Thursday, May 01, 2014

Resistance to the Common Core Mounts

While the Sacramento Bee editorial board and several corporate education "reformers" castigate local teachers for opposing the imposed Core Waiver ( see below)..

The editorial board and the partisan advocates presenting themselves as leaders ignore the fact that Common Core is encountering more resistance around the country.  It is not a local, personal agenda. Nor is it just a union campaign.  There are substantive reasons why teachers oppose the imposed Core Waiver, and many oppose Common Core until weaknesses are remedied.

From Education Week.
Resistance to the Common Core Mounts
Critics span the political spectrum, from tea partyers to union leaders

After more than a year of high-profile and contentious debate over the Common Core State Standards in Indiana, Gov. Mike Pence signed legislation last month to formally reverse the state's adoption of the standards. The legislation set the state on course to replace those standards with ones "written by Hoosiers, for Hoosiers," the Republican governor proclaimed.
The same month, the Democratic-controlled New York Assembly approved a measure that would require a two-year delay in using assessments aligned with the common core for teacher and principal evaluations.
In some sense, the measures in Indiana and New York represent two dominant poles of the growing—and evolving—resistance to the standards. The common core has drawn criticism from both the political left and right, though much of it seems aimed not so much at what the standards say, but rather who drove their adoption or the tests and accountability policies connected with them.

In some respects, the environment bears similarities to what happened roughly 20 years ago, when a national push to update standards with federal and corporate backing ran into political opposition.
Lawmakers in roughly 15 states, wary of what they see as federal pressure to adopt the common core and of other problems they associate with the standards, have introduced legislation during their current sessions to repeal the standards or replace them with other standards. Such measures have cleared at least one legislative chamber in states such as Georgia and Tennessee. A bill to require Oklahoma to adopt a new set of standards was approved by both chambers as of this writing, although it wouldn't prohibit the state from incorporating at least portions of the common core.
At the same time, union leaders and other progressives in education in places like Maryland and New York state have been decrying what they see as a lack of preparation and resources for teachers as the standards are carried out. These critics say states should delay the full impact of common-core standards and tests on educators, students, and schools.
Still, the tangible success of both sides has been questionable so far. Most of the bills have not become law. Even in Indiana, the standards the state appears on track to adopt bear some striking similarities to the common core.
Meanwhile, prominent friends of the standards, from the U.S. Chamber of Commerce to former Florida Gov. Jeb Bush, a Republican, and Delaware Gov. Jack Markell, a Democrat, have set up "mythbusting" sites and new public-relations campaigns to support the common standards.
During one public appearance to support the standards in March, Gov. Markell said he and others would continue to push back against what he said was a false "mythology" about the standards: "It's not about some malicious thing coming from Washington, D.C."
But many common-core foes appear to be animated in part by the idea that they are lined up against powerful forces supporting the standards.
"We're really seeing some momentum. But this is really a David-versus-Goliath kind of battle," said Shane Vander Hart, a conservative anti-common-core activist who writes a blog for Christian conservatives.
Making it Work

Education Week. Read the entire article.

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