Sunday, March 2, 2014

The National Stop Common Core Tsunami - 32 States Attempt Some Form of Anti-Common Core Legislation

Just recently (2/27) my friend Shane VanderHart with Truth in American Education (ROPE is a TAE contributing organization), ran an article delineating every state that had pieces of legislation moving through the legislature.  THE LIST IS ENORMOUS!  By my count, 32 states are running some kind of legislation to stop or slow down the Common Core State Standards Initiative implementation - including associated Common Core testing and data collection.

Here's the bill count for all categories of CC as introduced into the legislature:
  1. Arizona - 1
  2. Arizona  - 5
  3. Arkansas - 2
  4. Colorado - 1
  5. Connecticut - 1 
  6. Florida  - 5
  7. Georgia - 1
  8. Idaho - 3
  9. Illinois - 3
  10. Indiana - 1
  11. Iowa - 6 
  12. Kansas - 1
  13. Kentucky - 2 Prohibition/Repeal (the first state to utilize the Common Core)
  14. Louisiana - several are forthcoming
  15. Maryland - 4
  16. Michigan - 1
  17. Minnesota -3
  18. Mississippi - 1
  19. Missouri - 5
  20. New Hampshire - 7
  21. New Jersey - 2
  22. New Mexico - 1
  23. New York - 1
  24. Ohio - 4
  25. Oklahoma - 7
  26. South Carolina - 2
  27. South Dakota - 6
  28. Tennessee - 15
  29. Utah - 1
  30. West Virginia - 2
  31. Wisconsin - 4
  32. Wyoming - 4
So, 32 states have filed a combined total of approximately ONE HUNDRED bills AGAINST Common Core, Common Core testing and Data Collection.  How in the world could 32 states be "misinformed" enough about Common Core to create a century's worth of bills against the initiative?

Many states - like Oklahoma - have presented information to state legislatures outlining parent and educator concerns regarding the Common Core.  As the standards have been implemented, teachers and parents alike have found that - no matter the intention behind the standards - the practice has been detrimental to teaching and learning all across the nation.  But what can we expect?  These standards were written by 3 people at Student Achievement Partners (for Achieve) in Washington, D.C. - two of whom had absolutely no experience in education at all.  There was no roll out, just an initial 'standards dump' that effected k-12 across the board without any kind of quality assurance at all but a disclaimer on the Common Core website that says (essentially), "if these don't work for you, too bad".

Though we tried warning about PARCC testing years ago, the concerns about Common Core tests have come true in spades for several states today - none so much as New York where
only 26 percent of students in third through eighth grade passed the state English exam, and only 30 percent passed the math test, compared to 47 percent and 60 percent, respectively, last year.
In fact, the Oklahoma state law that tests shall be administered to every student enrolled in a tested grade in the public schools dovetails perfectly with the Obama Administration NCLB mandate continuation into the NCLB Waiver (promoted to states in 2011) that states must test 95% of all students.  Oklahoma's application was granted in 2012.  Our waiver states that if the 95% testing threshold is not met, the result is a loss of a full letter grade in the school's A-F grading system.  Also according to the Waiver, schools receiving D's or F's can be taken over by the State Department of Education or one of its contractors.  What is the point of a local school board then?  How does this 'accountability measure' not pit administrators against parents or administrators against the State Department of Education on behalf of their parents?  In fact, we all know the veracity of the latter category as Jenks Middle School Principal, Rob Miller, was subjected to a number of very public inquiries last summer from the OSDE when perceived as giving rise to a testing mutiny in the district. 

Recently, parents with children stressed out and frustrated after being submitted to days and days of testing have been told by Oklahoma public schools there is no 'opt out' option for state tests.  This fact has led parents to become painfully aware of the usurpation of their parental right to dictate their public school child's education.

Unfortunately, as ROPE (and now others) have discovered and reported, Common Core is a vehicle for collecting an inordinate amount of student data under the auspices of "making sure students graduate from high school" and "to keep students on track for College and Career".  The OSDE's federally funded State Longitudinal Database System grant is helping them march ever forward in the ability to share personal student data with any number of organizations and individuals - so long as they can claim they are involved in education at some level.

So it appears, as more legislators across the nation become INFORMED on these issues by their constituents and the actual effects of Common Core on their children and families, consensus is (and should be) moving firmly and directly FOR repeal and replacement of these untested, untried, unproven, unOklahoman educational 'standards'.