What I’m going to say next is not directed at the legislators who have linked arms with parents, citizens and teachers who want to wrest local control of education back. I appreciate those courageous legislators who I’m sure at times have taken political heat from Chamber of Commerce groups, other business organizations, educrats, and sometimes members of their own legislative caucus or Governor.
There is a huge lobby working against them that is well-financed and that is tough.
It isn’t easy. They recognize that top-down, one-size-fits-all reforms do not work. They never have no matter the grandiose promises we receive that has absolutely no data backing it up.
We need to encourage them to keep up the good fight.
What troubles me is the legislators who do not listen to “we the people.” If there were rallies, letter campaigns, tweet-fests, etc. held by those who advocate for the Common Core they certainly didn’t make news. I never heard of hundreds of people cramming meeting rooms, town halls, and committee rooms in support of the Common Core.
But the opposite is true.
So to the legislator who votes against common sense legislation whether it is a parental opt-out bill, a Common Core repeal and replace bill or just a bill to remove your state from invalid Common Core assessments – a vote against a bill that restores control back to the local level is a vote against parents. It is a vote against teachers. It is a vote against kids who are struggling with the nonsensical changes being made as a result of Common Core.
It is time they start to listen to you – the parents, grandparents, and taxpayers at least as much as they listen to your state’s department of education. It’s also time that they remind the executive branch (even if the governor is from their own party) that checks and balances do exist. They need to show us they believe in the separation of powers! They need to make a statement that the executive branch running roughshod all over them like what was done when the Common Core was adopted and implemented will not stand.
Are these legislators ok with being left out of the discussion? Their vote, not the opposition’s vote, is one of status quo. This discussion should have taken place in 2009 and 2010, but didn’t so it must happen now.
We seen some profiles in hubris (or cowardice depending on the situation) this session. For instance the Kansas legislators who voted against an excellent local control bill come to mind. The West Virginia Senate who unbelievably watered down an excellent bill that passed overwhelmingly in the West Virginia House with bipartisan support. What hubris! Arkansas legislators who couldn’t bring themselves to pull their state out of PARCC after this school year.
These bills were not about ridding the state of standards and assessments. These bills were about ridding your state of standards and assessments your state didn’t control.
These legislators need to show some humility, listen to their parents and actually remember that they represent them, not the special interest groups who are tickling their ear or funding their campaigns. They need to listen now before some of them will receive an entirely different message at the ballot box.
With this article I announce an ongoing series I will publish as I have material. I am going to start naming names and calling out those who have been road blocks to good legislation out. It’s time for them to held accountable. The gloves are coming off.
If you have a nominee from your state’s legislature please email me at firstname.lastname@example.org.