"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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Thursday, May 10, 2012

ALEC Board to Vote on Anti-Common Core Standards.

So what's your bet on the vote?

There's a big vote tomorrow regarding common core standards:

  • It's not a vote by the taxpayers to determine if they want them in their states.  
  • It's not a vote by local districts to determine the educational direction for their students.  
  • It's not a vote to rescind the standards by the state boards.
  • It's not a vote by state legislatures to refuse funding for the unfunded mandates created by the standards.
  • It's not a vote by Congress to refuse funding for the unfunded mandates.
Those would be the reasonable and constitutional votes by the entities if the rule of law had been followed instead of circumventing the voters and Congress to implement the standards.

The vote tomorrow will be taken to affirm the anti-common core resolution ALEC'S Board adopted last year.  From EdWeek:

You may recall that both my colleague Catherine Gewertz and I have written about a resolution at ALEC opposing the Common Core State Standards. The common core, unlike other issues such as model legislation supporting charter schools and vouchers, has caused some dissent in the conservative policy shop. Without getting too deeply into the details, the group's Education Task Force approved the anti-Common Core resolution, but the group's board of directors did not. Now, ALEC is set to consider the resolution again at its meeting on Friday, May 11. 

That reconsideration is being watched very closely. Stephanie Banchero of The Wall Street Journal wrote on May 8 that the group's deliberations could deliver a big hit to common core. Then on May 10, with a headline that read "'Common Core' Education Fight to Test ALEC's Conservative Chops," two other conservative think tanks, the American Principles Project (based in Washington) and the Pioneer Institute (based in Boston), directly appealed to ALEC to approve the resolution opposing the standards, which 46 states and the District of Columbia have agreed to adopt.
Both think tanks have produced a "white paper" (jargon for a "report") and a resolution that a state could use as a model to oppose the common core. 

In a press release accompanying the report and resolution, Liv Finne, of the Washington Policy Center (yet another conservative think tank) stated directly that: "The ALEC board should approve the resolution. ... At stake is whether the government responds to the people or to other interests." Emmett McGroarty of the American Principles Project said the report details how the common core was created by "private interests and trade associations" and strongly promoted by the U.S. Department of Education. Finally, the Pioneer Institute's executive director, Jim Stergios, said three federal laws would be violated by the common core's tests.

Will the ALEC Board fulfill its mission for smaller government?

According to the organization's website, members share a common belief that "government closest to the people" is "fundamentally more effective, more just, and a better guarantor of freedom than the distant, bloated federal government in Washington, D.C."

Or will ALEC follow the lead of a pro-common core Democratic and Republican governor?

Not to be outdone, Delaware Gov. Jack Markell, a Democrat, announced May 10 that he was "available to defend" the common core on May 11, the day of ALEC's vote. Markell wrote a 2010 op-ed piece with Indiana Gov. Mitch Daniels, a Republican, praising the standards initiative. He believes that the standards will positively impact America's place in the world. 

Does it  matter to these governors that these standards are privately crafted, privately owned and if you believe Jim Stergios, they violate three federal laws?  Does it matter to the governors and state boards who agreed to these standards they create more bloated federal control?  Does it matter to ALEC?  Does it matter to you?

1 comment:

  1. It matters to me. I will toast ALEC if they have the guts to stand up to all the big money interests. I just wonder what pressure is being put on them right now?



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