Nebraska Under Pressure to Adopt Common Core

Nebraska is under a ton of pressure to adopt the Common Core State Standards.  A narrative is already in the works by those who advocate for them.

First Nebraska Governor Dave Heineman sits on the board of Achieve.  Can we say conflict of interest?

Next you have the Nebraska Department of Education who paid for and released an alignment study claiming that the Common Core Math Standards are more rigorous than Nebraska’s current standards.  Is this the same Common Core Math Standards that doesn’t introduce Algebra until 9th grade (if school districts offer algebra in 8th grade it is in spite of, not because of, the Common Core), has incomplete geometry standards and won’t prepare kids to take calculus their first year in college if they want?  The study was not yet available on the website as of this writing.  An alignment study of their ELA standards to the Common Core they determined that their standards were “well aligned.”  You find that study here and here.

The Nebraska ASCD (Association for Supervision and Curriculum Development) offered a workshop back in January entitled “Common Core… A Preview in Nebraska” as they were already anticipating the Nebraska State Board of Education to adopt them.

Heck why wait for the Board to adopt them?  Let’s just buy Common Core aligned textbooks right now.  Below is a picture of an Algebra I textbook that some students in the Omaha Public Schools brought home.

common-core-aligned-math-text

Just *wonderful!*  How much the school district paid for these new books?

State officials are already working on ELA standards (first draft done anticipated in January) and Math standards (first draft expected to be done in March).  Will they do what Alaska did and plagiarize the Common Core or will they actually think for themselves by looking at stronger models like Massachusetts former ELA standards or California’s former math standards?  It’s ok to work to improve your standards, but work towards good ones.  Don’t accept mediocre just because everybody else is doing it.

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About the Author ()

Shane Vander Hart is the Editor-in-Chief of Caffeinated Thoughts, a popular Christian conservative blog in Iowa. He is also the President of 4:15 Communications, a social media & communications consulting/management firm, along with serving as the communications director for American Principles Project’s Preserve Innocence Initiative.  Prior to this Shane spent 20 years in youth ministry serving in church, parachurch, and school settings.  He has taught Jr. High History along with being the Dean of Students for Christian school in Indiana.  Shane and his wife home school their three teenage children and have done so since the beginning.   He has recently been recognized by Campaigns & Elections Magazine as one of the top political influencers in Iowa. Shane and his family reside near Des Moines, IA.  You can connect with Shane on Facebook, follow him on Twitter or connect with him on Google +.
  • Autumn Cook

    There was no doubt that Nebraska’s standards would be “found inferior” when the company comparing the two provides the “service” of transitioning education systems to the Common Core. See here: http://www.mcrel.org/products-and-services/featured-products-and-services/common-core Wanna place bets on who’s going to be hired to “help” Nebraska transition?

  • Leslie

    Thank you, Shane, for sharing this story. I just hope that Nebraskans are proactive and fight this. It is difficult to fight something that is not officially CCSS – it’s there but no one will admit it and many don’t see it. Even if the standards are never adopted, schools are still limited on curriculum choices and can still do Common Core and just call it something else, giving Nebraskans a false sense of security that somehow they are immune from what other states are suffering.