Michigan Legislatures “to put brakes on” Common Core

Another state with republican governors  has a legislative body actively opposing Common Core Standards.

Bob Kellogg on OneNewsNow has this from Michigan:

The Michigan legislature has blocked implementing the controversial Common Core Standards until vigorous debate about those standards can take place.

The Michigan Senate approved the state’s education budget with an amendment that prevents the department from spending money to implement the federal standards.

“Michigan can now be added to a growing list of states sending a pretty substantial message that it is unhappy with Common Core,” says  Neal McCluskey, associate director of the Center for Educational Freedom at the Cato Institute.

He says opposition is beginning to grow because parents are just beginning to realize for the first time what these standards for math and language arts involve

Legislators are also now, for the first time, becoming aware of it,” says McCluskey, “and at the same time hearing a lot from constituents who they haven’t heard anything from regarding this, because neither the constituents nor the legislators themselves really knew anything about it.”

Though state funds for Common Core were blocked, local school districts in Michigan can still spend their funds to implement the standards if they wish to.

McCluskey has proved to be a formidable foe of Common Core. He offered this commentary of Common Core advocates this week:

A major complaint of Core supporters is that critics blame things like data-mining and curricular control on the Core which aren’t, technically, in it. They are intimately connected through Race to the Top and No Child Left Behind waivers, which intentionally place the Core in broader pushes for evaluation, data collection, etc., but no, they aren’t actually in the Core. It is apparently fine, though, to proclaim that the Core by itself “demands accountability, high standards and testing,” as Finn and Petrilli do. The difference, of course, is that Finn and Petrilli favor the Common Core, and the Common Core is great!

McCluskey is indeed correct to point out that data mining is part of part RttT and NCLB waivers. But if Fordham Foundation’s Chester Finn and Michael Petrilli are admitting that Common Core “demands accountability, high standards and testing,” they are also admitting that Common Core represents a double-down on high stakes testing.

The Common Core fight is different that other political battles over education policy. Common Core has the endorsement of the NEA and many teachers are advocates for the standards. Ed reformers like Finn and Petrilli don’t have the teacher-union boogeyman this time. Opponents who have just arrived on the scene are beginning to a look at the entire package – Common Core, high-stakes tests and the rigid accountability systems that go with them.


About Bob Sikes

A long time ago and a planet far, far away I was an athletic trainer for the New York Mets. I was blessed to be part of the now legendary 1986 World Series Championship. My late father told me that I'd one day be thankful I had that degree in teaching from Florida State University. He was right and I became twice blesses to become a teacher in the late 1990's. After dabbling with writing about the Mets and then politics, I settled on education.
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