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  • Wall Street Journal: Conservatives Oppose National Standards

    Opponents of national standards and tests see the push as furthering “federal intrusion into state education matters,” asserts the Wall Street Journal today.

    While the standards have been touted as “voluntary” by proponents, the Obama Administration’s heavy promotion of the standards—tying Race to the Top dollars to a state’s adoption of the standards, by suggesting that federal Title I money for low-income schools could be tied to their adoption, and, most recently, by making No Child Left Behind (NCLB) waivers contingent upon a state’s adoption of common standards—makes them anything but “voluntary.”

    And if these standards were simply an option on the table for states to pick up of their own volition, it’s curious that U.S. Secretary of Education Arne Duncan would come down so forcefully—or at all—on South Carolina Governor Nikki Haley for expressing interest in steering away from adopting the standards.

    That states are becoming increasingly uneasy about ceding control of the content taught in their school systems is not surprising.

    “Conservative lawmakers and governors in at least five states, including Utah and Alabama, recently have been pushing to back out, or slow down implementation, of Common Core,” reports WSJ. “They worry that adoption of the standards has created a de facto national curriculum that could at some point be extended into more controversial areas such as science.”

    And the science standards will likely come sooner rather than later. While states have been told that they must sign on to Common Core’s math and English language arts standards to receive federal funding and NCLB waivers, a framework for common science standards produced by the congressionally chartered National Review Council will be unveiled this Friday.

    The push to nationalize education standards is troubling on many levels.

    Massachusetts watered down its current standards by adopting the Common Core, and students across the country will be affected by what some content matter experts have decried as the low quality of the standards . For example, Ze’ev Wurman, a former official in the U.S. Department of Education, also notes that the standards don’t expect Algebra I to be taught in eighth grade “reversing the most significant change in mathematics education in America in the last decade.”

    Sandra Stotsky, professor of Education Reform and author of the highly rated Massachusetts state standards, said that the standards “ come in at about between a sixth- and eighth-grade level on average, and that will constitute college readiness.”

    Of considerable concern as well is the high cost of the standards. The Pioneer Institute recently calculated that the total price tag for implementing the standards would be a hefty $16 billion.

    Pioneer also released a report back in February pointing out three federal laws that prohibit federal involvement in curriculum and arguing that the Obama Administration has “simply paid others to do that which it is forbidden to do.”

    Rigorous standards are an important part of promoting high quality education. However, more Washington control over schools is the wrong approach to improving education. States around the nation are moving in the opposite direction by giving parents greater control of education through policies like school choice. Rather than putting more power into the hands of the federal government, continuing to put educational decision making into the hands of those closest to the child will give American students the best opportunity for a bright academic future.

    Posted in Education, Featured [slideshow_deploy]

    8 Responses to Wall Street Journal: Conservatives Oppose National Standards

    1. One2Stupid says:

      Let's review how this system really works, regardless of which government agency we are discussing. The department(s) of Commerce, Education, Energy, etc. The federal government takes the money from the people of the various states. The federal government then keeps about 30% of the money to fund its own bloated bureaucratic needs. The feds then return part of the money to the states with all types of conditions, demands and restrictions, which always increase the costs. The remaining money is then given to the "friends" of the current administration for their continued support. It's time to stop the corruption! Defund and reduce the size of the bureaucracies, leave the money with the states and stop using our money to "feather" political goals. Do away with Jimmy Carters Department of Education!

      • Jeff Ferguson says:

        It is bad enough local communities send much needed money to state capitals to get a portion back to fund education, but sending money to DC to get even less back is even dumber as One2Stupid points out.

      • CforUS says:

        Elimination of the Department of Education should be one of the top priorities of next administration.

    2. Lloyd Scallan says:

      This Obama government realizes it must start indoctrination of even younger students in order to bring about a faster acceptance of socialism before Americans wake up. Just as the fact that our history has been rewritten to support the leftist agenda, Obama's government intends to wipe-out all evidence that America was once a republic by demending state schools teach only what the federal government approves.

    3. Bobbie says:

      and the highest level of concern is this foreign mindset in leadership roles in America. Americans are much more intelligent then this set up of national standards that train people to call them teachers but only to manipulate the minds not educate the minds. If their duties defined aren't enough, CUT THE PAY!

      we are people that aren't calling on the government to interfere where we handle situations OURSELVES with people who have much higher standards who's dignity wouldn't consider the train to manipulate but take pride in opening the mind's abilities where national standards goal is to narrow the minds to fit the one world global 3rd world agenda. So many minds of potential intelligence is wasted by this abuse of government authority! Pray for the strength of minds to think above this government engineered mind manipulation!

    4. Blair Franconia, NH says:

      Race to the Top=Race to the Bottom.

    5. Bob says:

      Excuse me WALL STREET JOURNAL but this die-hard, died in the wool CHRISTIAN CONSERVATIVE is all about standards and keeping them where they supposed to be. Instead of bastardizing them to a state that in no way could ever be considered standard or, for that matter recognized as anything but liberal bias and vitriolic diatribe for personal gain all the while screwing the vary people you proclaim to be helping. Which by the way, according to the LAW of 1946, 48 and again in 1968, is a direct violation of the RICO ACT. As was the house banking scandal. Yet 96% of the perps in that CRIME are still serving themselves in either congress or senate! That especially include your presumed journal wall street as you are so far congress' and senate postierer that I doubt you've sniffed good clean aire for 40 plus years!

    6. BioTeacher says:

      National Standards could be disastrous . I have been teaching at the high school level for 22 years in both private and public schools. I know the effects of standards well. I teach about half of the content in Biology that I taught 20 years ago. We do half the number of lab activities, because lab topics are not on the state test. National Standards could be worse. Also, we teach topics that are standards, but have no relevance for most students. There is not a one size fits all curriculum. Not every student is going to college, yet we teach a college prep curriculum to all of our students. They don't all have the same needs.
      The total cost of the Core Standards is hidden. New books and supplies would be required, as well as teacher training related to the standards.
      I would also like to mention that my students lost 12 days of instruction for the actual testing of our state standards. Additionally, I lost instructional time in science due to required review of mathematics for the state test in math.

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