Washington Does Not Need or Want the Common Core State Standards

Are you in favor of lowering the quality of math education in the state of Washington? Are you in favor of turning local control of our schools over to people outside of Washington? Are you in favor of letting unknown and unaccountable experts outside of Washington determine the content to be taught in our local schools? Are you in favor of local school districts unexpectedly being forced to absorb exorbitant professional development costs with your tax dollar without any voice?

Washington State is poised to formally adopt a set of nationally developed education standards, the Common Core State Standards for reading, writing, and mathematics. These standards would replace Washington’s existing locally-developed math standards.

Washington’s current math standards are clearer, more detailed, more explicit, and more coherent. The WA standards are rigorous with critical content well prioritized, and were given an “A” rating in 2010 Fordham Institute review, exceeding the “A-“ rating the Common Core State Standards for math received.

The Common Core State Standards for math will not align with Washington’s current textbook recommendations, recently purchased and implemented by many districts statewide.

WA developed, adopted, and implemented new math standards in 2008. The financial cost and momentum lost to implement the Common Core State Standards for math is not justified, especially in light of the continuing rollout and training underway with Washington’s 2008 math standards

The US Coalition for World Class Math, the Fordham Institute, Where’s the Math?, and Stanford Math Professor James Milgram are among many groups and individuals who have completed detailed studies of the Common Core State Standards for math. In very general terms, here are some of the deficiencies they found.

These standards are not internationally benchmarked and delay development of some key concepts and skills compared to the highest achieving nations.

To get states to sign on board with these standards prior to their development, this promise was made: “The standards will be research- and evidence-based, aligned with college and work expectations, include rigorous content and skills, and be internationally benchmarked.”

Upon the release of the standards this promise was toned down to now say the standards “Are informed by other top performing countries, so that all students are prepared to succeed in our global economy and society”. There is a considerable and significant difference between being internationally benchmarked and being informed by. Most media, states, and organizations still use the initial propaganda and claim the standards are internationally benchmarked when in fact they aren’t.

These standards are not stakeholder friendly. They include significant mathematical sophistication, but are written at a level beyond the understanding of most parents, students, administrators, decision makers and many teachers. Try reading some standards for yourself.

The lack of clarity, specificity, and coherence will lead to a lack of uniformity in instruction and assessment.

The inappropriate placement of standards, including the delayed requirement for standard algorithms, will hinder student success and waste valuable instructional time.

The uneven treatment of important topics will result in an inefficient use of instructional and practice time with too much effort devoted to some topics and not enough time devoted to others.

The high school standards are not well organized and some important topics are not sufficiently covered. The standards have not been divided into clearly defined courses that we may understand.

The cost of implementing the CCSS will be exorbitant. Much of the cost for necessary professional development will unexpectedly be borne by local school districts.

The CCSS are untested and unproven. Many states have adopted them in what amounts to a massive experiment with outcomes that are uncertain. The only way Washington should participate in this experiment is as a control group with the state continuing to use our existing excellent math standards.

Adoption of the CCSS will result in the loss of local control over content at the local district and state level. A non-government group outside the State of Washington developed the CCSS. This group owns the standards and has a copyright on them. Control over content and changes to the CCSS will lie in hands of so called “experts” outside of Washington State and outside of the federal government.

This spring, the legislature authorized the superintendent of public instruction to provisionally adopt the common core state standards by August 2, 2010. Superintendent of Public Instruction Randy Dorn has provisionally adopted these standards. In the 2011 legislative session, the legislature can direct the superintendent to not adopt these standards. Please contact your legislators and ask them to reject the adoption of these standards in the interest of a quality math education for our students.

Whose agenda is it to adopt the CCSS? Did the citizens and taxpayers of Washington ask for this or is it the agenda driven by those outside the State of Washington like the National Governors Association and the Council of Chief State School Officers which seem to be influencing our governor and superintendent of public instruction? Hopefully, the legislature will be accountable to the citizens and taxpayers of the state.

Important information

The legislature passed SB 6696 last year in the 2010 legislative session. Section 601 of this bill authorized the Superintendent of Public Instruction to provisionally adopt the Common Core State Standards (CCSS) by August 2, 2010. Unless the current 2011 legislature directs otherwise, the Common Core State Standards for English/Language Arts and Mathematics will be the officially adopted standards for the State of Washington and OSPI may commence implementation.

Current HB 1443 will authorize the immediate adoption of the CCSS and implementation following the current legislative session.

Urgent Call to Action!!

A public hearing is scheduled for Feb. 4 in Olympia on HB1443, at 1:30 p.m. (subject to change).

Where’s the Math? opposes the adoption of the CCSS and has taken the position of asking the legislature to delay adoption and implementation for a period of not less than two years. As of yet, no bill has been introduced that will delay or repeal the adoption and implementation of the CCSS. Your help is needed to make this happen.

NOW IS THE TIME TO LET YOUR LEGISLATORS KNOW WHAT YOU WANT!

The House Education Committee and your representatives need to hear your message. Please do the following:

Attend the public hearing on HB 1443.

Call the hotline and ask that they vote no on HB 1443. Ask for legislation to delay or repeal the adoption and implementation of the Common Core State Standards.

Call your representatives and ask that they introduce and support legislation that will delay or repeal the adoption and implementation of the Common Core State Standards.

Send emails with the same message to your representatives and to the members of the House Education Committee.

Please urge others to join in this effort by contacting their legislators.

Concerns you may wish address in your communication may include:

The CCSS math standards are weaker and less clear than the current math standards.

The adoption and implementation of the CCSS will be expensive. Local school districts will have to absorb unexpected and unfunded costs. Neither the state nor the local districts can afford it at this time.

The adoption of the CCSS will result in the loss of local control and input.

For additional information and elaboration on these and other concerns, please visit the following websites:

Betrayed – Why Public Education Is Failing

BobDeantalk.com Comments on Education and Politics

Washington State & the Common Core State Standards

House Education Committee email address provided below

Find your legislators

Hotline that gets you to everyone in one phone call: 1-800-562-6000

Please tell them to vote “No” to HB1443.

“A distinguishing characteristic of our nation — and a great strength — is the development of our institutions within the concept of individual worth and dignity. Our schools are among the guardians of that principle. Consequently . . . and deliberately their control and support throughout our history have been — and are — a state and local responsibility. . . . Thus was established a fundamental element of the American public school system — local direction by boards of education responsible immediately to the parents of children. Diffusion of authority among tens of thousands of school districts is a safeguard against centralized control and abuse of the educational system that must be maintained. We believe that to take away the responsibility of communities and states in educating our children is to undermine not only a basic element of our freedoms but a basic right of our citizens. “

President Dwight D. Eisenhower

Email or Call the House Education Committee Representatives below and tell them to vote No on HB1443 and Common Core Standards. Even Better: Show up at the Capital House Education hearing room at 1:30pm on Friday Feb 4th to demonstrate your opposition to the Common Core Standards.

Representative

Email

Phone

Santos, Sharon Tomiko (D) Chair

santos.sharontomiko@leg.wa.gov

(360) 786-7944

Lytton, Kristine (D) Vice Chair

kristine.lytton@leg.wa.gov

(360) 786-7800

Dammeier, Bruce (R) *

dammeier.bruce@leg.wa.gov

(360) 786-7948

Anderson, Glenn (R) **

anderson.glenn@leg.wa.gov

(360) 786-7876

Ahern, John (R)

john.ahern@leg.wa.gov

(360) 786-7962

Angel, Jan (R)

angel.jan@leg.wa.gov

(360) 786-7964

Billig, Andy (D)

andy.billig@leg.wa.gov

(360) 786-7888

Dahlquist, Cathy (R)

cathy.dahlquist@leg.wa.gov

(360) 786-7846

Fagan, Susan (R)

fagan.susan@leg.wa.gov

(360) 786-7942

Finn, Fred (D)

finn.fred@leg.wa.gov

(360) 786-7902

Haigh, Kathy (D)

haigh.kathy@leg.wa.gov

(360) 786-7966

Hargrove, Mark (R)

mark.hargrove@leg.wa.gov

(360) 786-7918

Hunt, Sam (D)

hunt.sam@leg.wa.gov

(360) 786-7992

Klippert, Brad (R)

klippert.brad@leg.wa.gov

(360) 786-7882

Kretz, Joel (R)

kretz.joel@leg.wa.gov

(360) 786-7988

Ladenburg, Connie (D)

connie.ladenburg@leg.wa.gov

(360) 786-7906

Liias, Marko (D)

liias.marko@leg.wa.gov

(360) 786-7972

Maxwell, Marcie (D)

maxwell.marcie@leg.wa.gov

(360) 786-7894

McCoy, John (D)

mccoy.john@leg.wa.gov

(360) 786-7864

Probst, Tim (D)

probst.tim@leg.wa.gov

(360) 786-7994

Wilcox, J.T. (R)

jt.wilcox@leg.wa.gov

(360) 786-7912

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