By A.P. Dillon

If you’ve followed the Common Core debate over the last two to three years, one thing has been clear: Supporters of the standards can be relied on to mock opponents.
The display of ‘new tone‘, or shutuppery as I call it, has been very visible.

ArneDuncan war on moms memeExamples range from the Secretary of Education and his ‘white suburban moms‘ slam to a legislator hinting that opponents need tin foil hats and wanting to budget for “two rolls of high density aluminum to create headgear designed to deflect drone and/or black helicopter mind reading and control technology.”

One of my favorites is Governor John Kasich claiming that opposition is ‘just a runaway internet campaign’.

This brings me to the war of the Unicorns and Crawfish playing out in Louisiana.

The Advocate reported; emphasis added:

Using stuffed pink unicorns to dispel what they call myths about Common Core, officials of a group that backs the standards said Wednesday that they are launching a marketing campaign to defeat legislative efforts to repeal the overhaul.

The push is led by the Alliance for Better Classrooms political action committee, or ABC PAC.

The same group, with Baton Rouge contractor Lane Grigsby as one of its leaders, played a key role in the 2011 races for the state Board of Elementary and Secondary Education.

Organizers of the effort have distributed stuffed pink or white unicorns to state lawmakers that include tags that say “Unicorns are not real. And neither are most of the things you’ve heard about Common Core State Standards.”

Why pink unicorns?

Shane Vander Hart of Truth In American Education gave advocates the idea — as a joke.

Vander Hart wrote, “I’d like to point out I actually made this suggestion as some friendly PR advice for Common Core advocates when they were really struggling at the time not knowing exactly where to burn all of that Gates money.”

It is worth noting who is getting behind Alliance for Better Classrooms’s Unicorn campaign. High profile ‘Republicans’ like Jeb Bush, Mike Huckabee, and Gov. Terry Branstad (R-IA).  Breitbart reported:

A group of Common Core supporters resorting to mocking parents and other opponents of the boondoggle education initiative is studded with likely GOP presidential candidates, establishment Republican governors, top corporations, and the primary private funder of Common Core himself–Bill Gates.

As parents by the thousands are opting their children out of the Common Core-aligned tests throughout the country, and many states are besieged by massive technological glitches that are preventing the tests from being administered at all, pro-Common Core headliners like Jeb Bush, Mike Huckabee, and Gov. Terry Branstad (R-IA) have joined together as a group called “Unicorns Are Not Real.”

Funded by PAC Alliance for Better Classrooms, the group purports to ridicule opponents of the unproven Common Core standards with the theme that “most of the things you’ve heard about Common Core” are not real, either.

By the way Bloomberg dumped $100k into Alliance for Better Classrooms in 2011 in an attempt to influence three runoff races for the Louisiana Board of Elementary and Secondary Education.

While mocking and ridicule by supporters has been consistent, so it the reaction of opponents. They refuse to lay down and take it.

In response to the Unicorns, opponents to the Common Core punching back twice as hard.  The Advocate reported:

Not to be outdone by pink unicorns, Common Core opponents Wednesday distributed stuffed red crawfish to state lawmakers in arguing that the academic standards are riddled with problems.

“Our campaign is that crawfish are real and so are the problems with Common Core,” said Amy Lemoine, who lives in Lafayette.

“Parents across the state as well as educators have done their homework, done our research,” Lemoine said. “We have come across some real problems with Common Core based on facts, research, expert opinions. We just want our legislators to have those facts presented to them.”

[]

Backers of the crawfish campaign said that, unlike the unicorn movement, theirs does not rely on the support of big companies.

“This is not professional,” Lemoine said. “This is moms. We have pulled our talents together.”

“This is moms.” BOOM!
Yes, this is moms.
And dads, grandparents, students and teachers. And the majority of us vote.

By A.P. Dillon

Common Core and the high-stakes tests associated with it continue to see enormous backlash nationwide.

In former Senator Hillary Clinton’s New York, two bills have been filed to allow for parents to opt out of the tests, however parents aren’t waiting for state approvals and are opting their children out at an incredible rate.

In multiple districts in the lower Hudson Valley, opt out rates soared with Mahopac’s middle school seeing an opt out rate of 55%.

Jumping over to the other side of the country, New Mexico students who had been protesting the PARCC test also showed an overall opt out rate of 5%. Looking at the individual schools, the rates in some schools were much higher – ranging from 9 to 36%.

The overall message being sent here is that of parental rights and local control over federal dictates and the big money behind it from public-private partnerships, like the Bill and Melinda Gates Foundation and the publishing and testing behemoth, Pearson.

At an Education Roundtable this week in Iowa, Hillary Clinton’s support for the Common Core was crystal clear. So was Clinton’s position on those opposing Common Core:

“But your question is really a larger one. How did we end up at a point where we are so negative about the most important non-family enterprise in the raising of the next generation which is how our kids are educated?” – Caffeinated Thoughts

Got that? The education of our children is a “non-family enterprise”.
Clinton knows exactly how we ended up here; she was a part of it.

In response to a question about how Clinton would ‘bring the heart back into education’ in the United States, Clinton’s answer has ignited new fires.

You know when I think about the really unfortunate argument going on around Common Core it’s very painful because the Common Core started off as a bipartisan effort, it was actually non-partisan, it wasn’t politicized, it was trying to come up with a core of learning that we might expect students to achieve across our country no matter what kind of school district they were in, no matter how poor their family was, there wouldn’t be two tiers of education.  Everybody would be looking at what was to be learned and doing their best to try to achieve that,” Clinton responded. – Caffeinated Thoughts

Mercedes Schneider’s take down of these comments is not to be missed and this part of her response to Clinton’s remarks is almost exactly what I would have said:

“Implicit in Clinton’s message is that Common Core would have been just fine except that it became entangled in politics.

Get a clue, Hillary: Common Core was birthed in politics.

But I think you know that.”

Yes, she knows that all too well.  As I said earlier, she was a part of it.

Michelle Malkin reminds us of just how well Clinton knows this and where this data-driven, top-down approach to education has it roots — with NCEE, Hillary Clinton and her pal, Marc Tucker.

In the early 1990s, NCEE (established with $5 million in New York taxpayer-funded seed grants) paid Hillary Clinton more than $100,000 to direct the group’s “Workforce Skills Program” while she worked at the Rose Law Firm in Arkansas. After the Clintons moved into the White House, Tucker sent a now-infamous letter to Mrs. Clinton outlining a radical progressive plan “to remold the entire American system” through a centralized national-standards Trojan Horse.  – Michelle Malkin

In addition to NCEE, another group tied to Hillary Clinton should be on the radar: The New America Foundation (NAF).

NAF is a 501(c)3 that was started in 1999 by Ted Halstead and Steve McColl and whose board includes Jonathan Soros. After weeding through their site, the main purpose of NAF is to influence national Education policy at Congressional level; they’ve already spent millions on lobbying.

NAF, while mostly politically focused and is indisputably a Left leaning organization, NAF also has formulated ‘education policy‘ goals.

Some of the more visible backers include Bill Gates, George Soros and the Tides Foundation, Microsoft, Home Depot, Rockefeller, DISH Network, Google, Facebook, Arianna Huffington and the U.S. Dept. of State.

Watch the “Welcome To New America” video. You won’t have to go far into it to see Mrs. Clinton. The clip of ‘former Secretary of State Hillary Clinton’ promoting NAF comes right after Senator John McCain’s glowing testimonial. Stick around, you’ll see Van Jones too.

Laugh.. cry.. or both?

AP DillonA.P. Dillon resides in the Triangle area of North Carolina and is the founder of LadyLiberty1885.com.
Her current and past writing can also be found at IJ Review, StopCommonCoreNC.org, Watchdog Wire NC

By A.P. Dillon

In New York, the energy from the movement by parents to opt their children out of standardized testing and push back against one-size-fits-all reforms like Common Core is fueling the same fights in the rest of the states.

What is going on in New York and elsewhere is not just a fight about high-stakes tests or Common Core. These two things are only a part of a bigger question: What is the purpose of education?

Our children are answering that question.

Ryan Lotocki of Frontier High School has some answers to that question and shares some of them in the video, “This is Genius“.

Lotocki also asks a question to which Common Core is not the solution:

“What’s the point to learn?
For the thrill.
And Common Core won’t solve anything, so take a chill pill”. 

While Lotocki is in high school in New York, a fourth grade girl named Sydney Smoot (from Jeb Bush’s Faux Education Utopia of Florida) gave a speech to a school board. This young lady’s speech about why the current FSA testing must stop was passionate, direct and the audience erupted in cheers at the end.

Also in Florida, an 8th grader tearfully spoke out about high-stakes testing (the FCAT)  in the state and Common Core. Her testimony was positively heartbreaking. Parents shouted out from the audience, “this is ridiculous!” and “you can’t do this to our children!

The video of that 8th grader closes with a few written statements, one of which reads, “And children, the future generation of our nation, are unable to live up to their full learning potential, based on a snapshot test day.

Are you listening, Ed Reformers? Corporations? Education ‘Non-profits’?


AP DillonA.P. Dillon resides in the Triangle area of North Carolina and is the founder ofLadyLiberty1885.com.
Her current and past writing can also be found at IJ Review, StopCommonCoreNC.org, Watchdog

By: Pat Austin

SHREVEPORT – As the national opt-out movement gains momentum, school districts are getting nervous about kids not showing up for the intensive PARCC tests.

NOLA reported this week that in Alexandria, Louisiana, kids are being offered incentives to take the test such as being excused from the school dress code for the rest of the year.  Morris Hills New Jersey school district planned, then abandoned, an incentive plan that would reward students with bonus points and a chance to win American Express gift cards for participating in the test.  A Newton, New Jersey high school offered students the chance to skip some final exams just for taking the PARCC test. Twitchy has examples of incentives of all kinds for kids to take the test – from iPad minis to recess.

Incentivizing and rewarding kids to do well on tests has been around as long as tests have been around, but this time it’s taking on a different meaning.  In Louisiana, at least, there are very real penalties for not taking the test.  For every child that doesn’t take the test, the school receives a zero in the formula that calculates the school performance score.  When the annual school letter grades come out, a school could be labeled with a low letter grade just because a number parents opted their kids out of the test, even though otherwise it may be an excellent school.

In Calcasieu Parish nearly 800 students are opting out; that’s an usually high number – a survey of opt-outs throughout the state are in double digits by parish.  But 800 students is about 6% of the student body in Calcasieu Parish and will definitely affect school scores and teacher evaluations.

While the issue of assigning a zero for these kids has been brought to the state BESE Board, they have deferred action on the matter:

State schools Superintendent John White said the opt-outs would clearly have an impact on Moss Bluff schools. But he defended his recommendation to wait on setting any policy changes for score and teacher scores, saying, “We don’t govern two schools — we govern 1,400.” Moreover, he said any decision to opt-out was “hypothetical” until testing day.

And so, the issue of opt-out looms like a threat over the heads of districts and schools where a large number of parents don’t want to subject their kids to extensive, grueling testing over Common Core standards that have been poorly implemented from Day One.  (At the very least, CCSS should have been phased in from elementary grades over a number of years – dumping CCSS math on a high-school sophomore and then subjecting them to PARCC is ridiculous).

As to the issue of incentives, I say it’s nothing new.  Does it cross the line to bribery?  Maybe.  But to hold the threat of heavy penalty over a school for parental opt-out decision (something a school really has no control over), is just wrong.

 

Pat Austin blogs at And So it Goes in Shreveport.

By:  Pat Austin

SHREVEPORT – I’ve said it before and I’ll say it again:  over the next several weeks, kids across the nation are going to be subjected to long, grueling, standardized tests to prove that they are learning and that teachers are doing their job.

In Louisiana, this is the schedule I indicated about a month ago:

PARCC Phase 1: (Grades 3-8) March 16-20  (English and Math)

iLeap/Leap: (Grades 3-8) April 14-15 (Science and Social Studies)

PARCC Phase 2: (Grades 3-8) May 4-8 (English and Math)

EOC for ELA and Math (Grades 6-12) begins in April and covers English, Science, Math, Social Studies.  Most of these are two day tests.  In some cases, three days.

Then, if you’re going to take the ACT, there are dates for that too, depending on which series you take:  EXPLORE for Grades 8 and 9, PLAN for Grade 10, and ACT for grade 11.  In most school districts, these tests are mandatory.

This schedule changes daily. In my particular school, they’ve also adding a WorkKeys test for grade 11 and the CLEP test, and students in AP classes will be taking various AP tests.

It’s a seriously insane amount of testing.

The Opt-out movement is growing across the nation; this could be in part due to growing frustration with Common Core but also frustration with the growing number of tests kids have to take.  It is accountability run amok.

The New York Times took a look at the opt-out movement primarily as related to the New Jersey area, but parents are frustrated across the country.

In Louisiana the whole issue is a hot mess:

A new wrinkle for this year is that no one outside of Louisiana State Superintendent John White and his close circle know what test kids will be taking.  White has claimed at different times our children will be taking a PARCC or PARCC-like test.  (PARCC is one of two major testing Consortiums tapped and funded by US DOE to develop Common Core tests for the States.)  However Governor Bobby Jindal and his DOA intervened in a contract dispute and declared the way it was approved invalid and have asserted they will not pay for PARCC with State funds.  This has led to several lawsuits brought by education Reform proponents and parents groups as well as the Governor’s office and BESE.

Part of the objection to these tests is that Common Core was implemented across the board.  Kids in Algebra I, for example, are going to be tested on Common Core style questions when that’s not the way they were taught.  Even the EOC (End of Course test) which Louisiana uses has been redesigned to reflect PARCC – type questions and Common Core skills.  So, given this, it’s easy for me to see why a parent might not want to subject a child to this.

I’ve been an educator for 18 years and I love teaching kids, but when I look at our testing schedule and I look at how many classroom hours are given over to testing, test prep, and holding time while other student groups test, it’s clear that something is out of sync.

At any rate, it’s-a-comin’, so as parents you must decide if your child is going to be subjected to that or if you’re going to opt-out.

Spring testing season is here.

 

Pat Austin blogs at And So it Goes in Shreveport.

By A.P. Dillon

With the ESEA Reauthorization looming, Sen. Lamar Alexander has been a central figure. A colleague of mine recently sent me this video of Alexander from 1989. Watch the video, it’s only about 3 minutes long and is an eye-opener.

The video’s description reads:

Lamar Alexander lays out the plan to restructure education at the 11-2-1989 Governors Conference on Education in Wichita, Kansas. The Conference title was “Schools, Goals and the 1990s”. As George Bush, Sr’s Secretary of Education, he implemented education restructuring as America 2000 that specified creation of the New American Schools Development Corporation. He is currently senior Senator from Tennessee and Conference Chair of the Republican Party.

What caught my eye was “New American Schools Development Corporation” and it sent me down a rabbit hole. We’ll use NASDC  to identify New American Schools Development Corporation going forward for the sake of brevity.

NASDC is defunct. Well, sort of. I’ll explain.

I did some Googling and came up with a 1991 C-SPAN video. In the video, it describes NASDC as what now is commonly referred to as a public-private partnership:

“The New American Schools Corporation was created as a private, non-profit corporation dedicated to solicit donations from American businesses for the creation of 535 new experimental schools.”

What happened to those schools, one has to wonder?

I hit the Wayback Machine after coming up empty on finding a website for NASDC. At the Wayback Machine, I located the original site which was started in 1997. The working title for the group was “The New American Schools Network”.

The WayBack Machine’s archive of NASDC included a link to a partner business who did multiple research pieces for NASDC called Rand Corporation. On one lengthy research piece, it should be noted one of the funders was the Ford Corporation.

Of interest are the long list of business ‘contributors‘ for NASDC; many are the same as the ones promoting Common Core.

The list includes IBM’s Lou Gerstner. Gerstner is now Chairman Emeritus of Achieve, Inc. — the outfit who helped write the Common Core. There is a whole other rabbit hole to go down with Gerstner for those who are interested.

I dug a bit further and found that in May of 2004, NASDC merged with another company. That company should be familiar to those fighting Common Core. The company NASDC merged with was The American Institutes for Research or AIR for short.

AIR is now in the high stakes testing world, competing against Pearson in multiple states, including Jeb Bush’s Florida.  In New Mexico, AIR accused officials in the state of bid rigging.

Now, coming full circle, Lamar Alexander’s NASDC merging with AIR is important for another reason. Remember? The Vice President of AIR was selected to oversee the application of ESEA waivers.

AP DillonA.P. Dillon resides in the Triangle area of North Carolina and is the founder ofLadyLiberty1885.com. Her current and past writing can also be found at IJ Review, StopCommonCoreNC.org, WatchdogWireNC and WizBang. Her current writing project is a children’s book series.

By:  Pat Austin

SHREVEPORT – Common Core has claimed another casualty, driving yet another fine teacher into a different profession.  Stacie Starr (be careful if you Google that name) is a sixteen year veteran and is an “Intervention Specialist” in Elyria, Ohio.  She deals primarily with special education students but also with any student struggling in a subject.  Starr won the Live With Kelly and Michael Top Teacher Contest for 2014, earning a new scoreboard for her school, an 8-day trip to the Bahamas, and a 2014 Ford Escape for her efforts.  In her profile video for the contest, her love of teaching and her students is evident.

But when Starr accepted her grand prize last week, she announced her intention to leave teaching at the end of this year because of excessive standardized testing related to Common Core:

Starr became dismayed when she reviewed practice tests for Partnership for Assessment of Readiness for College and Careers, or PARCC, with her ninth grade students.

“Try them yourself,” Starr said.

The reading portion of the test is a speech by Robert Oppenheimer on atomic bombs. Starr says the difficulty of reading is ranked at the college level.

“I’m a special ed teacher,” Starr said. “A lot of my students read at the fifth grade level. They’re expected to read at the ninth grade level, when it’s clearly college level. I don’t know how they can be expected to pass this.

Part of her concern is that the rules are still changing even as testing is set to begin.  It comes down to what many of us have been saying all along: the standards might be acceptable but the implementation has been a total failure.

Yet with a stellar 16-year career under her belt, Starr said the new testing culture is killing education.

“I can’t do it anymore, not in this ‘drill ‘em and kill ‘em’ atmosphere,” she said. “I don’t think anyone understands that in this environment if your child cannot quickly grasp material, study like a robot and pass all of these tests, they will not survive.”

The standing-room-only audience at the Elyria Public Library’s West River Road North branch was shocked. Starr fought back tears as she explained her life as a teacher.

The tests are developmentally inappropriate for typical students and torture for those with special needs, she said. And, even an individual education plan is not enough to shield students from the rigors of state expectations.

“I have faith in my students, but my students are reading at sometimes a fourth- and fifth-grade reading level,” she said. “Each and every day, I have to look in my students’ eyes and tell them I can’t help them because the state has decided they have to prove what they know.”

Starr isn’t the first teacher to leave the classroom because of Common Core; here are five more and certainly there are more.

In many states parents are opting their kids out of testing but in Louisiana at least, that move comes with punitive damage for the school.  For every child that opts out of testing, the school receives a grade of zero which in turn lowers the school performance score.  This has prompted at least fourteen school districts in our state to request a waiver from the punitive measure.  The Board of Elementary and Secondary Education will discuss whether these waivers will be granted or not in March (four members of this panel requested a special meeting to settle this, but the president declined, saying there is “no need.”) The BESE board will take this matter up just one week before PARCC testing begins.

Clearly we are still making up the rules as we go, which is one reason teachers like Stacie Starr are frustrated.  All across the country teachers, parents, and politicians are clamoring for local school boards to regain control of testing.  Everyone recognizes the need for standards and accountability but not at the expense of our children who are increasingly frustrated and demoralized over the Common Core gobbled-gook.

 

Pat Austin blogs at And So it Goes in Shreveport.

By A.P. Dillon

You read an article. It raises a question or talks about a particular topic.

You Google. You browse the results, checking out a couple with promising titles. You check Wikipedia. You read quotes from ‘experts’. You do your homework. You think you’ve got the facts and know the truth.

You thought wrong.

What you likely found was misinformation.

Sharyl Attkisson recently gave a talk that outlines this very scenario using the example of a cholesterol drug.

Attkisson explains in the video:

“What if the reality you found was false? A carefully constructed narrative by unseen special interests designed to manipulate your opinion. A Truman Show-esque alternate reality all around you.

Complacency in the news media combined with incredibly powerful propaganda and publicity forces mean we sometimes get little of the truth.”

An applicable recent story combining ‘propaganda and publicity’ would be that of the imposition of environmental regulations based on climate change ‘experts’ and the associated scam.

media what mediaSometimes misinformation is really about lack of information or rather, what the media won’t cover. Remember the Gosnell trial? Media? What media?

Shift gears to education for a moment.

Consider the messaging from Common Core supporters.

Buzzwords and slick catch phrases sing the praises of these Standards.  Dig deeper, beyond the sales job by ‘experts‘, non-profit and special interest websites, and you find out what a train wreck it really is.

Think of the Common Core, and the related public relations designed to support it, like a brand new house.

It looks great on the outside; impressive even. Most people continue on, admiring it from the outside. A few, however, walk up to the front door to peer inside. That is when things change.  The inside is empty, messy and not at all what the outside represented.

 

AP DillonA.P. Dillon resides in the Triangle area of North Carolina and is the founder of LadyLiberty1885.com. Her current and past writing can also be found at IJ Review, StopCommonCoreNC.org, WatchdogWireNC and WizBang. Her current writing project is a children’s book series.

SHREVEPORT – Louisiana Governor Bobby Jindal issued an executive order this week in which he urges the head governing board over education to allow parents to opt-out of PARCC state testing for their children this spring.  And that’s as far as it went.

Via NOLA:

Gov. Bobby Jindal on Friday urged Louisiana’s Board of Elementary and Secondary Education to allow alternatives to the Common Core-aligned test that public schools are planning to use this spring. Jindal, who opposes the national Common Core academic standards, has no legal authority of the school board, so he used an executive order to issue a strong suggestion for testing alternatives, rather than a requirement for other assessment options.

“His executive order is worth only the paper it is written on,” said Chas Roemer, president of the school board and a Common Core supporter.

You will recall, Governor Jindal was once a full supporter of Common Core, helped push the standards through, and in touting the standards, he said “Adopting the Common Core State Standards, which will raise expectations for every child.”   (In that same speech he also praised the new Value Added Teacher Assessment Program which has been one cluster after another, bringing teacher morale to new lows statewide.)

I’m not faulting Jindal for his reversal on Common Core.  We all make mistakes and correcting those mistakes is a fully rational thing to try to do.  But this one has been costly for Louisiana, both financially and by all measurements of stress and morale on our children and teachers.

This spring, children in Louisiana, as in other states, will undergo days and days of testing; in preparation for that, they will also spend weeks with practice tests, test prep, and intensive boot camp remediation for some.  Testing dates in Louisiana look something like this:

PARCC Phase 1: (Grades 3-8) March 16-20  (English and Math)

iLeap/Leap: (Grades 3-8) April 14-15 (Science and Social Studies)

PARCC Phase 2: (Grades 3-8) May 4-8 (English and Math)

EOC for ELA and Math (Grades 6-12) begins in April and covers English, Science, Math, Social Studies.  Most of these are two day tests.  In some cases, three days.

Then, if you’re going to take the ACT, there are dates for that too, depending on which series you take:  EXPLORE for Grades 8 and 9, PLAN for Grade 10, and ACT for grade 11.  In most school districts, these tests are mandatory.

It varies by grade, and which test which grade must take, but let’s just agree that it is a lot of testing.  The calendar for Louisiana testing can be found here.

Who in the world could fault a parent for opting out of some of this?

I talked to a friend the other day who teaches at a middle school in Shreveport; she was reprimanded by her principal for teaching the prescribed curriculum and not focusing enough on test prep and practice test questions in her classroom.  His concern was that low student scores on the standardized tests will reflect poorly on the school and also on him.

What in the world has education come to?

Are we teaching kids to take tests or to think critically?  Can it be one in the same?  Are we killing the love of learning for our kids?  Putting too much stress and pressure on them?

Check the test schedules in your own state, and check the opt out policies.  It might be worthwhile.

 

 

Side note:  I blogged in this space some time ago about a local animal cruelty case in Shreveport where a dog, Braveheart, was found starved nearly to death in a storage locker at the peak of summer heat in Louisiana.  That case went to trial last week.  If you’re interested, here’s a wrap-up of that trial and verdict.

 

Pat Austin blogs at And So it Goes in Shreveport.

By A.P. Dillon

The next wave of bills to repeal the Common Core State Standards has hit.

Multiple states have filed bills to remove the standards and their associated tests. Alternately, there have been calls from the Governors of Georgia and Wisconsin to review and potentially replace the Common Core.

Here are some of the states with recent Common Core ‘repeal’ bills filed.

  • Colorado: Bill filed to “repeal current academic standards”. The bill also calls for withdrawl from the PARCC assessments. Bill Link: HB 15-1105
  • Mississippi: The bill was touted as a repeal, but the language says parents can ‘opt-out’ of the Common Core curricula, certain student data. This ‘opt-out’ also includes any assessments employed by Mississippi such as PARCC and SBAC. Bill Link: SB 2468
  • New Mexico: Calls for discontinuing the implementation Common Core and withdrawl from the PARCC assessments. Bill Link: SB 196

On the national level, Senator Pat Roberts (R-KS) has introduced a bill meant to amend the Elementary and Secondary Education Act to protect state sovereignty in education. The short name for the bill is LOCAL, which stands for ‘‘Learning Opportunities Created At Local Level Act’’.  The bill is supported by Senators Chuck Grassley (R-IA), Jim Inhofe (R-OK), and Rob Portman (R-OH). Related: 42 House Members Condemn Coercive Common Core

The main thrust is described in the bill as an act  “to prohibit Federal education mandates, and for other purposes.” Common Core’s adoption in the states is accurately seen by many as usurping state and local control in the way it was created, adopted and locked into place by what was arguably monetary coercion or incentives in the form of the Race To The Top grants.

The LOCAL bill has come along just in time, as the Obama administration’s education budget has more of the same methods packed into it including more waivers tied to the language of “career and college ready” as Neal McCluskey of the Cato Institute notes in his article, Common Core End Game.
More from the LOCAL bill:

“prohibits the Federal Government from mandating, directing, or controlling a State, local educational agency, or school’s curriculum, program of instruction, or allocation of State and local resources, and from mandating a State or any subdivision thereof to spend any funds or incur any costs not paid for under such Act.”

“prohibits the Federal Government from funding the development, pilot testing, field testing, implementation, administration, or distribution of any federally sponsored national test in reading, mathematics, or any other subject, unless specifically and explicitly authorized by law.”

Governor Jindal’s lawsuit is in the same vein as LOCAL; calling out the conditions and incentives tied to the Race To Top grants. Those Race To The Top grants included the condition of adopting “College and Career Ready” standards. Common Core was the only set of standards around making that claim at the time – what a coincidence!

For more information on LOCAL, see Breitbart’s thorough article on this bill’s attempt to curtail federal intrusion and coercion.

The Common Core Standards were adopted across the country in waves. We’ve seen one wave hit already and with it, significant backlash. The next wave is coming and the indication is that this will be a 2016 election year hot topic.

If these recent bill filings are any indication, more backlash will likely be coming. It is worth noting that during the first wave, Common Core supporters had originally blasted parents for their complaints about the standards. Lately I’ve noticed a shift from that bash the parent tactic. Given the activity in state houses, supporters are now shifting to bashing the experts being brought in.  Just worth keeping in mind when your state enters into the fray.

If you enjoyed this article, you should really check out other pieces written by Da Tech Guy’s Magnificent Seven writers and maybe hit that tip jar!

AP DillonA.P. Dillon (Lady Liberty 1885), is a Conservative minded wife and mother living in the Triangle area of North Carolina. A.P. Dillon founded the blog LadyLiberty1885.com in 2009. After the 2012 election, she added an Instapundit style blog called The ConMom Blog. Mrs. Dillon recently participated in Glenn Beck’sWe Will Not Conform. Mrs. Dillon’s writing, in addition to Da Tech Guy’s Magnificent 7, can also be found at StopCommonCoreNC.org, WatchdogWireNC and WizBang. Non-political writing projects include science fiction novellas that are, as of yet, unpublished. Her current writing project is a children’s book series.