Despite the fact that he was an early adopter of the oft-maligned public school curriculum, the head of Kentucky’s education department recently posted some pointed criticism of the Common Core program and its implementation under U.S. Education Secretary Arne Duncan.
Dr. Terry Holliday dedicated multiple blog posts to the subject, recently criticizing Duncan’s requirement that states submit to a lengthy process in order to receive temporary waivers to existing No Child Left Behind mandates. He posted the entire waiver process as it is supposed to be implemented, noting that his state and others have experienced a far more difficult path to attaining a reprieve from its regulations.
“Kentucky requested a one-year waiver from science assessment from the USED,” Holliday wrote. “We needed the waiver in order to provide time for our teachers to actually implement standards and develop new assessment items for field testing in spring of 2015.”
Instead of receiving the waiver, however, he indicated that the federal agency sent him a denial.
“This is only one example of how the current waiver process is stifling innovation and intruding on a state’s ability to implement state requirements contained in state legislation,” he wrote. “There are other Kentucky examples and, in a recent meeting with other state chiefs, I heard many similar stories from other states.”
While state law and NCLB provisions instruct Kentucky schools to measure science proficiency “based on current state standards,” Holliday complained that the Education Department is demanding his state to test students on prior standards.
He also challenged the issuance of federal grants based on the Race to the Top initiative, suggesting that some states might have embraced the federal standards in violation of their own laws. In the end, he noted, it is incumbent upon the states to take charge of educating the next generation.
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“States are responsible for education,” he concluded. “Local school districts have tremendous flexibility and control in implementing state expectations. The federal role is and should continue to be limited to support for disadvantaged children.”
Photo Credit: Facebook/Parents and Educators Against Common Core Standards
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