Common Core Lacks Common Sense

In 2009 the Obama administration announced Race to the Top, a $4.45 billion contest created to federalize K-12 education. States competed for a slice of the pie, and those that conformed were more likely to “win” additional funding for their public schools. Not surprisingly many states adopted new policies to make their applications more competitive, and 46 states adopted common standards as a result. Washington was one of the states to adopt the Common Core State Standards (CCSS) during this time, but unfortunately did not “win” federal dollars from either of the first two rounds. But the bills for CCSS have been adding up ever since. Apparently state legislators don’t consider it part of basic education anymore, as neither the House or Senate provided specific funds for implementation in their respective budget proposals. That means the burden of paying for CCSS is being kicked down to local school districts instead, along with expansive bureaucracy and stifling federal regulations. However the true cost of CCSS is far greater than that. It also denies us the wisdom, innovation, and accountability that comes from local communities. Even though legislators approved CCSS in 2010,  no one has any idea how they will affect students, …

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Governor Inslee And Grading Schools

Leave it to Jay Inslee to abandon the one good education idea he actually campaigned on last November. On his campaign website,  the Governor vowed to “institute a system of public accountability that gives a grade to every high school, middle school and elementary school.” He even clarified this position several times during interviews throughout the campaign. But Governor Inslee recently flip-flopped on that very issue when he opposed SB 5238, a bill that would grade public schools on an A-F scale. Even though he “vowed” to institute just a few short months before (see video), the Governor now wants the issue to be more carefully studied. Just another obvious concession to his friends at the Washington Education Association, who helped him win last November’s gubernatorial election. Parents and taxpayers, on the other hand, overwhelmingly support SB 5238. According to the Seattle Times, a recent poll commissioned by Stand for Children found two-thirds of the respondents supported letter grades for public schools.  Under the SB 5238 grades would be based on test scores, graduation rates, college readiness and other factors. But SB 5238 never made it out of the House Education Committee, much to the dismay of Republicans in the …

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