Here we see the problem inherent with a full-time legislature. The Michigan House and Senate passed an omnibus bill that defunded the implementation of the Common Core State Standards. Since the Legislature continues to be in session year-round; Common Core advocates yesterday were able to pass a resolution before the fiscal year started in October that allows the implementation.
It passed 85-21. Courtesy of Stop Common Core in Michigan, here are the Representatives who voted no: Bumstead, Callton, Cotter, Daley Farrington Forlini, Franz, Genetski, Goike, Hooker, Howrylak, Johnson, Kurtz, Lauwers, Leonard, Pettalia, Potvin, MacMaster, McMillin, Rendon, and Somerville.
Be sure to thank them. Take note if your Representative was not on the list.
The bill is a mixed bag however, there are some bright spots as it comes with conditions:
- It allows local school districts to opt-out – so this battle can be fought at the local level.
- It says that Michigan must be able to add or remove standards as it sees fit.
- The standards can not dictate curriculum, and local districts must be able to maintain control over curriculum, textbooks, education materials and instructional methods.
- It requires the Michigan Department of Education and Michigan State Board of Education to issue a report to the Legislature by December 1 that includes a review of all available student assessment tools, information about how they would be used, and how much they would cost to implement. So there is a possibility Michigan could pull out of Smarter Balanced.
So take this battle local and encourage your legislators to dump Smarter Balanced. Also, while it will probably be an uphill battle – contact your state senator.