PIERRE, S.D. – Perhaps the worst aspect of Common Core is the arrogant manner in which supporters foisted the new learning standards upon citizens in some 45 states before parents, teachers, taxpayers and lawmakers had any chance to review them and have their opinions heard.
Common Core proponents behaved like a husband who impulsively buys a new car that he can’t afford – and hasn’t test-driven – without consulting his wife.
Such selfish behavior doesn’t work any better in politics than it does in a marriage. At some point, the “wife” is going to have her say.
And that brings us to news out of South Dakota and Tennessee where a growing number of lawmakers are demanding that the Common Core standards – and the accompanying standardized tests – be reviewed for quality and cost, before the education overhaul is accepted as “a done deal.”
In South Dakota, Republican Sen. Ernie Otten is sponsoring a bill that would create a 23-member study group, comprised of lawmakers, teachers, administrators, parents, and others – the very people who should’ve been consulted before the state Board of Education adopted Common Core back in 2010.
If it’s formed, the study group will determine if the new standards and standardized tests actually represent an upgrade over the ones they’re replacing, and issue a final report to the Legislature by Dec. 1, 2015, the Rapid City Journal reports.
Some worry about the objectivity of such a study group, as pro-Common Core Gov. Dennis Daugaard would appoint many of the group’s members, allowing him to potentially stack the deck in favor of the nationalized, one-size-fits-all standards.
Thankfully for Common Core opponents, the study group doesn’t represent their only hope for placing restrictions on the standards. The Journal adds that South Dakota “lawmakers also will consider bills that would require additional hearings by the state Board of Education before Common Core standards in other subjects could be adopted and limit the distribution of information about individual students.”
Some 1,100 miles away in Nashville, Tennessee, about a dozen House Republicans “are united behind a bill to take a pause from (Common Core) – for up to three or four years – and separate legislation to delay administering its corresponding test, called the (PARCC exam),” reports The Tennessean.
In the upper chamber of the Tennessee General Assembly, Republican Sen. Dolores Gresham has filed a trio of bills that seek to bar the state Board of Education from adopting nationalized learning standards for science and social studies, require schools to gain parental permission before collecting any biometric or non-academic data from students, and place restrictions on which academic data state officials can share with the federal government, the Tennessean reports.
While Core opponents will cheer such measures, Gov. Bill Haslam is all in for Common Core and unlikely to budge from that position (perhaps barring a huge outpouring of public outrage).
The efforts of South Dakota and Tennessee lawmakers mirror recent efforts by legislators in Rhode Island, South Carolina, and Indiana.
Tennessee state Rep. Glen Casada likely captured the feelings of those Americans who are disgruntled by their state’s unthinking, headlong rush into Common Core when he said: “Let’s make sure this latest educational theory is successful. Let’s delay and look.”
Better late than never, right?