"I know no safe depository of the ultimate powers of the society but the people themselves; and if we think them not enlightened enough to exercise their control with a wholesome discretion, the remedy is not to take it from them, but to inform their discretion by education. This is the true corrective of abuses of constitutional power." - Thomas Jefferson 1820

"There is a growing technology of testing that permits us now to do in nanoseconds things that we shouldn't be doing at all." - Dr. Gerald Bracey author of Rotten Apples in Education

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Sunday, June 13, 2010

Common Core Standards "aka" National Standards

In August 2009, Missouri officially signed on to be a part of the Common Core Standards initiative led by the National Governors Association (NGA) and the Council of Chief State School Officers (CCSSO). It now seems inevitable that all states (except Alaska, Texas) will have common standards for English language arts and mathematics. My biggest concern with this action is the unsettling reality that we, the state of Missouri, are giving up our state sovereignty with regards to what we as Missourians feel should be taught in our public schools. Currently, states are free to set their own standards without government infringement on what is to be taught. Once Missouri officially adopts the Common Core Standards as our own, we no longer have a say in what is being taught.

Those in favor of the new standards claim they are “world class” and second to none. I think it is important to not get caught up in how weak or strong the standards are, but rather ask ourselves the question of whether or not this will lead to a set of official National Standards, curriculum, assessments and text books. The Cato Institute recently held a debate about the Common Core Standards. This debate is well worth watching and will explain clearly why National Standards should NOT be adopted by states. According to the Department of Education’s blueprint for the reauthorization of No Child Left Behind, not only do the reforms mirror that of Race to the Top, but it says that if states wish to continue to receive Title I funds for disadvantaged students, they have to officially adopt the Common Core Standards. This does not sound voluntary to me one bit. In fact, it is time for someone to take the stick away from the schoolyard bully!

This August, the Missouri state school board will vote to officially adopt the Common Core Standards. We need to send a message loud and clear to all of the current state board members especially the Republicans who clearly are not voting in line with Republican/conservative principles of less government involvement in our state education system. All board members are appointed by the governor. Currently, there is an opening for a board member. Information about board members and term dates can be found on Governor Nixon's home page.

WE CAN MAKE A DIFFERENCE! Contact DESE as well as the state board members today and let them know that we pay the taxes in Missouri to fund our schools and we will not have our voice in education taken away! Now is the time to act!

1 comment:

  1. A perfect example of why national curriculum won't work: in Missouri, Mark Twain, is an important author in our history. In Florida or Maine or Oregon, not so much.

    Do you think Mark Twain would make the cut in a history book or reading list? No. Which figure would? And who decides? How much voice would we have on a Federal level? This is just a small example of how we are losing our local/state identity and are being absorbed into the "global community".

    START PAYING ATTENTION TO THE LANGUAGE THESE EDUCATORS USE. It's all global. We will forget who we are, where we come from, and the values that our LOCAL communities have infused us with will be gone. The agenda of the "globalists" is the death knell to the individual.


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