Brenan, Mack Hit Common Core in South Carolina

American Principles in Action South Carolina Director Joe Mack and South Carolina State Education Board Member Michael Brenan hit the Common Core State Standards Initiative in an op-ed for the State, a local South Carolina newspaper.

The op-ed runs on the heels of a hearing on a bill proposed by Senator Mike Fair to withdraw South Carolina from the Common Core State Standards Initiative.  At the hearing, experts from the Truth in American Education Network testified to the harm that national standards in general and the Common Core in particular will do to the education of South Carolina students:

When states applied for Race to the Top funding, the federal Education Department made them adopt national Common Core standards, which force us to abdicate control over what our children learn to the federal government and special interests in Washington. A bill by state Sen. Mike Fair (S.604) would withdraw our state from those standards.

The Pioneer Institute finds that by grade 8, the math standards will put students “a year or two behind” students in leading states and our international competitors and facing “large holes” in the Common Core high school program. The English language arts standards are even worse.

After serving on the Common Core Validation Committee, researcher and scholar Sandra Stotsky concluded that the reading standards weaken the base of literary and cultural knowledge needed for authentic college coursework. (South Carolina’s own literature standards are much better, as the Thomas B. Fordham Institute has found.) Common Core also locks high school English teachers into a rigid instructional scheme different from anything they’ve been trained for, and created by people who have no academic training in English literature, composition or rhetoric.

Read the rest of the piece here.