Common Core State Standards Initiative,Lansing, Michigan,Massachusetts

Anti-Common Core bill lets kids out of tests, including spelling tests

February 17, 2017
in Kids

Right now, a Lansing committee on improving Michigan competitiveness is considering a bill that would repeal educational standards the state adopted in 2010, replacing them with guidelines the State of Massachusetts abandoned about seven years ago in favor of the standards Michigan is using now -- all in an effort to give districts more control, but make parents the ultimate authority in Michigan's schools. The Common Core standards -- that's a set of educational goals kids should reach over the course of a school year -- surprised nearly everyone by becoming a point of bitter partisan conflict among moderate Republicans and most Democrats, and Tea Party Republicans about five years back, in large part because former President Barack Obama endorsed the standards, and incentivized states to adopt them with federal grant dollars. Educators have noted, repeatedly, that standards describe what you teach, not how you teach it -- districts make decisions about curriculum, and teachers design classroom instruction. The core standards were an attempt to apply some kind of consistency to the country's patchwork of educational standards, and to ensure that American kids are job- or college-ready, and competitive not just nationally but globally. They're the kind of uniform standards employed by all of the developed nations who are cleaning our clocks in math and science. The repeal, sponsored by state Rep. Gary Glenn, R-Larkin Twp., and a host of other Republicans, would make adoption of the new standards voluntary at the district level. ►Related: Bill to drop Common Core in Michigan gets mixed reviews in Lansing ►Related: Why Michigan M-STEP results are cause for concern Educators and members of the business community warned the committee that switching up standards would move Michigan schools back, not forward -- and that changing annual assessments again would disrupt the flow of data that allows educators to track how schools and teachers are performing. But that's another reason lawmakers should repeal Common Core now, state Rep. Lee Chatfield, R-Levering, said at a committee hearing Wednesday. Lansing wants to save you. From Lansing. It's worth noting that Chatfield chaired the hearing, because Chatfield does not chair the state House of Representatives' committee on education reform. (For those of you who do not obsessively follow politics, this means House Speaker Tom Leonard thought this bill would not make it through the ed reform committee chaired by state Rep. Tim Kelly, R-Saginaw Twp. I called Kelly to ask about it; he did not call me back.) Chatfield told the assembled crowd that...

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