States Line Up to Question the Common Core
According to a recent PDK-Gallup poll, a well-regarded annual poll, most parents dislike high-stakes testing, a practice that has become increasingly implemented in recent years. This poll comes at a time when states are beginning to implement harsher standards for high-stakes testing, based on the Common Core curriculum. There have been many critiques of the Common Core curriculum, including fears that it replaces ELA curriculum substance with test prep and that itstest implementation is almost exclusively in the hands of mega-publisher Pearson, a company that has committed quite a few mistakes in its testing practices and score reporting.
Up until now, higher-up officials and politicians have been largely dismissive of Common Core critiques. However, some states that have announced that they will implement the Common Core are beginning to have doubts.
In New York, critics of both the Common Core and high-stakes testing have been protesting both practices after a statewide test based on Common Core standards caused New York’s test scores to drop 30% from last year. On Saturday, 1,500 people gathered in Long Island to denounce the Common Core. Now, the New York legislature is holding hearings in September to review testing practices and revisit whether the Common Core is worth implementing.
In Maine, two groups announced this week that they are looking to hold a statewide vote to repeal the implementation of the Common Core standards, a move that is the first of its kind in the country. The Maine Equal Rights Center and No Common Core Maine plan to submit a ballot measure proposal to the state to repeal the standards.
In Florida, the Common Core standards have invited criticism from school communities, and a group called Florida Parents Against Common Core is urging Floridians to call state officials and protest the implementation of Common Core Standards. Furthermore, Common Core standards have caused political turmoil within the state’s Republican party. Conservatives and Tea Party groups are outraged by the standards, claiming that implementing national standards is a mistake because curricular decisions should be made by state governments and local elected school boards.