Concerns with Common Core

Published 4:04pm Tuesday, May 20, 2014

There is a growing outcry from parents across Alabama regarding the federally created K–12 curricula standards, “Common Core State Standards,” recently adopted by an Alabama’s State Board of Education split vote. This “reform” covertly transfers control of education explicitly given to states by the U.S. Constitution to federal bureaucracy. Led by the U.S. Department of Education it is endorsed by entities as The National Governors Association, the Council of Chief State School Officers groups and Achieve, Inc. — a private company receiving $36 million to promote CCSS. The Pearson Foundation received $3 million from the Bill and Melinda Gates Foundation to publish this un-piloted curriculum. The USDOE awarded two consortia $350 million to develop standards all-the-while claiming this was a State-initiated process. It is not! States adopt the national CCSS but only 15 percent by each state — which is not included in the nationally aligned assessments.

Town hall meetings held throughout Shelby County and across Alabama reveal facts behind CCSS. Two of the original CCSS Validation Committee members refused to sign off on CCSS. A 2011 pre–CCSS “Quality Counts” report revealed improvements using the Alabama Course of Study standards with strategies like Alabama Reading Initiative (ARI):

  • The National Assessment of Education Progress (NAEP) showed Alabama the largest gain in fourth grade reading in the nation – ARI.
  • The Fordham Foundation gave Alabama’s English/Language Arts an “A” rating and a “B+” in Math.
  • The College Board praised Alabama as No. 1 in Advanced Placement Progress.
  • NAEP ranked Alabama second nationally only to Maryland in 4th grade read- ing scores.

Late April of 2014 pri- vately developed assess- ments aligned to CCSS stan- dards were administered to Alabama’s children. However, with our children’s future at stake parents are diligently working to have the CCSS repealed so that Alabama can keep our academic progress strong.

Dr. David Nichols is a retired educator who contin- ues to research and publish on vital issues facing our public schools.

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