Initially sold as a vehicle through which states could design their own specific educational standards, Common Core has since been roundly criticized as yet another federal power grab within America’s public school system. In addition to redefining time-tested teaching methods, the curriculum has also come under fire for the inclusion of leftist ideology within virtually any subject imaginable.
Other complaints against the program include its ability to collect a wide array of personal information from each student. Furthermore, critics say the curriculum dismisses the importance of artistic expression – including literary masterpieces – and replaces such studies with impersonal standardized lesson plans.
As a result, several states have already enacted legislation designed to drop the federally mandated program in favor of more sensible alternatives.
Unfortunately, the departments of Justice and Education have fought back. News broke this week that the two agencies sent a letter to Indiana officials warning them that their plan to replace Common Core – even though the state’s previous education program was among the nation’s best – would result in serious consequences.
Nevertheless, state opposition to the program continues. As recent reports indicate, Missouri legislators passed a bill that would sever ties between the state and the Common Core curriculum.
House Bill 1490 reportedly sailed through both of the state’s legislative chambers. Members of the House and Senate are now set to convene to iron out a few differences between two versions of the bill.
What both chambers agreed on, however, is the importance of local educators being responsible for determining how the state’s next generation is taught.
The bill gives local school boards the reins in the “approval and adoption of curriculum used by the school district,” and calls on “work groups composed of educational professionals” to establish standards for the states students.
Common Core will remain in place under the bill until the 2016-17 school year in an effort to ensure a smooth transition into the new teaching standards.
Ron Calzone, a spokesperson for the advocacy group Missouri First, praised the language for giving “the schools that have invested a lot of time preparing for what Governor [Jay] Nixon obligated them to a graceful way out, while stopping CC in the long run.”
Reports indicate Missouri’s action goes a step further than some other states that merely replaced the program with very similar standards in the pursuit of maintaining federal funding.