Friday, May 31, 2013

More Common Core

State Education Chiefs Call For Common Core “Wiggle Room.”

Michele McNeil writes at the Education Week (5/29, McNeil) “Politics K-12” blog, “The Council of Chief State School Officers is rejecting calls for a moratorium on any high stakes tied to the Common Core State Standards,” noting that the chiefs say that states are already equipped to “smooth the way for what could be a rocky transition.” Nevertheless, McNeil writes, the chiefs are calling for “some flexibility” from ED and Education Secretary Arne Duncan “during these next couple of tricky years as the common core is fully implemented and common tests come on line.” She writes that the CCSSO has released a document calling for “wiggle room” for accountability, teacher evaluations, and assessments.

Education Analyst Lays Out Common Core Concerns.

FOX News America Live (5/28, 1:46 p.m. EDT) broadcast a report on the Common Core Standards, including “controversial claims about how the feds might use this program to data mine our students and their families.” The segment features education analyst and filmmaker Bob Bowden, who--after listing a number of positive potential benefits of the Common Core--says, “What we have increasingly learned is the Federal top down involvement. A third of a billion dollars was used by the... Federal Treasury money was used to set up these groups.” He also notes that the Federal government tied Race to the Top grants and NCLB waivers to being “down with Common Core,” and suggests that the Common Core will suppress education innovation. In a second segment, the conversation turns to “data mining” on the part of ED, and to concerns about politically controversial topics being taught.

Michigan Budget Would Give Legislature Common Core Veto Power.

The AP (5/28) reports that under a budget proposal in the Michigan legislature, the state “would not be able to spend money to implement” the Common Core Standards “unless the Legislature approves it.” The AP adds that the bill “would require the Legislature to affirm the Common Core State Standards and the assessment that goes along with it before the department could use any funding to implement the standards.” The article notes that though Gov. Rick Snyder (R) supports the Common Core, “some Republicans in the Legislature say they strip away local control of the state’s educational system.”

Alabama Columnist Praises State Legislature For Preserving Common Core.

In a column for Alabama Live (5/29, Kennedy), Joey Kennedy praises the Alabama state legislature for not passing the “push by ultra-conservatives to repeal the state Board of Education’s adoption of the Common Core State Standards,” noting that state “education officials and others support the standards and, more importantly, should be the folks developing education policy. The last thing the Legislature should be doing is ordering education changes.”

Common Core Opponents Buoyed By Utah GOP Resolution.

The Provo (UT) Daily Herald (5/29, Warnock) reports that 65% of delegates at the recent Utah GOP convention “approved a resolution denouncing the Common Core,” and noting that Cherily Eagar, who sponsored the resolution, “is preparing for a major push at the legislative interim session.” Eagar “told the Daily Herald on Tuesday that the vote has become a rallying point,” and says that “the Republican delegate repudiation of Common Core opens a pathway for serious discussion about alternatives for Utah.”

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