What’s next for Michigan parents?

Many parents are asking us what can we do now that Common Core was adopted and a resolution (HCR 11) passed that allows the implementation of Common core to go forward.

The STOP Common Core of Michigan team has devised a strategy for 2014 which we believe will help turn the tide in favor of parental control of education and reverse the move toward political bias in the classroom.   We invite all interested citizens, parents, grandparents, educators, legislators, and activists to join us in this effort.  The strategy has four areas of focus:

1) Parent Empowerment

2) Legislative protections

3) Private schools as a safe haven

4) Public school push-back


Each Item Is Explained in greater detail below:

 1) Parent Empowerment

Our number one priority is to inform and empower parents of school-age children.  The goal is to create a significant movement of informed and empowered parents which cannot be ignored by education and state leaders.  The idea is to offer a graduated series of opt-outs that parents can use including opting-out of:

–       Offensive lessons and assignments

–       School directory data base

–       On-line  or computer-based testing

–       Common Core aligned pilot tests

–       On-line computer access by their student at school

–       Psychological assessments

–       Medical data collection and retention

–       State assessments (online or paper & pencil)*

–       All data collection on their student

–       Public school, encouraging homeschooling

* There are consequences to schools if fewer than 95% of students take the exams.

2)  Legislative Protections

We believe we were somewhat effective in our efforts to inform and persuade legislators in 2013.  HCR 0011, unfortunately approves Common Core standards for Michigan, but does demonstrate that legislators are aware of the many legitimate issues and concerns with Common Core.

Our goal will be to remain informed of the legislative items regarding education issues and issue calls to action where we believe public intervention can be productive.  We will develop positions as we determine appropriate, will issue position communiques to key legislators, inform our network of engaged citizens and encourage them to share and act as they determine appropriate.

We are planning to make certain education is a very visible issue in this year’s election, challenging incumbents and challengers on Common Core specifically and a bias to true parent choice in general.  So far, legislative issues we are addressing include:

–       The State assessment:

  • We are opposed to any assessment developed and controlled outside the State of Michigan.
  • We prefer a written or static assessment over an adaptive model.
  • We prefer an assessment that only assesses proficiency in basic and advanced academic skills, accuracy over process, politically neutral, with no attitudes, beliefs or values.
  • We require an independent method of verification to these goals.
  • We want assessments that provide credible feedback to parents and teachers that are not intrusive to the educational process.

–       Third grade retention for non-readers:

  • We are opposed to a state law directed at negative impacts to children, but very open to negative repercussions to schools who fail to teach all children to read by the end of third grade.

–       School funding:

  • We are opposed to any effort to make school mandatory or nearly mandatory for children younger than 6 years old.
  • We are opposed to government take-over of the current free-market.

–       Pre-school system, i.e., more government funding for pre-school.

  • We are opposed to any increase in preschool funding.
  • We are opposed to vouchers for private schools and homeschoolers on the grounds that funding is followed by control.

 3) Private schools as a safe haven

Our third priority will be to work with Home Private school parents and educators to:

–       Inform them of their freedom to NOT embrace Common Core

–       Find those private schools willing to lead the way to an alternative education model

–       Encourage private parents to use Opt-Out as a method of persuasion if necessary

4)  Public School Push-back

Our fourth priority is to use the “Resolved” clauses of HRC 0011 to push-back on public schools.  We will work to educate parents, educators and administrators of the freedoms and flexibilities defined by the resolution, including:

–       The Common Core standards DO NOT dictate curriculum or prescribe a particular method of instruction.

–       Control of creation and implementation of curriculum, textbooks, education materials and instructional methods remain under the control of local districts.

–       School districts can choose different standards and CAN TEACH Euclidean geometry and classic English literature.

–       Standards will not include attitudes, beliefs or value systems.

–       Students and parents are assured of the safety and security of their personally identifiable student information.

–       No data, including but not limited to, religion, political affiliation or biometric data, will be collected, tracked, housed, reported, sold or shared.

–       Assessments will only be used to assess proficiency in basic and advanced academic skills and subject matter

–       Parents, teachers and administrators have the right to provide feedback about Common Core to the Michigan Department of Education