SC should not give up right to set standards

info@islandpacket.comMay 9, 2013 

The good news is that some states are rejecting federal Common Core standards. The bad news is that we are still waiting for South Carolina to step up.

Recently, Indiana legislators voted for a comprehensive review of Common Core after local business owners petitioned the governor to halt implementation.

Since Common Core standards were launched in 2009 and hyped as a state-led effort, the Obama administration, seeing a chance for more federal control, quickly offered billions in federal funding to states that agreed to "strings-attached" No Child Left Behind waivers.

Now the federal government is directly financing the two national testing groups and establishing a "technical review" panel to assess (control) the tests. The administration's push for national standards will remove parents, teachers and local leaders from decisions about what children are taught in the classroom.

Four states rejected Common Core outright, and 12 more have now recognized the dangers and are considering withdrawing from Common Core. Decisions about standards and assessments -- about the very content taught in school -- should be made by those people closest to the students: parents and teachers, not bureaucrats in Washington.

The bottom line is that Common Core standards pose the greatest threat to educational liberty. According to the Pioneer Institute for Public Policy Research, the total cost for states to implement the standards is $16 billion over the next seven years. Call, email or write your state representative and demand Common Core implementation be stopped.

Bert Walker

Bluffton

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