(Update: HR 226 is now known as HCR 11 but the same issues remain. More details here.)
UPDATE: The House Education Committee meeting has been cancelled. Will update as more information becomes available. KEEP CALLING!
Representative Tim Kelly introduced HR 226, a resolution to go forward with the Common Core but with some conditions attached. The resolution is disappointing and a blatant attempt to skirt past the serious issues that have made Common Core so controversial. Rep. Kelly’s resolution readily acknowledges that the federal government has no constitutional authority but he ignores their involvement in SBAC.
“Whereas, Noting that the Tenth Amendment to the United States Constitution states, “The powers not delegated to the United States by the Constitution, nor prohibited by it to the States, are reserved to the States respectively, or to the people,” and recognizing that there is no constitutional provision delegating the power to educate children to the federal government, the House declares that the federal government has no constitutional authority to dictate how children in the State of Michigan are to be educated;”
The resolution fails to mention Michigan’s participation in the Smarter Balanced Assessment Consortia (SBAC). The SBAC assessments are being funded and developed with federal oversight. The Department of Ed. considers itself a “partner’ with the consortia. Michigan is a governing member of SBAC. Kelly’s resolution finds that there is no federal role but fails to resolve to remove Michigan from SBAC. If there is NO federal role in education then leaving SBAC must be in the resolution.
Resolved, That the State Board of Education and the Michigan Department of Education implement Common Core State Standards so long as control over the creation and implementation of curriculum, textbooks, educational materials, and instructional methods that meet or exceed such standards shall remain under the control of the local school districts, and not the federal government;
Notice what is missing on this list? The assessments. What is tested is what is taught. The writers of this resolution know that curriculum will follow whoever controls the assessments; the tests are being developed with federal oversight and control. So with a wink and a nod they can say they have retained local control but in reality the feds hold the real power.
Parents and teachers don’t be mislead unless we pull out of the SBAC assessments that are firmly under the control of the feds, there is no longer local or even state control of curriculum. The SBAC allows Michigan to have ONE vote among a multi-state consortia. Our vote is further minimized with federal involvement. With this resolution we trade complete control of our standards and assessments for meager one vote.
With the computer-adaptive tests come the other controversial aspect of Common Core–student data privacy.
Resolved, That the State Board of Education and the Michigan Department of Education implement Common Core State Standards so long as Michigan’s students and parents are assured of the safety and security of their personally identifiable student information by knowing that no non-education related information on students or their families, including but not limited to religion, political affiliations or biometric data, will be collected, tracked, housed, reported, or shared with the federal government; and be it further.
The FERPA law was changed in 2011 so that student directory information can be shared with third parties. This is a meaningless statement part of a meaningless resolution that assures that with the Common Core our standards, assessments, and data have been outsourced to unelected unaccountable bureaucrats and profiteers who can mine the data at the expense of student privacy.
Parents and teachers don’t be mislead unless we pull out of the SBAC assessments that are firmly under the control of the feds, there is no longer local or even state control of curriculum. The SBAC allows Michigan to have ONE vote among a multi-state consortia. With this resolution we trade complete control of our standards and assessments for ONE vote.
Unless Michigan lawmakers resolve to get out of the Smarter Balanced Assessments and retain control of the tests and data, any resolution Rep. Kelly offers will be incomplete and unacceptable.
The House Education Committee is scheduled to meet today at 2:30 PM.
Call lawmakers and Rep. Jase Bolger and let them know you do NOT support Rep. Kelly’s resolution HR 226 unless it contains an amednment to get Michigan out of the Smarter Balanced Assessments or any other federal funded test.
Hugh D. Crawford (R) 38th District
Bob Genetski (R) 80th District
Tom McMillin (R) 45th District
Thomas Stallworth (D) 7th District