New York Teachers Union Opposes the Common Core

From WHAM 13, the ABC affiliate in Rochester, NY reports that the local teachers’ union is opposed to the Common Core.

While some of the reasons for their opposition is rather self-centered, they do bring up some great points. Kids, parents and teachers were not prepared.

The focus in this segment and the union’s opposition seems to be more on the tests than the Common Core itself.  Both are a problem and the Common Core is the root of the problem of the assessments.  I do love that some parents are putting their foot down and exercising their sovereignty in their child’s education by opting out of taking the test.

More parents need to follow that example.

Kansas Anti-Common Core Bill Defeated in Committee

kansas-state-capitol-domeLast week the Kansas House Committee on Education voted down HB 2289 on an 11-7 vote.  The Kansas Legislature website does not give the vote count.  I have called State Representative John Bradford’s office (he sponsored the bill) to request that information.  They are currently on a four-day recess for Easter.

The Topeka Capitol-Journal gives us some idea of who voted in favor of the bill.

The committee’s chairwoman, Rep. Kasha Kelley, R-Arkansas City, and Rep. Shanti Gandhi, R-Topeka, were among the seven votes in favor of the bill to ban the set of math and English standards that the Kansas State Board of Education adopted in 2010.

The standards, called the Common Core, are being used in more than 40 states and have been one of the committee’s key topics this session.

The measure failed in an 11-7 vote with one abstention.

Rep. John Bradford, R-Lansing, introduced the bill and made a final plea for support before the vote, telling the committee that the issue was straightforward.

“I would just remind everybody that House Bill 2289 was about money,” he said. “The basic question was, are we going to spend the money?”

There was an amendment offered which would have watered down the bill and it was still defeated.

The amendment, introduced by Rep. Dennis Hedke, R-Wichita, and supported by Bradford, included several points and would have kept current Common Core standards in place, while banning adoption of future standards produced by the Common Core consortium.

But the committee voted down the amendment, with some saying it would have made the bill pointless.

The amendment also would have banned Kansas from sending “personally identifiable data” about students to any public entity outside of Kansas.

I certainly wouldn’t have been happy with the bill if the amendment passed and the bill approved, but I wouldn’t say it would have been pointless.  Currently social studies standards are being developed.  I haven’t seen the exact language, but it could have impacted Next Generation Science Standards as well.  Also protecting student data is important so while it wouldn’t be ideal it is better than the status quo.  No matter.

I will keep you up to date with information of who exactly voted against this bill.  They must be held accountable.

Photo Credit: Edward Stojakovic via Flickr (CC-By-2.0)

Common Core Model Resolution for County Political Party Platforms

We encourage activists to also make opposition to the Common Core part of your county political party platform.  To that end we would like to provide a model resolution that you can use as a template.  The template can be used for any political party as we believe opposition to the Common Core can and should be a bipartisan position.

RESOLUTION OPPOSING COMMON CORE STATE STANDARDS

WHEREAS, in 2010 officials in the Executive Branch committed our state to participation in the Common Core State Standards Initiative through the federal Race to the Top grant application; and

WHEREAS, this participation required our state to adopt the Common Core standards in K-12 English language arts and mathematics, and to commit to implementing the national [SMARTER Balanced (SBAC)/Partnership for Assessment of Readiness for College and Careers (PARCC)] assessments, all without legislative oversight and without public input; and

WHEREAS, adoption of Common Core obliterates [state’s] constitutional autonomy over education in English language arts and mathematics, placing control in the hands of the federal government and unaccountable private interests in Washington, DC; and

WHEREAS, the Common Core standards have been evaluated by experts as mediocre at best, and based on questionable philosophies; and

WHEREAS, the Common Core standards will inevitably lead to a national curriculum, in violation of three federal statutes; and

WHEREAS, the Common Core scheme will be expanded to include national standards and curriculum in science, social studies, and other subjects; and

WHEREAS, neither the Common Core standards nor the [SBAC/PARCC] assessments were ever piloted to determine their effectiveness; and

WHEREAS, both the Common Core standards and the [SBAC/PARCC] tests will impose an enormous unfunded mandate on our state and our local school districts; and

WHEREAS, Common Core is part of a national scheme that includes collection and sharing of massive amounts of personal student and teacher data;

THEREFORE, the ______ of _____________ County hereby resolves that our state leaders should:

  • Withdraw our state from the Common Core State Standards Initiative;
  • Withdraw our state from the [SBAC/PARCC] assessment scheme, and any other testing aligned with the Common Core standards;
  • Prohibit all state officials from entering into any agreement that cedes any measure of control over [state] education to entities outside the state and ensure that all content standards and curriculum decisions are adopted through a transparent state-wide process fully accountable to the citizens of [state]; and
  • Prohibit the collection of personal student data for any non-educational purpose, and the sharing of personal data except with schools or education agencies within the state.

A Mental Health Professional’s Perspective on the Common Core

Dear Mrs. Swasey & Mr. Beck:

I am writing this note on behalf of your joint request to address issues surrounding the Common Core State Standards Act (CCSS) that is currently in the process of being implemented in the vast majority of our public school systems in the country.

By way of background, I’m an African American Doctor of Clinical Psychology (Psy.D.) currently serving as Director of Clinical Training & Community Advocacy at a private child psychology clinic in South Jordan, Utah. I completed undergraduate education at both the University of Utah in Salt Lake City, and Brigham Young University in Provo, Utah. In addition to my personal experiences involving my four children in public schools, I have completed multiple thousands of hours in training/therapy/assessment/legal advocacy work with children in both the private and public school settings in multiple western states. I am also the author of a award winning doctoral project/dissertation which tackled the ago old problem of why many African American school aged children underperform in public schools titled, “Cracking the Da Vince Code of Cognitive Assessment of African American School Aged Children: A Guide for Parents, Clinicians & Educators” (Thompson, G. 2008).

As a “local clinical community scientist”, I have an ethical obligation to our community at large to provide unbiased opinions regarding issues that affect the education experiences of school-aged children and their respective guardians. The “Common Core States Standards Act” (CCSS) falls uniquely into this category. I have devoted many hours reading commentaries and studies, both pro and con, regarding the overall efficacy of CCSS.

In a nutshell, the (mostly) progressive public education community speaks highly of CCSS and its stated goal of raising educational standards across the board in a effort to improve the educational process for all students in the country, particularly under performing African American and Latino students nationwide.

The (mostly) conservative opponents of CCSS claim that involvement in public school education should be primarily a local/statewide process, and that Federal intrusion into public school education is not effective for multiple alleged reasons. In addition, there are disputes involving the CCSS curriculum itself whereas proponents cite multiple sources of research that allegedly support the efficacy of the education content.

Opponents also cite similar competing references that support their contention that CCSS curriculum stifles’ teachers’ creativity and that the content, especially in math, is not effective for early learners, gifted students, and children with diagnosed learning disabilities. The amount of information available to voters and parents by “experts”, both for and against CCSS, is overwhelming in its length, complexity and emotional intensity. Like the Affordable Care Act, the implementation of the Common Core State Standards in the vast majority of public schools nationwide, has caused a seemingly unbridgeable divide in many quarters of this country.

I am not an expert in the development and implementation of core educational curriculum in public schools, so I will not comment on the issue. I am not an expert on the effects of federal government involvement, verses local involvement, in public school education, so I will not comment on the issue. I am not a forensic accountant with expertise in the areas of national and local financial accounting tax monies submitted towards public education, so I will not comment on that issue. I am also not a politician, nor do I represent any special interest groups that could even be remotely tied to the multiple and complex issues surrounding CCSS. I find the political process in this day and age to be ineffective and personally unfulfilling, and will not comment on the efficacy of education platforms set forth by the three main political parties. I am, however, an expert in psychological and educational assessment/testing, as well as privacy acts surrounding the use of these tests in both private and educational settings. My remaining comments will focus on these two issues as they are addressed by the CCSS.

Educational Testing

According to the U.S. Department of Education, CCSS will authorize the use of testing instruments that will measure the “attributes, dispositions, social skills, attitude’s and intra personal resources” of public school students under CCSS (USDOE Feb, 2013 Report). In a nutshell, CCSS simply states that it will develop highly effective assessments that measures….well….almost ”everything.”

Our clinic performs these comprehensive IEE’s (Individual Education Evaluations) on a daily basis. These test measure “attributes”, “dispositions”, “social skills”, “attitudes” and “intra personal resources” as stated by the USDOE. In addition, we utilized state of the neuro-cognitive tests that measure the informational process functioning of children in school (Cognitive Assessment System, Naglieri 2002).

A careful, or even a casual review of a “comprehensive evaluation” would clearly show that the level of information provided about a particular child is both highly sensitive and extremely personal in nature. They are also extremely accurate. In a private clinic such as ours, we follow strict privacy guidelines regarding patient privacy (HIPPA) and when dealing with educational institutions, we also make sure that we comply with the FERPA Act (Federal Education Reporting & Privacy Act).

Bluntly put, if a client’s records somehow get into the hands of anyone besides the parents without written consent from the parents, or a court order, our clinic would be shut down in a heartbeat and the clinician who released unauthorized comprehensive assessments would lose their license. Clinical Psychologists in graduate level classrooms and clinical training sites spend years getting these basic privacy rights pounded into our heads. Failure to articulate and implement strict privacy guidelines issued by the Federal Government, State licensing boards, or the American Psychological Association (APA) would result in immediate dismissal from graduate school academic institutions, as well as any clinical psychology training sites in either Internship or Residency settings.

The accuracy of psychological testing has grown in the past 10 years to astonishing levels. The same tests used in our clinic for assessments, are used in part by federal law enforcement agencies, the military, local police departments, and the Central Intelligence Agency. (Interesting enough, these agencies are also interested in finding out about alleged terrorist’s, serial killers, or airline pilots “attributes, dispositions, social skills, attitudes and intra personal resources”). When placed in the “right” hands of trained mental health professionals, psychological testing can save lives. Placed in the “wrong” hands, psychological testing can ruin lives as well as cause psychological trauma to people if they have knowledge that their results were used for nefarious purposes.

Below are issues regarding CCSS “testing” policies that have not been addressed by the Common Core to State’s Governors’, State Superintendents, State School Boards, local school district superintendents, local school boards, to parents of children in public school education:

Common Core does not address what types of tests will be utilized on our children.

Common Core does not address, specifically, exactly who is developing these tests.

Common Core does not address the fact that these tests have not yet been developed, and are not available for public consumption or private review by clinical psychology r
esearchers and psychometric professionals.

Common Core does not address if the soon to be completed tests will be subjected to the same rigorous peer review process that ALL testing instruments are subjected to prior to being released to mental health professionals for their use in the private sector.

Common Core does not state which public school employees would be administering or interpreting these tests. There is a reason that School Psychologists cannot “practice” outside of their scope in school districts. As hard working and as wonderful as this group is, their training pales in comparison to the average local clinical psychologist.

Common Core does not address the well documented, peer-reviewed fact that both African American and Latino students, due to cultural issues, tend to have skewed testing results when cultural issues are not addressed prior to the initiation of such testing. This should probably be addressed if these results are going to be following a student “from cradle to high school graduation.”

Lastly, once these highly intimate, powerful, and most likely inaccurate testing results are completed, who EXACTLY will have access to all of this data? Common Core DOES address this issue and it is the subject of the next section.

Privacy

I mentioned above that our private clinic is subjected to multiple federal, state, and professional association regulations when it comes to protecting and releasing mental health records. The rationale behind these regulations is obvious in nature both to the professionals, as well as their clients. Records do not leave our clinic unless the guardians of the children instruct us, or unless a District Court judge orders the release of the records. In some cases, we are even ethically obligated to fight court orders that request private mental health records.

Common Core State Standards radically changes this game.

Prior to CCSS, public school districts were required to adhere to the same rules and regulations regarding private records as our clinic is subjected to. HIPPA tells us how to store records, were to store records, and whom to release them too. FERPA (Federal Education Records Protection Act) is subjected to HIPPA requirements when it comes to protecting sensitive education records. As show herein, educational testing records are highly sensitive and it only makes common sense that this practice of protecting these sensitive records continues.

Buried in all of the fine print of the CCSS is a provision that allows participating school districts to ignore HIPPA protections. The newly revised FERPA laws grants school districts and states HIPPA privacywaivers.

Department of Health & Human Services Regulation Section 160.103 states, in part,:
“Protected health information EXCLUDES individually identifiable health information in education records covered by the Family Education Rights & Privacy Act (FERPA), as amended 20 U.S.C. 1232 g”.

CCSS also states that this “information” may be distributed to “organizations conducting studies for, or on behalf of, educational agencies or institutions to develop, validate, or administer predictive testing.” (CCSS (6)(i).

In summary CCSS allows the following by law:

Grants school districts a waiver from FERPA in terms of deleting identifying information on their records.
Allows school districts to then give these identifiable records basically to anyone who they deem to have an viable interest with these records.

These organization or individuals chosen by the government to use this data to develop highly accurate predictive tests with no stated ethical procedures, guidelines, or institutional controls. (What are they exactly trying to “predict”?”

All without written parental consent.

The “Comprehensive Statewide Longitudinal Data System,” employed by CCSS that will hold this sensitive data, per DOE webpage, states, “all States implement state longitudinal data systems that involve elements specified in the “America Competes Act”. I spent two hours pouring over this Act to see if there were any further guidelines to Federal of State officials as such may pertain to privacy issues. None could be found.

Proponents of the CCSS point to volumes of articles and promises and policies that state that our children’s data will be private and protected by the national and state data systems that will shortly be implemented per CCSS guidelines. I have very little doubt that the computer systems employed by Federal, State and local districts that contain this data will be state of the art computer systems. Others whom are experts in this field may differ strongly). The point however is this: CCSS does not specify who can have access to their records, or for what specific purposes this sensitive data will be utilized. When it comes to addressing privacy issues, the CCSS contains abundant, generalized “legal speak”.

In terms of privacy issues, below are issues regarding CCSS “privacy” policies that have not been addressed by the Common Core to State’s Governors, State Superintendents, State School Boards, local school district superintendents, local school boards, to the parents of children in public school education:

Exactly WHO will have access to records obtained by this national/state database? The generic political answer of “Appropriately designated education officials or private research entities” does not “cut the mustard.”
For what EXACT purpose will this sensitive data be utilized?

What organizations will have access to identifiable academic records? Other than generic information regarding race, age, gender and geographic location, why does the Federal database require identifiable information to be accessible?

If the political responses to these questions are “all information contained in the database is unidentifiable and securely stored,” then why were changes made to FERPA to allow an exemption to educational privacy rights when it comes to the implementation of Common Core State Standards?

What type of “predictive tests” are currently being designed and who will have access to results of whatever is being measured?

Conclusion

Like the infamous “No Child Left Behind” laws that on some levels (with the sole exceptions of the 2004 IDEA Act included in NCLB), have set back progress of public school education years, I honestly believe that a few lawmakers with good hearts and intentions honestly wanted to find solutions to our public school systems. I believe also that the Obama Administration wants every child to have a proper and rigorous education and that the implementation of Common Core will bring them closer to that goal.

I am also, however, a local clinical community scientist. In this role I have several serious questions concerning CCSS noted herein which have yet to be answered to my satisfaction as a scientist, education advocate, and parent. I would implore every Governor, State Superintendent, and State School Board member in the country to honestly and openly explore the issues cited above and provide accurate answers to these issues to the public in “plain speak”.

Given the gravity of these issues, I cannot professionally endorse the Common Core State Standards as currently written until pointed clarification is provided by politicians and educators from both party’s endorsing CCSS. Nor in good conscience can I enroll my toddler in a public school system that utilizes CCSS until these issues are clarified to my satisfaction.

The issues involving psychological testing and privacy are issues
that should be of concern to every parent with a child enrolled in public school. The power granted federal and state education administrators via the regulations of CCSS are unprecedented in nature. Some parents will be quite comfortable with CCSS even in light of the issues detailed in this letter. Some parents would be aghast with the same provisions. Regardless, parents deserve to be clearly informed about these and other issues surrounding CCSS in a clear and straightforward manner so that they can make educated choices regarding their children’s educations.

On a final note, I wish to publically show my support to the underpaid and overworked public school teachers nationwide. If I had the power, I would elevate their status to that of a medical doctor in terms of pay and prestige. What they do with the limited resources available, and with the burden of bureaucracy following their every professional move is simply nothing short of amazing. Our clinic employees several public school teachers (One is a former Utah Teacher of the Year), and school psychologist due to their amazing talents and abilities of reaching the hearts and minds of our young and diverse educational psychology clients.

There are answers to most of the perplexing questions facing public school officials. I believe these answers can be readily found in multiple peer-reviewed journals in neuropsychology, clinical psychology, education and public policy. Answers can also be found by mining the experiences, wants and needs of our hardworking public school teachers on the local and statewide ground level, as well as local parenting organization of various stripes. Once science and cultural based solution are found and implemented, I believe even cynical conservative lawmakers nationwide would be more willing to pony up additional tax payer money when presented with imaginative, science based educational models in pubic school systems. On the other hand, simply adding billions of dollars towards a 150-year old foundational system of education in crisis without implementing massive changes is irresponsible, unimaginative, and most likely politically and monetarily motivated.

When politics and money are taken out of the public school education policy arena and replaced with common sense and culturally sensitive science, mixed in with local value systems, I believe we, as a nation will make great strides in the goal of educating our children.

Until that time comes, it is my wish that regardless of race, gender, sexual orientation and political affiliations, our country will join together at the grass roots to amicably reach “common core” grounds of restoring our once proud public education system.

Best regards,

Dr. Gary Thompson
Director of Clinical Training & Community Advocacy Services
Early Life Child Psychology & Education Center, Inc.
www.earlylifepsych.com

HT: Christel Swasey

Mike Pence Needs to Lead Common Core Opposition, Not Sit on the Sidelines

Governor Pence greeting those who oppose SB 193Hoosiers Against Common Core founders, Heather Crossin and Erin Tuttle, were joined Thursday by 75 representatives from 54 independent organizations from across the state of Indiana. They delivered a letter to Governor Mike Pence’s office that had been signed by over 900 Hoosiers during the prior five days.  The letter called on Governor Mike Pence to support SB 193 and for him to provide leadership in opposing the Common Core.

Indiana Senate Bill 193 would require public hearings and a cost analysis to be completed before the Common Core is put into place in all grades.  Currently the standards have only been implemented in Kindergarten and First Grade.

Heather Crossin made the following remarks on Thursday prior to delivering the letter:

“We are coming together in a unified way today to express the numerous concerns Hoosier parents, teachers, and taxpayers continue to have about Indiana’s adoption of the Common Core.

“As you know, SB193, which calls for a public review of Indiana’s adoption Common Core and a cost analysis of implementation, passed the Indiana Senate 38-11. At this time, the prospects of SB193 obtaining a hearing in the House remain uncertain. However, one thing is certain – regardless of what happens to the legislation, much will depend upon the leadership of Governor Pence.

“It is for this reason that we are releasing a letter, which has been given to him, on behalf of 55 independent organizations. It outlines our concerns and respectfully requests that Governor Pence ‘provide the bold leadership needed to return control of Indiana schools back to the state and to parents and teachers, where it belongs.’

“It’s no secret that Governor Pence has long been a believer that education is a state and local function. In fact, just a couple of weeks before the election, when asked by the Indianapolis Star how he would prioritize social issues, Governor Pence responded: “I hope Hoosiers look at my record and see I have been a consistent independent conservative throughout my years in Congress. My career actually began with battles against leaders of my own party, largely on government spending. I opposed ‘No Child Left Behind.’ I was one of a small number of Republicans to do that because I think education is a state and local function.”

“That said, the message we are conveying to the Governor is that we share his philosophy and his principles of fiscal responsibility and local governance. The breadth of Common Core opposition in Indiana demonstrates our citizens’ concern over the loss of our autonomy over education. We trust that Governor Pence will put his
principles into action and help us protect that autonomy. When we decided to write this letter together, we envisioned that it would be submitted on behalf of the many organizations opposed to the Common Core.

“However, once word got out, individuals began clamoring to sign as well. So last Friday, we made it available for individuals to submit their names. In just five short days, over 860 individuals signed on to the letter. We will continue to collect and submit additional names as they roll in.

“In conclusion, I’d like to add that this letter in no way represents all of the groups who have expressed opposition to the Common Core. Many others, such the Indiana Policy Review, Americans for Prosperity, Advance America, Campaign for Liberty, the Indiana Association of Home Educators, the Homeschool Legal Defense Association and a number of teacher networks, are continuing to call in their own ways for a rejection of
Common Core.”

After reading the letter, Erin Tuttle concluded with the following:

“This legislation represents a struggle between the voice of the people, representing states’ rights which ultimately protect that close relationship that needs to exist – that has to exist- between a child’s family and those in charge of his education and therefore his future, against the powers of corporations and federal agencies which at any opportunity seize and assume those duties and powers to which they have no constitutional right!

“The people of Indiana need to know that their will-the will of the people- will not be drowned out by the influence and the money that our opponents have used against SB193. The kind of power that can buy you $100,000 worth of commercials used to push a corporate agenda on an unwilling public.

We are confident that Indiana has selected the right Governor, Mike Pence, who will hear and honor the voices of his constituents- his wisdom allows him to see that at the end of the day, when the common core agenda fails, the publishing companies, the testing companies, the professional development companies they can walk away, their pockets lined with our tax payers dollars. But our children are forever impacted by the educational policies decided today in this house, the people’s house.”

Governor Pence did come out to greet the group, but his office thus far has not provided a formal statement. 

Common Core Foes Go Knocking on Indiana Governor Mike Pence’s Door

indiana-state-capitolAt 9:30am (EST) this morning at the Indiana State Capitol Common Core opponents are going to be delivering a letter to Indiana Governor Mike Pence.  It reads:

We, the undersigned, representing diverse grassroots organizations from across the state of Indiana, oppose the adoption of the Common Core State Standards and membership in the Partnership for Assessment of College and Career Readiness (PARCC).  We further oppose participation in all consortia and agreements, including PARCC and the Common Core State Standards Initiative, that cede any measure of Indiana’s governance of its standards and testing.

We agree that academic standards should be set high with assessments that adequately assess student growth and school performance. We do not oppose use of a nationally normed-referenced test, chosen by the school and reflective of the school’s curriculum . In order to retain choice in our private and public schools, we believe there should be a variety of approved tests available, not one.

The Common Core is not the instrument to raise student achievement in Indiana.  Its centrally controlled standards lack both field testing and international benchmarking. No evidence can be shown that Common Core will lead to student gains or an improvement in Indiana. Furthermore, the Common Core subjects all students to a set of standards which are pedagogically laced with unproven methods and techniques, and which subvert independence in curriculum choice.

Establishing national standards and enforcing them with a high-stakes, federally funded test will mandate a national curriculum. No constitutional or statutory basis for national standards, national assessments, or national curricula exists. We agree that this is a violation of federal law.

We adamantly oppose the adoption of standards that are copyrighted and owned by an organization outside our state that has the sole authority to change or delete standards. We fear the influence of special interest groups and the heavy hand of the federal government over our remaining state standards.

We disagree with the content, development, governance and requirements of the PARCC testing. Participation in this federally funded testing consortium impedes our state’s ability to develop and implement assessments suited to the expectations of students in our state.

The technical requirements of administering the PARCC test will drain our financial resources and place an unfunded mandate on school districts. Alarming figures are surfacing about the cost of Common Core implementation. It is fiscally irresponsible for Indiana to proceed without a cost analysis.

Finally, the testing consortium will dictate test cut scores, definitions of special learners, test accommodations, testing dates, content, test scoring procedures and security provisions. Indiana needs to be the sole voice in these decisions, not one of many states.

Governor Pence, you were elected, in part, because you share the principles of fiscal responsibility and local governance.  In furtherance of those principles, we call on you to publicly voice support for SB193. We further call on you to appoint individuals to the Indiana State Board of Education, who share this philosophy; we note that the current members of the Board, who were appointed under the guidance of a state superintendent soundly rejected by the voters, do not share those principles.

We ask that you provide the bold leadership that is needed to return control of Indiana’s schools back to the state and to parents, where it belongs.

From the Ft. Wayne News-Sentinel:

By a 38-11 vote, the Indiana Senate last month passed a bill that would delay implementation so Hoosier lawmakers, parents and others would have more time to study Common Core’s contents, impact and costs. The letter to be delivered at 9:30 a.m. Thursday on the third floor of the state Capitol asks Pence to push for similar legislation in the House, said Judy Ross, who is active in Fort Wayne 9-12, one of several tea party-affiliated groups opposed to Common Core.

Ross said 10 groups representing 5,000 members have formed the Northern Indiana Citizens Coalition to oppose Common Core, and similar coalitions have been formed in central and southern Indiana as well. Ross and many other conservatives question the imposition of a national curriculum and the resulting loss of state and local control.

House Education Committee Chairman Robert Behning, R-Indianapolis, has opposed taking decisions on school standards from the state Board of Education and has been reluctant to allow a vote on the Senate bill, Ross said.

We’ll be watching to see how Governor Pence responds.

Photo Credit: Holley St. Germain via Flickr (CC-By-NC-SA 2.0)

Adult Educators Are Concerned About the Common Core as Well

A perspective we don’t often consider is how the Common Core impacts adult education, in particular those who are seeking their GED.  NPR reports how adult educators are concerned by the move to change the GED to incorporate the Common Core.

“Rumor is that it’s going to be much harder,” says Dawn Grage, who has been teaching GED classes in Indiana’s prisons for more than 20 years. “A lot of these guys have enough struggles getting through the current GED. And if it makes it harder and with computers, the older gentlemen … there are some guys who have never touched a computer.”

Many educators say the test was in need of an update. The current GED test is the same one students were taking over a decade ago. But GED teachers also worry their students will have trouble passing the new test, which will be totally computerized, incorporate higher level literacy and math skills, and cost students $120 rather than $70.

Read the rest.

Michigan House Education Committee Debating Anti Common Core Bill Today

michigan-state-capitol

HB 4276, Michigan’s Anti-Common Core bill, sponsored by State Representative Tom McMillin (R-Rochester Hills) is being debated in the House Education Committee today.  Here are the members of the committee that our readers in Michigan can contact:

Photo Credit: Matt Katzenberger via Flickr (CC-By-NC-SA 2.0)