Friday, May 31, 2013

Common Core - May 2013

Tea Party Groups Fighting Common Core Standards.

The Washington Post (5/30, Wallsten, Layton) reports Tea Party groups, which have “lacked a cohesive goal” since the fight over the Affordable Care Act, are now becoming active in opposition to the Common Core State Standards, a “bipartisan initiative backed by President Obama to overhaul the nation’s public schools.” The activism has led to legislation in at least nine states “that would at least temporarily block the standards.” The standards “do not dictate curriculum” but would create consistent math and reading standards nationwide. Both Tea Party groups and “some skeptical liberals say the standards amount to a federal takeover of education.” The piece concludes by noting that Education Secretary Arne Duncan “expressed frustration about the rising angst over Common Core” last week in congressional testimony, rejecting criticisms that the Common Core constitute a “Federal takeover.” The Post quotes Duncan saying,“It’s not a black helicopter ploy and we’re not trying to get inside people’s minds and brains.”

WTimes Blasts Common Core.

An editorial in the Washington Times (5/31) says that the Common Core Standards amount to President Obama “drafting the curriculum in our local schools,” noting that though the Common Core originated with “state educational bureaucrats crying out for more centralization,” the “administration is more than happy to advance this because it means a larger role for the federal government.” The paper criticizes the growing role of ED in setting standards and policies, and complains that the Common Core “transfers control of what is being taught in local schools away from teachers, parents and administrators and hands it to a remote bureaucracy.”

Maryland District Implementing Common Core Despite Concerns.

Delmarvanow (5/30, Sharpe) reports that the school district in Newark, Maryland, is working to reassure concerned citizens as it implements the Common Core Standards. Area residents expressed concerns about the role of the Federal government at a recent school board meeting. District officials updating the board on implementation stressed that “the curriculum itself was developed locally.”

Wisconsin Budget Would Bar Common Core Implementation.

The Milwaukee Journal Sentinel (5/31, Marley) reports that under a clause in the budget plan passed by a joint panel of the Wisconsin legislature this week, the “state Department of Public Instruction would potentially be barred from implementing” the Common Core Standards “until hearings are held and new findings issued.” However, “the state would be able to keep the math and reading standards it has already implemented.”

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