Some states push back against standards set by Common Core
by Heather Hollingsworth, Associated Press
May 29, 2013 12:00 AM | 509 views | 0 0 comments | 5 5 recommendations | email to a friend | print
Some states are pushing back against a set of uniform benchmarks for reading, writing and math that have been fully adopted in most states and are being widely put in place this school year.

The new Common Core standards replace a hodgepodge of educational goals that had varied greatly from state to state. The federal government was not involved in the state-led effort to develop them but has encouraged the project.

While proponents say the new standards will better prepare students, critics worry they’ll set a national curriculum for public schools rather than letting states decide what is best for their students.

There was little dissent when the standards were widely adopted in 2010, but that begun changing last year and debate picked up steam this year. The standards have divided Republicans, with former Florida Gov. Jeb Bush championing them and conservatives such as Sen. Chuck Grassley (R-Iowa) opposing them.

Lawmakers and governors are reviewing the standards in Kansas, Missouri, Michigan, Pennsylvania, Georgia, Indiana, Alabama, South Carolina and Utah. Grassley, meanwhile, persuaded eight other senators to sign onto a letter in April asking the Senate Appropriations Committee to stop the Education Department from linking adoption of the standards to eligibility for other federal dollars. That same month, the Republican National Committee passed a resolution calling the standards an “inappropriate overreach.”

Kristy Campbell, a spokeswoman for the Bush-backed Foundation for Excellence in Education, said conservatives historically have supported higher standards and greater accountability.

“The fact that they are opposed to Common Core now is a little surprising and disappointing given the fact that states came together to solve a need,” Campbell said, adding that the new standards will allow for state-by-state comparisons that haven’t been possible before. “We are going to have more rigorous assessments that are going to test kids against those higher standards and hopefully achieve what we all want, which is a dramatically greater quality of education in America.”

The American Legislative Exchange Council, a conservative, Washington-based think tank that espouses conservative policies in state legislatures, debated in November whether to oppose the Common Core standards. The group ultimately decided to remain neutral, but its discussion, along with concerns raised by conservative groups such as the Goldwater and Pioneer institutes, caught the attention of lawmakers.

Comments
(0)
Comments-icon Post a Comment
No Comments Yet
*We welcome your comments on the stories and issues of the day and seek to provide a forum for the community to voice opinions. All comments are subject to moderator approval before being made visible on the website but are not edited. The use of profanity, obscene and vulgar language, hate speech, and racial slurs is strictly prohibited. Advertisements, promotions, and spam will also be rejected. Please read our terms of service for full guides