Petrilli Misses the Point

Reading Michael Petrilli’s inane post for Education Next I had to roll my eyes… it was titled, “Common Core critics want ALEC to tell states what to do.”  I think Mr. Petrilli has missed the point of the resolution offered by American Principles Project, the Goldwater Institute and Washington Policy Center.  The resolution which ALEC delayed voting on reads:

The State Board of Education may not adopt, and the State Department of Education may not implement, the Common Core State Standards developed by the Common Core State Standards Initiative. Any actions taken to adopt or implement the Common Core State Standards as of the effective date of this section are void ab initio. Neither this nor any other statewide education standards may be adopted or implemented without the approval of the Legislature.

First off, to say ALEC will tell states what to do is ridiculous.  This is a model resolution.  It can be adopted, changed or ignored by the states.  The Feds however through Race to the Top and the No Child Left Behind waiver are cocersing states to adopt the Common Core State Standards, and in many states this decision is not being brought to the state legislature which brings up the second point.  The thrust of the resolution is to provide a remedy (and rebuke) for states whose education bureaucracy has signed off on these standards without a legislative review and vote.  This protects the voice of the people.  A state legislature even after passing this resolution can still vote to adopt the Common Core State Standards.  Then at least the people’s elected body has waived in and they can either be praised or held accountable as a result.