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Issue Position: Common Core

Issue Position

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Common Core is a nation-wide effort that claims to ensure that our future labor force is prepared to compete in the competitive global economy. Common Core is a national framework of goals and assessments (tests) being promoted by the National Governor's Association working in conjunction with state school administrators and private foundations. It seeks to establish a national framework for nationally unified curriculum standards. It sounds reasonable in its intent. However, what it will produce, according to national policy experts, is essentially a unified, national curriculum for America's local schools.

Federal law prohibits the federal government from developing a federal curriculum, but there is no legal prohibition from the states moving toward this effort on their own. And that is what's happening across the country.

Several years ago, the federal No Child Left Behind law established a precedent; for the very first time, the federal government told local school districts that it must test students at certain grade levels.

Common Core builds upon this precedent. States that adopt Common Core standards will not only be required to test, they will now be told by the U.S. Department of Education what tests their students must take.

What is the practical impact of Common Core? Once fully implemented, common core will allow national entities to determine what students are taught at the local level. Common Core is the means by which federal bureaucrats will exercise inappropriate control over local schools.

Alabama should follow the lead of other states and back away from Common Core and develop our own high standards. We need innovation and entrepreneurship in education, not a national, top down solution. We need choice and local control -- not mediocre national standards or federal bureaucrats imposing national standards.


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