The Power of Informed Parents
News stories about Common Core, the new federal standards for schools, are on the rise as schools gear up for spring testing. While I have long been opposed to standardized testing, like many others, I was hopeful improvements in education were on the horizon. Sadly, the more I read about Common Core, the more concerned I am for our children.
However I was recently reminded of the power of passionate informed parents when I read about two moms, Heather and Erin, that changed the course of education in Indiana: 2 Moms vs the Common Core: How an Eight Year Old’s Homework Assignment Led to Political Upheaval.
Heather Crossin and Erin Tuttle led a campaign to inform fellow parents, educators and legislators about some lesser known details in the new standards. Because of the work they did, Indiana became the first state to retreat from Common Core when Governor Mike Pence signed a bill to delay implementation in 2013.
When Common Core was first introduced, 46 states signed on without really understanding the implications. Some states are rethinking their position as more detail about the standards themselves, their developers and the cost of implementation is being revealed.
Some of the concerns :
- The Standards were developed largely with Gates Foundation money and leveraged by the Obama administration and the National Governors Association
- While the Education Department is forbidden to federally influence education, the Common Core Standards are in fact national in scope and application
- The Department of Education bypassed lawmakers to authorize assembling a national student database
- The Standards, soon to be implemented in 46 states, have not been field tested, anywhere !
- Classroom curriculum will continue to narrow in order to teach to subjects and methods being tested, while teacher evaluations are linked directly to tests results
- Two private organizations wrote the standards and own the copyrights, essentially privatizing public education
- School districts that are already grossly underfunded, will be spending millions, if not billions of dollars, on technology to administer Common Core standardized tests
Parents, you are a powerful force in education. I hope you’ll read more about Common Core and other education topics and speak up about what you want for your kids.
Our future depends on it.