Core or coordination with Common Core a funding priority for other, unrelated competitive grants administered by the Department of Education.
  • Making participation in Common Core essentially a prerequisite for being awarded a waiver from the Department of requirements in the No Child Left Behind Act.
Our state is one that has signed onto the Common Core as I shared in this post.  Unfortunately, there has been very little support at the state level, leaving us to once again align curriculum, prepare assessments, and ensure that teachers have the knowledge and structures necessary for preparing students for the proposed assessments in 2015.  We need to monitor these recent developments at the national level because they have the potential to significantly change the landscape.  In this Truth In American Education post you can see how the resolution is being used in Alabama.  How many states might follow this example will be important to watch.

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