The big question; will Common Core survive and, if it does, will it be so beaten down that it's unrecognizable?
Huge Common Core supporter, Governor Rick Scott of Florida, on Monday withdrew Florida from the group known as PARCC (Partnership for Assessment of Readiness for College and Careers) consortium that is creating Common Core assessments.
From the American Enterprise Institute blog (never thought I'd type those words here):
The Florida decision is especially significant for three reasons.
First, Florida has long been one of the states leading the charge. It
has acted as a “fiscal agent” for one of the two major testing
consortia, and its state superintendents have played an active role as
champions of the Common Core effort. This isn’t some state in the chorus
pulling back; it’s the drum major having second thoughts.
Second, Florida’s decision appeared increasingly likely after former
state superintendent Tony Bennett resigned this summer. Bennett is a
prominent conservative school reformer and one of the most visible GOP
advocates for the Common Core. When his job was at stake, Republicans
who might normally have rallied around Bennett were surprisingly
absent—due, in no small part, to lukewarm feelings towards the Common
Core. Florida’s reversal teaches opponents that removing one prominent
Common Core backer in a state may deliver outsized change.
Third, Florida is seen as Jeb Bush’s backyard. Bush, a potential 2016
GOP candidate and former two-term Florida governor, is the most
significant Republican champion of the Common Core. Rightly or wrongly,
Scott’s decision is likely to be seen as a reflection on Bush’s
influence and his tenuous relationship with conservatives, even in
Florida—and even on school reform.
Make no mistake - Jeb Bush IS the face of ed reform in this country and Florida was his go-to state.
Did you see this video out of Maryland where a man is shoved and taken out of a School Board meeting for objecting to Common Core? People in the audience shout for him to be allowed to speak but the security person - an off-duty cop who flashes his badge at man - takes him out and then arrests him.
This video has gone viral and is yet another sign of the attempt to tamp down any discussion questioning Common Core.
In East Newton, Missouri, their school board signed a resolution against Common Core. You can read the whole resolution at the Missouri Education Watchdog but here is part of it:
1. CCSSI was never approved by Congress, but was embedded in the “four assurances” that the U.S. Department of Education required of governors to apply for State Fiscal Stabilization Funds and Race to the Top grants financed by the American Recovery Reinvestment Act (ARRA).
2. CCSSI was never evaluated by Missouri State Legislators; the people’s representatives were bypassed.
3. CCSSI was presented as an enticement for “Race to the Top” funds and the waiver of “No Child Left Behind.” Because “No Child Left Behind” saddled school districts with the unrealistic requirement that 100% of students be proficient in reading and math by 2014, a waiver was a must to avoid loss of accreditation.
4. CCSSI are copyrighted to non-government trade organizations. We have concerns regarding access to additional information and the cost of such information.
5. Individual school districts are committed to paying unknown costs associated with implementing Common Core assessment plans, and purchase of materials, of which tax payers and their elected representatives never had any input. This would imply taxation without representation.
7. CCSSI, which is an integral component of a U.S. Department of Education plan to collect a large amount of data collection on students as well as teachers, could lead to unauthorized sale or sharing of personal data to commercial sources.
Can't stand the heat? Change the name. This out of my home state of Arizona, where Governor Jan Brewer, trying to placate conservatives in her state who don't like Common Core, has ordered that state agencies stop calling the standards "Common Core."
From the Verde Independent:
In an executive order, the governor said she was "reaffirming Arizona's right to set education policy.' And her order spells out that "no standards or curriculum shall be imposed on Arizona by the federal government.'
But it concedes that the standards adopted by the state Board of Education in 2010 already are being implemented. And Brewer herself referred to them as Common Core in her State of the State speech and her budget request to the Legislature.
That leaves only one substantive part of her directive: Use the name "Arizona's College and Career Ready Standards.'
Also in Florida, a new group called the Badass Teachers Association, has risen up to challenge ed reform and made a foray into Florida. From the Miami Herald:
“It’s not just the Tea Party that’s skeptical of the Common Core,”
said Bonnie Cunard, a Fort Myers teacher who manages the Facebook page
for the 1,200 Florida BATs. “We on the left, like the folks on the
right, are saying we want local control.”
The BATs represent a new
wave of liberal opposition to the Common Core standards, which includes
some union leaders, progressive activists and Democratic lawmakers.
They are joining forces with Tea Party groups and libertarians, who want
states like Florida to slow down efforts to adopt the new benchmarks
and corresponding tests.
“The liberal critique of Common Core is that this a huge profit-making
enterprise that costs school districts a tremendous amount of money, and
pushes out the things kids love about school, like art and music,” said
Mark Naison, a professor at Fordham University in New York and
co-founder of the Badass Teachers Association.
But the opposition is strong enough that state Sen. Dwight Bullard,
D-Miami, is calling for a review before Florida moves further ahead with
the standards and accompanying exams.
“I get what the intention
was with Common Core,” said Bullard, a Miami Democrat and teacher. “But
it got lost in the shuffle with all of the other education reform
policies. Now, you might as well scrap the whole idea.”
Next up, Arne Duncan. The Secretary of Education is getting increasingly shrill about Common Core, saying to a group of education writers that critics are "just not intellectually honest."
In other words, lying.
Are you getting worried, Mr. Secretary?