Block the Permanent Adoption of the Common Core State Standards in Washington State
To all who oppose the Common Core State Standards: Now is the time to let the legislature know how you feel. The first bill authorizing the permanent adoption of the CCSS has hit the education committee HB1443 Click on the bill and read it. Please call your legislators and tell them you are against HB1443.
House Education Committee:http://www.leg.wa.gov/House/Committees/ED/Pages/MembersStaff.aspx
Find your legislators:http://www.leg.wa.gov/pages/home.aspx
Hotline that gets you to everyone in one phone call: 1-800-562-6000
Tell them you don’t want unknowns in Washington DC to tell Washingtonians how to educate our children. Please tell them to vote “No” to HB1443.
The Common Core State Standards are known by the acronym CCSS. These are national learning standards organized by the NGA and the CCSSO and supported by the Department of Education. In an effort to “encourage” states to adopt these national standards, the ED supposedly gives states a leg up on Race to the Top applications if they adopted the CCSS.
Several states are backing away from the adoption of the CCSS over issues of money, quality, state sovereignty, and local control. Ask your legislators to
1) vote no to HB1443, and
2) actively prepare or co-sponsor a bill to block the permanent adoption of the CCSS in this state.
Last year’s SB6696 requires a “legislative review” of the Common Core State Standards before they can be fully adopted. (The CCSS were provisionally adopted last year by Superintendent Dorn.)
Legislators must 1) vote no to HB1443, and 2) prepare a bill this session to block the permanent adoption of the CCSS.
Bob Dean firstname.lastname@example.org has prepared a sample bill he’s happy to share.
Expensive: In a time of tightened budgets, the CCSS will cost the state and districts a great deal of money — no one seems to know exactly how much. It’s certain that the $2 million asked for by OSPI to implement the CCSS is ridiculously low – just the tip of an iceberg. This request does not include district costs, and it’s a small fraction of the taxpayer money spent on previous standards implementations.
Untested: The CCSS are untested and unproved, with no student data to support them. Our children and our teachers are the subjects of this new, federal education experiment.
Weaker: According to the Thomas B. Fordham Institute, as well as various analyses done by professionals in Washington State, the CCSS for math are weaker and less clear than Washington State’s current math standards.
Redundant: Washington State taxpayers just spent $1.6 million developing rigorous math standards in 2008. Districts also spent a great deal of taxpayer money on professional development for these new standards, as well as on curricula, conferences and other related costs. The CCSS will initiate another round of expenditures, without any indication of how they will improve student learning or help teachers.
Loss of local input and control: Adoption of the CCSS will result in a loss of local decision-making and parent input on what our children are learning.
Bottom line: The CCSS will cost taxpayers an as-yet unknown amount of money in implementation, adoption of new curricula, and professional development – and they will neither help our children learn better, nor help our teachers teach better. They are counterproductive and a waste of taxpayer money.
Signed into law in 2010, SB6696 was designed to force Washington State to apply for the federal Race to the Top “grant” initiative (RTTT), and to make changes in public education according to a federal vision. Initially, SB6696 would have forced Washington to adopt the CCSS sight unseen, with the word “shall.” At that point, the CCSS weren’t even written.
That language was changed to require a legislative review. In 2010, after heavy lobbying around the state and school districts by Gov. Gregoire and Superintendent Dorn, Dorn “provisionally” adopted the CCSS. When OSPI presented on the CCSS in Spokane, they were “full steam ahead” on the CCSS and on the RTTT initiative, even though they could not or would not answer questions about process or long-term effects on students and teachers.
HB1443, introduced to the House Education Committee Jan. 21, 2011, is a wide-ranging bill that also authorizes OSPI to permanently adopt the Common Core State Standards.
Adopting the CCSS is “supposed” to give states a leg up in competing for Race to the Top grants. Many states have not received RTTT money, even after falling in line with the federal vision. RTTT grants sound like “found” money, but they are still paid for with taxpayer money. Public education does not need more funding through RTTT. It needs to spend the money it gets in more appropriate ways.
According to the U.S. Department of Education, as of January 2010, the country was projected to spend $664 billion (from all sources – federal, state, local and other) on K-12 education. That number doesn’t include later infusions of “emergency” funding, much of which never made it to the classrooms or even to school districts. As you know. Gov. Gregoire redirected $208 million in Edujobs money to the General Fund. The RTTT deal is that 50% of any money WA gets will stay at the state level with OSPI.
Clearly, something needs to be done, but not this. Not the CCSS. Not RTTT. Not the centralization and federalization of public education. Not the removal of the people’s voice and their vote. We need MORE voice, more choice, and more options for parents and teachers. Competition is good for education. The CCSS, however, will add to costs, lower standards, eliminate choice, and ultimately not help children learn better.
Please ask your legislators to 1) vote no to HB1443, and 2) prepare a bill this session to block the permanent adoption of the CCSS.
The House Education Committee is located athttp://www.leg.wa.gov/House/Committees/ED/Pages/MembersStaff.aspx
Call the Legislative Hotline at 1-800-562-6000, or find a list of state legislator e-mail addresses athttp://www.leg.wa.gov/pages/home.aspx
If you have any questions, please contact Laurie Rogers at email@example.com
Betrayed is a forum on public education designed to inform the public about critical education issues affecting students, teachers, community members, and the country. Site author Laurie Rogers, firstname.lastname@example.org, also is the author ofBetrayed: How the Education Establishment Has Betrayed America and What You Can Do About It (Rowman & Littlefield Education, 2011). Please help parents and teachers take back the classroom from those who have stolen it.