Alabama has joined a growing number of states opposing the Common Core national education standards.
Last week, the state senate adopted a resolution to “encourage the State Board of Education to take all steps it deems appropriate, including revocation of the adoption of the initiative’s standards if necessary, to retain complete control over Alabama’s academic standards, curriculum, instruction, and testing system.”
This comes at the same time other states are backing away from the standards. Education Week reported earlier this month:
Utah has been surfing the waves of common-standards controversy lately. Now it appears that the standards aren’t the only thing the state is uneasy about. It’s also uneasy about the tests being designed for them.
We are getting word that Utah plans to downgrade its membership in one of the assessment consortia from “governing” to “advisory.” Governing states have voting power on key policy and design questions. They also are committed to using the tests.… Advisory states can sit in on discussions, but have no voting power and do not have to promise to use the tests.
Colorado seems to be similarly queasy. In the last couple of weeks the state board of education rejected a proposal that would have made Colorado a governing partner of one of the consortia developing the Common Core assessments.
And back in February legislators in South Carolina introduced a measure to pull their state out of the Common Core national standards. Governor Nikki Haley likewise publicly expressed her opposition to the standards.
States have every reason to be concerned about the centralization education standards. The federally backed national education standards push represents an unprecedented overreach of state and local educational authority. States should also be concerned with the significant cost of implementing these standards. The Pioneer Institute estimates that implementation will put state taxpayers on the hook for some $16 billion in new spending.
Across the country, states are moving to empower parents with greater control over their children’s education through policies like school choice. These types of policies, not centralization of academic standards, are those that best meet the unique needs of students.