Columns

Why Conservatives Support Common Core State Standards

By: Sen. John Legg | Posted: June 14, 2013 11:12 AM
Rep. John Legg

Education policy must now, and always, be state-driven and implemented at the local level.

Washington bureaucrats will never know what is best for each individual state and should not assert to know as such. As conservatives, we must stand firm against the dangers of nationalization of school curriculum and be ever vigilant to not allow infringement on our 10th Amendment rights.

That being said, it is imperative to address some confusion and misconceptions regarding the Common Core State Standards. The Common Core State Standards are the result of a state-led initiative (composed of 45 states) that came together to set foundational common standards.

Together, with the review of educators, parents, and content experts, the states created standards aligned with college and work expectations; standards that are focused and consistent. The Common Core State Standards are built upon strengths of current state standards, but are internationally benchmarked, preparing all students to succeed in our global economy and society.

Our Constitution framers, in their brilliance, allowed for this independence and collaboration through the 10th Amendment, which has produced unparalleled results. America’s prosperity is heavily dependent upon states learning from one another and challenging each other to improve through competition, comparison, and collaboration. 

There is little debate that our education standards nationwide have been stagnant. According to the report "The Learning Curve," developed by the Economist Intelligence Unit, the United States ranks 17th out of 40 countries in overall educational performance. Common Core State Standards present a path by which states can improve this ranking by setting rigorous, measureable standards based on 50 separate laboratories of learning that design their own curriculum and decide on implementation and assessments at the state and local levels, not the national level.

The movement to Common Core asserts higher-order thinking across disciplines and concepts, which will yield a higher quality of comprehension for students, ensuring they are prepared for college, the workforce or to become a business owner/job creator. Common Core is a set of academic standards and does not pose an identity or security risk to students.

Florida, as an education reform leader, has adopted its own rigorous standards beyond the minimum Common Core State Standards and local districts have the authority to increase expectations for their students even further. Our students deserve the best, and if Common Core provides foundational standards for our students without 10th Amendment infringements, conservatives such as I could not be more supportive.

Maybe Washington could learn from Common Core implementation regarding other areas of government by providing reasonable standards, then getting out of the way and letting states do what they do best. This is indeed what the framers of the Constitution had in mind.



State Sen. John Legg is a Florida-certified teacher with more than 10 years of classroom teaching experience. He is also a school administrator and is the current chairman of the K-20 Education Policy Committee in the Florida Senate.


Tags: News, Columns

Comments (5)

Willis Pebble
2:46PM OCT 10TH 2013
Dear Senator Legg, REAL Conservatives DO NOT Support Common Core State Standards

I was going to let this go but when you invoked the 10th amendment I could not. The only thing you have right is the fact that the 1o amendment leaves education to the States.
The Common Core Standards Initiative is a set of National K-12 standards were developed by a nonprofit called Achieve, Inc., based in Washington, D.C., the National Governors Association (80% of the funding comes from the federal government), and the council of Chief State School Officers. Common Core was introduced and implemented in Florida, along with many other states, without legislative approval and minimal public engagement. Their creation was neither grassroots nor did they emanate from the states.
AS for our stagnant education, The rise in control by the US department of Education parallels with the lowering of our ranking in education.
You say Florida is the education leader, you should say WAS the education leader. There will no innovation with common core all the states will drift to a common level, which for Florida will be lower.
And the higher order thinking you get with common core is not what you think it is, or at least I hope not.

Educate Your self AT flstopcccoalition.org
wawoo
6:57AM JUN 16TH 2013
Sen. Legg, you can see there is some sort of primal inertia to overcome in the ranks of your own party. Obama Derangement Syndome writ large.
NO COMMON CORE
1:45PM JUN 14TH 2013
Rotten to the Core: Obama’s War on Academic Standards (Part 1)
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By Michelle Malkin • January 23, 2013 09:43 AM

This year, I’ll be using my syndicated column and blog space to expose how progressive “reformers” — mal-formers — are corrupting our schools. One of my New Year’s resolutions is to provide you in-depth coverage of this vital issue that too often gets shunted off the daily political/partisan agenda. While the GOP tries to solve its ills with better software and communications consultants, the conservative movement — and America — face much larger problems. It doesn’t start with the “low-information voter.” It starts with the no-knowledge student. This is the first in an ongoing series on “Common Core,” the stealthy federal takeover of school curriculum and standards across the country. As longtime readers know, my own experience with this ongoing sabotage of academic excellence dates back to my early reporting on the Clinton-era “Goals 2000″ and “outcome-based” education and extends to my recent parental experience with “Everyday Math”.

The good news is that grass-roots education and parental groups, brave teachers, and professors are fighting back. See the resource list/links at the bottom of this column and stay tuned for much more.

***

Rotten to the Core: Obama’s War on Academic Standards (Part 1)
by Michelle Malkin
Creators Syndicate
Copyright 2012

America’s downfall doesn’t begin with the “low-information voter.” It starts with the no-knowledge student.

For decades, collectivist agitators in our schools have chipped away at academic excellence in the name of fairness, diversity and social justice. “Progressive” reformers denounced Western civilization requirements, the Founding Fathers and the Great Books as racist. They attacked traditional grammar classes as irrelevant in modern life. They deemed ability grouping of students (tracking) bad for self-esteem. They replaced time-tested rote techniques and standard algorithms with fuzzy math, inventive spelling and multicultural claptrap.

Under President Obama, these top-down mal-formers — empowered by Washington education bureaucrats and backed by misguided liberal philanthropists led by billionaire Bill Gates — are now presiding over a radical makeover of your children’s school curriculum. It’s being done in the name of federal “Common Core” standards that do anything but raise achievement standards.

Common Core was enabled by Obama’s federal stimulus law and his Department of Education’s “Race to the Top” gimmickry. The administration bribed cash-starved states into adopting unseen instructional standards as a condition of winning billions of dollars in grants. Even states that lost their bids for Race to the Top money were required to commit to a dumbed-down and amorphous curricular “alignment.”

In practice, Common Core’s dubious “college- and career”-ready standards undermine local control of education, usurp state autonomy over curricular materials, and foist untested, mediocre and incoherent pedagogical theories on America’s schoolchildren.

Over the next several weeks and months, I’ll use this column space to expose who’s behind this disastrous scheme in D.C. backrooms. I’ll tell you who’s fighting it in grassroots tea party and parental revolts across the country from Massachusetts to Indiana, Texas, Georgia and Utah. And most importantly, I’ll explain how this unprecedented federal meddling is corrupting our children’s classrooms and textbooks.

There’s no better illustration of Common Core’s duplicitous talk of higher standards than to start with its math “reforms.” While Common Core promoters assert their standards are “internationally benchmarked,” independent members of the expert panel in charge of validating the standards refute the claim. Panel member Dr. Sandra Stotsky of the University of Arkansas reported, “No material was ever provided to the Validation Committee or to the public on the specific college readiness expectations of other leading nations in mathematics” or other subjects.

In fact, Stanford University professor James Milgram, the only mathematician on the validation panel, concluded that the Common Core math scheme would place American students two years behind their peers in other high-achieving countries. In protest, Milgram refused to sign off on the standards. He’s not alone.

Professor Jonathan Goodman of New York University found that the Common Core math standards imposed “significantly lower expectations with respect to algebra and geometry than the published standards of other countries.”

Under Common Core, as the American Principles Project and Pioneer Institute point out, algebra I instruction is pushed to 9th grade, instead of 8th grade, as commonly taught. Division is postponed from 5th to 6th grade. Prime factorization, common denominators, conversions of fractions and decimals, and algebraic manipulation are de-emphasized or eschewed. Traditional Euclidean geometry is replaced with an experimental approach that had not been previously pilot-tested in the U.S.
via MichelleMalkin
RC
3:01PM JUN 14TH 2013
Jeb Bush and all the forces he marshalled behind Common Core made seminal mistake by allowing Obama to hijack it to implement a national curriculum he could not do through law. Additionally, the big money behind it also treasures the data provisions in RTTT. If you look here

ceds dot ed dot gov

, it should frighten you to death that the Obama administration is going to create a nationbal ID and database through the backdoor under RTTT. They built the data model and are giving it away for free to all those RTTT districts that have no choice other than to begin profiling every aspect of your childs and your families lives.

Legg is right, these decisions beleong at the School District level, not the Federal, or even the State. Unfortunatle, because Republican Legislators (I am a Republican) were so desperate to be able to balance the Florida budget in 2011 that they sold the sovereignty over your childs education to Barack Obama in exchange for $700 million dollars. They betrayed you and your children when they did that.
Jeb Bush is wrong on this and he will lose the run for Presidency if nominated.
Amazed
1:18PM JUN 14TH 2013
I am amazed you can sleep at night after some of these statements.

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