Iowans 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).