Jeb Bush is at Mackinac Island in Michigan this week talking about education. Michigan is in a heated battle over Common Core. State lawmakers are considering a budget measure to defund the standards and related assessments. The Common Core standards were adopted by the Michigan Department of Education in 2010. The budget measure passed the Michigan House this week and is waiting a vote of the Senate. Jeb Bush is doing his best to alleviate concerns and make sure Michigan retains the standards.
In his keynote address to state lawmakers Jeb Bush said, “”Common Core standards are standards, they’re not curriculum.”
That’s news to President Obama. In his 2013 State of the Union, “Four years ago, we started Race to the Top, a competition that convinced almost every state to develop smarter curricula and higher standards, for about 1 percent of what we spend on education each year.”
Standards AND curriculum federally funded. The federal government also funded the assessments to go along with them.
Secretary of Education Arne Duncan, 2010, “In an effort to provide ongoing feedback to teachers during the course of the school year measure annual student growth, and move beyond narrowly focused bubble-tests, the U.S. Department of Education has awarded two groups of states grants to develop a “new generation” of tests. The new tests will be aligned to the higher standards that were recently developed by the governors and the Chief Council of State School Officers…”
Standards drive the tests which drive the curriculum.
Common Core State Standards were developed by the National Governors Association and the Chief Council of State School Officers. The NGA and the CCSSO own the standards. They are copyrighted and cannot be changed. That’s right. In 2010, states adopted standards that essentially gave control of PUBLIC education to a PRIVATE DC lobby group funded by Bill Gates and then incentivized by the Obama administration through Race for the Top. In doing so, states ceded control to unaccountable, unelected anonymous education policy makers in offices far far away.
“Common Core state standards are clear and straightforward,” Bush said. “Do not pull back from these high lofty standards.”
Michigan must pull away. These standards, if retained, all but insure that the teacher’s job will now be to read a script and robotically teach exactly what they dictate. No room for customizing or changing to meet the unique needs of their classroom. The standards won’t allow it, that’s what standards do by definition. Any teacher who dares move outside these standards and curricula will be penalized because her students will perform poorly on the mandated tests that go with the standards. Not because she is a bad teacher but because she decided that other things were more important than just learning what the Common Core dictates. Teachers and parents should be very concerned when the former Governor of Florida interferes in our affairs and tells us what to do in education. Education is a state issue and Bush is NOT a citizen of our state.
Bush said, “I worry a little bit for a country that is persuaded by fear rather than aspirations,”
Fear is not persuading parents and lawmakers to oppose the Common Core standards and curricula, Mr. Bush. It is freedom. Freedom to be parents who decide what is best for OUR children. We don’t believe that our children are “common” but unique individuals, created to fulfill the dreams of their heart, not a commodity to fulfill the demands of the workforce.