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.
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.