Sign the Stop Common Core in Iowa Petition

logo-FB-TwitterIowans for Local Control, a group I founded in 2012, launched a petition yesterday to stop the Common Core State Standards and Next Generation Science Standards in Iowa.  I believe Iowans must have a voice in education policy.  The simple fact is this: there was no legislative feedback on the Common Core State Standards.  There was very little public input given prior to the Iowa State Board of Education adopting the Common Core State Standards on July 29, 2010.

I’m not encouraged by what I’ve heard from those who have attended the Next Generation Science Standards task force meetings.  I’m afraid the process is repeating itself, albeit with more awareness.

Here is the text of the petition (language borrowed heavily from Utahns Against Common Core):

Based upon the factual evidence documented at Iowans for Local Control I ask the Governor, State Board of Education, and the Director of the Iowa Department of Education to immediately take the steps necessary to rescind Common Core adoption, SBAC membership, the Race to the Top application, the No Child Left Behind waiver application, and all other requirements upon the state that are related to these, and return to the Iowa Core standards in use prior to Common Core adoption.

Second, I request that the Iowa State Board of Education reject the Next Generation State Standards.

Third, I request the Iowa Attorney General review all documentation related to such applications and contracts as mentioned above to ensure our state sovereignty is held inviolate. I further request that this review of programs, documents, and applications, include an examination to ensure no private or personal information about students is transmitted outside of local schools and districts.

Fourth, inasmuch as the Iowa State Board of Education adopted Common Core State Standards, failed to perform a cost analysis related to statewide adoption, and failed to hold public meetings where citizens could review the actual standards prior to adoption, I request that the State Legislature strip the Iowa State Board of Education of its authority to set standards and rescind the Common Core State Standards and ban Next Generation Science Standards should the State Board of Education fail to do so.

Fifth, I request that a committee be appointed to rewrite Iowa’s standards through a well-developed and transparent process that includes numerous public hearings and input from committees that utilizes knowledge-based, academic, clearly worded, grade-level specific, measurable standards from other states as models. Then submit said standards to the State Legislature for final approval.

Sixth, give individual schools and districts full local control with the ability to adopt their own high standards, assessments, and research-based curriculum, and recognize that parents have a fundamental liberty interest in the education of their children.

Seventh, I request that a committee of legislators and citizens be formed to develop a 5-year plan to get Iowa off all federal funding of education, and if the federal government threatens to pull non-education related funding away from the state as we pursue this course, that this knowledge should be made public and fought with the assistance of the state Attorney General.

Eighth, I ask that the state strengthen privacy laws and make sharing of personal student data with any state or federal entity a crime both for the one disseminating and the recipient who requested personal information.

Those who want to sign the petition can do so here (we’re requesting that only Iowans sign).

Introducing Iowans for Local Control

logo-FB-TwitterI started up Iowans for Local Control as a Facebook page, and now it joins Hoosiers Against Common Core with a brand new website.  Please also follow on Twitter.  This entity is now a TAE participant.

Be sure to let your friends know – especially the ones who live in Iowa!  It’s a work in progress so new content will be continually added.  Also if you live in Iowa be sure to sign-up for the legislative alerts email (form on the front page) in order to keep up with key education legislation as the Iowa General Assembly will convene next month.

Education Debated in Iowa Congressional Race

Congressman Steve King (R-Kiron) and former First Lady of Iowa Christie Vilsack (D-Ames) had their final debate in the Iowa 4th Congressional District race.  The first question dealt with No Child Left Behind.  Below is the audio of that section of the debate from Iowans for Local Control.

http://www.facebook.com/v/10152105644730524

I’m curious is education being discussed in Congressional races and Senate races in your state? I wish they would have covered Race to the Top and the Common Core State Standards, but I’m surprised they even asked this question.

Update: You can read my additional thoughts here.

Battling the Common Core at the State Level

An article in the Indianapolis Star today demonstrates the impact that can be made in battling the Common Core State Standards.  Tony Bennett, the Indiana State Superintendent of Education who is an elected official, has found that his challenge for re-election has been on the right, not on the left with teacher’s unions.  He wants to talk about his reform efforts and school choice, but people who attend Tea Party groups want to know about the Common Core.

Republican incumbent Tony Bennett is officially running against Democrat Glenda Ritz, a teacher at Crooked Creek Elementary School in Indianapolis, for state superintendent of public instruction. Yet he also seems to be running against critics of the national Common Core standards.

Critics see the Common Core as part of a federal effort to command a larger role in education, which historically has been the responsibility of state and local government. They also argue that previous Indiana standards were excellent and should not have been tossed aside.

They cite studies by the Thomas B. Fordham Institute and the Pioneer Institute for Public Policy Research to make their case.

“Common Core would deprive students of the intangible benefits of studying classic literature,” says a Pioneer white paper. “A student who learns to love great books learns to understand great principles that endure throughout human history.”

Bennett has attended tea party forums to remind voters of his impressive reform record, but he winds up answering a lot of questions about the Common Core, including at a recent meeting in Hamilton County.

Groups in Indiana like the American Family Association of IndianaC3 of Wabash County, Greenfield Area TEA Party, Indiana Eagle Forum, Indiana Policy Review, Owen County Tea Party, The Tea Party Coalition of Central Indiana and Hoosier Moms Say No to Common Core.  They are not alone.

We saw a victory in Utah when the State Board of Education there voted to pull out of the SBAC thanks largely to Oak Norton and his group Utahns Against the Common Core.  We also have other groups who are trying to make a difference in their state.  Two new groups have formed.  The first in Georgia called Stop Common Core in Georgia and I launched last night Iowans for Local Control.  You can check out a list of our participants to see if there is somebody in your area.  If not, perhaps you can launch a group!

What’s going on in your state?