Voters Want Fighters, Not Appeasers, on Common Core

From left: Ohio Gov. John Kasich, former Florida Gov. Jeb Bush, and Wisconsin Gov. Scott Walker

Heidi Huber — founder of Parents Against the Common Core and Ohioans Against Common Core — is running for the Ohio House of Representatives. In a dramatic showdown, she is challenging incumbent Rep. Tom Brinkman (27thDistrict), whom she originally helped elect, for reneging on his campaign promise to fight for the repeal of Common Core.

In a recent interview for the Cincinnati Examiner, Brinkman dismissed Huber’s complaints, “Huber doesn’t understand how things work in Columbus and killing Common Core isn’t an overnight process.” Brinkman argues that he has done everything he can to stop Common Core, including authoring a bill to repeal it.

However, those fighting Common Core understand that simply authoring legislation to repeal it will not get the job done. As Huber stated to the Cincinnati Examiner, “There’s more to it than slapping your name on [a bill].” Common Core opponents across the country couldn’t agree more.

Fellow Common Core warrior, Heather Crossin of Hoosiers Against Common Core, supports Huber’s criticism of Brinkman: “It takes more than a promise and a half-hearted effort to get legislation passed to repeal the Common Core. It takes real leadership and dedication, which Brinkman apparently doesn’t have.”

Authoring a bill but failing to back it with a fight is the greatest betrayal by a politician. To promise to stand at the battle line and lead the fight — to be the hero in the legislature — creates dependency in a movement. Continue Reading

Will Massachusetts Parents Reject Common Core at the Ballot Box?

Photo credit: Tom Arthur via Flickr (CC BY-NC-SA 2.0)

When the Massachusetts Board of Elementary and Secondary Education (BESE) adopted the Common Core State Standards (CCSS) in 2010, many questioned the logic behind that decision. Considering that Massachusetts had a history of outperforming every other state on the National Assessment of Education Progress (NAEP), the SAT, and international tests in math and English, it had a lot to lose by abandoning its proven system of standards and assessments.

Five years later, that decision has cost Massachusetts quite a bit: The state’s SAT scores are the lowest in over a decade in every subject and elementary students’ performance on NAEP has declined.

At this point, BESE should be conceding defeat on Common Core and calling for a return to the state’s previous standards, but that hasn’t happened. As bureaucrats often do, they are sticking by their bad decision. As School Reform News points out, BESE’s only attempt to placate the angry teachers and parents who have called for a full repeal of the standards was to rebrand the Common Core-aligned PARCC test with a state-developed model:

Media outlets inaccurately reported the state’s Board of Elementary and Secondary Education (BESE) voted to scrap Common Core-aligned testing. What BESE voted for was a hybrid test combining Partnership for Assessment of Readiness for College and Careers (PARCC) questions aligned with Common Core and other questions created by the state.

The new test set for release in 2017 will be called the Massachusetts Comprehensive Assessment System (MCAS), or MCAS 2.0. Continue Reading