News Round Up on Today’s Hearing

A YouTube of the hearing should be available shortly but in the meantime here’s a couple news stories about today’s hearing.

From MLive:  Tempers flare at 1st Common Core hearing as legislators clash with Flanagan, each other.

Flanagan began his testimony before the panel by asking legislators to take action as soon as possible, so teachers working on lesson plans and other preparation for the fall have certainty about curriculum standards.

“We’re encouraging it to be right away, but you know, the legislative process takes some time, and they’re going to have a number of hearings,” Flanagan said after the hearing. “My hope is that they’re going to do the right thing and approve the funding for this.”

Rep. Tom McMillin (R-Rochester Hills) was the most vocal questioner on the panel, repeatedly challenging the assertion that the standards had been developed and adopted in a public process. He worries that local control would be compromised if Common Core was adopted.

“It’s clear that the people supporting Common Core don’t actually want to get into details of it,” McMillin said after the hearing. “They know that they get into trouble when it’s actually pointed out that they’re taking away local control.”

They didn’t want to get into the details when Common Core was adopted either.  That’s why they rushed to adopt the standards just two weeks after the final draft was released in June of 2010.

From the Detroit News:  Michigan school chief defends Common Core before House panel

State Rep. Tom McMillin, R-Auburn Hills, is critical of Common Core, saying it is more than just standards.

“They will decide curriculum. You teach to the test … that’s what happens,” McMillin said.

Indeed. Common curriculum will become a part of the long range agenda for Common Core State Standards.  From the State of Michigan FAQ on Common Core 

11. Q: Do the CCSS represent national standards? Will they lead to a national curriculum and common national assessment?

A:  The Common Core State Standards Initiative is being led by states, not by the U.S. Department of Education. The CCSS will allow for development of common assessments  that may be adopted by states. Such common assessments may provide opportunities for evaluation of progress toward college and career readiness.   Decisions about development and adoption of common curricula and assessments will continue to be left to state boards of education. Some states may decide to participate in the development and adoption of a common curriculum (definitions that go beyond standards and include units of instruction or required activities, problems, or readings). The CCSSI has developed standards which will be adopted by states and used as the framework for developing state-level curricula and assessments. Participation in the  CCSSI does not require that states adopt a common curriculum or that they participate in one common assessment.

Given that state Superintendant Flanagan, Governor Snyder, and others who support the Common Core, also support the Smarter Balanced “common” assessment, it is not unreasonable to think they’d go for the common curricula as well despite their rhetoric that standards will give teachers more flexibility, it will lead to less.   They know it but won’t admit.