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Aug 28

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Common Core news: Florida county rejects Common Core; Springfield embraces Common Core

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ICOMMON CORE REPEAL IN OHIOn Lee County, Florida, the Lee school system’s board voted 3-2 to be first in Florida to reject the Common Core K-12 educational standards. Arguing that they cannot let fear hold them back, the approving board members say this is an act of civil disobedience against these mandated standards—the same Common Core standards mandated in Ohio.

The Lee school system’s superintendent, however, was not happy. “This will hurt the children,” was the comment echoing recent remarks made by the Springfield, Ohio, school system superintendent. Springfield City schools has spent more than $2 million, so far, implementing Common Core. The school superintendent went to Columbus to express his desire that the Common Core standards be kept. The rationale, quoting the news report, is that “dropping the standards would mean 70-75% of students would fail the current grade they’re in.” Does this mean that going back to the standards of last year would make three-quarters of the students fail? What does this say about the quality of the Common Core standards? This news article appears to confirm that the Common Core standards do, in fact, dumb down the education system to just pass kids along from grade to grade. How is this not hurting students?

Please read the WDTN Channel 2 online news article. It appears to express a clear journalistic bias in favor of Common Core noting that the Common Core standards were “in danger of being repealed” and that “Common Core was design and implemented to ensure that students around the state are competitive in Ohio, but also nationally and globally.” As proponent testimony for the repeal bill addressed, such claims are without basis. Who actually wrote the standards and their relevant experience is largely unknown—intentionally kept secret, it appears. There was no apparent public review of the standards prior to adoption. In Ohio, the standards were adopted 2010—before they were even written. The fact that the new Common Core standards have not been tested is factual, but ignored by proponents arguing their obvious merits. All of these are key objections made by the opponents to Common Core but unmentioned in the news article.

(Note that the Third Grade Reading Guarantee proficiency testing mentioned in the news article is not part of Common Core. This is a unique Ohio test requirement that supporters of Common Core appear to wish to keep while opponents of Common Core wish to see dropped because it is an unneeded and harmful proficiency testing.)

What the news article didn’t mention was that the Common Core standards come with substantial new proficiency testing requirement—up to 9 weeks of testing prep and testing each year. This is nearly one-fourth of the entire school year. How can any superintendent argue that the untested Common Core standards and the elimination of up to 9 weeks of actual instruction do anything other than harm our children’s education? How can any school board not follow the brave example of the Lee County Florida school board and move to get rid of Common Core? Do these concerns sound like right-wing extremism or does Common Core really sound like ultra-liberal/progressive actions to exert their political control?

Mike Snead

The views expressed are those of the author and do not necessarily reflect the views of the Dayton TEA Party.

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