More Local Pushback Against Common Core

There is more local pushback against the Common Core State Standards, this time in Massachusetts.  The Worcester Telegraph & Gazette reports:

The Tantasqua Regional School District Committee is pushing for state legislation to overturn the state Board of Education’s decision to adopt the National Educational Standards because committee members are concerned about the impact the Common Core might have on its students.

The Common Core State Standards Initiative is a state-led effort coordinated by the National Governors Association Center for Best Practices and the Council of Chief State School Officers. The standards were developed in collaboration with teachers, school administrators and experts to provide a clear and consistent framework to prepare our children for college and the workforce, according to the Common Core website.

In a 8-0 vote July 21, 2010, the state’s Board of Elementary and Secondary Education adopted the Common Core Standards in English language arts and mathematic. To date, 45 states have adopted the Common Core State Standards.

School committee chairman Michael J. Valanzola of Wales, who testified before the Joint House and Senate Committee on Education on the same issue in 2011, said the Common Core lowers the commonwealth’s standards in education in a time when the state should be raising them.

Anything that removes control from a local body and gives it to a big government bureaucrat is not something that should happen without discussion,” Mr. Valanzola said. “And, in some ways, the Common Core does that. It eliminates the local control and allows folks that are not really connected to or impacted by the district to make the decisions.

School committee member James A. Cooke of Brookfield said there is some concern that the Partnership for Assessment of Readiness for College and Careers 10-week testing scheduled (dictated by the Common Core) could end Tantasqua’s current block scheduling on the high school level.

Let’s say a student takes algebra I in the fall semester,” Mr. Cooke said. “Under the Common Core testing, the kids would be at a disadvantage because they would have taken algebra in the fall but may be tested on it in the spring.”

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