Tag: Common Core

Fighting for the Repeal of Common Core

From Michigan education activist Melanie Kurdys (pictured):

“We are encouraging everyone to go see their state representative and senator this summer to encourage them to pass HB 4192 to Repeal & Replace Common Core.  It would be best if this discussion happened in an open forum, like a town hall.  But if you go see them at office hours, take a friend.  Four ears are better than 2!! People will need to press their local districts after the bill passes. Let’s make good use of this summer with legislators in their districts.  Hopefully they will return in September to pass HB 4192 FAST!!”

ECRP note: Even if you don’t have children or grandchildren in the school system, how our young people are largely educated impacts all of society.

Repeal Common Core Bill Has a Hearing

Associate Speaker of the House Pro Tem Rep. Gary Glenn, R-Midland, has introduced bipartisan legislation to repeal state Common Core educational standards in Michigan, replacing them with proven standards and more emphasis on local control.

Glenn’s bill is co-sponsored by 26 Republican and two Democratic members of the House.

Michigan began adopting the federal Common Core standards – related to teaching and testing of English and math – in 2010.

Glenn’s legislation would:

  • Eliminate Common Core as the state’s educational standard.
  • Replace them with acclaimed standards used in Massachusetts prior to the Obama Administration’s promotion of Common Core. Glenn cited a 2014 report from the Business Leaders for Michigan which noted, for example, that Massachusetts ranked first nationwide in fourth-grade reading (page 34), eighth-grade math (page 35) and career and college readiness (pages 36-37) while Michigan scored in the bottom half of the states.
  • Give local school boards in Michigan the authority to adjust the standards as they decide what best serves their students’ interests.
  • Parents would be free to opt their child out of any class, instruction or testing.
  • The state and local schools would be prohibited from collecting data regarding an individual student’s values, attitudes, beliefs, and personality traits, or the student’s political or religious affiliations or views.
  • Test questions used by public schools would be made easily available to the public.

“It’s past time for Michigan to regain control over the education of our own children,” Glenn said.

The newly-created Michigan Competitiveness Committee, chaired by Speaker of the House Pro Tem Rep. Lee Chatfield of Levering, will hold a public hearing on the bill Wednesday, Feb. 15 from noon to 1:30 p.m. in Lansing. The location of the hearing has not yet been finalized, but will occur either in the state Capitol or the House Office Building across the street depending on crowd size.

The legislation is House Bill 4192. Time to pack the House!

Update: You can watch the hearing here.

DeVos’ ‘Choice’ Generating Controversy

As many of you already know, President Trump nominated philanthropist Betsy DeVos, of Grand Rapids, to be his new administration’s U.S. Secretary of Education.

th9Y6KHSC3Mrs. DeVos’ name is well-known in Michigan; her nomination has sparked controversy due to her support for school choice and for her ability to raise millions (and give millions) to the Republican Party. Her husband, Dick, is an heir to the Amway fortune and a supporter of  “right-to-work” laws.

Eva Moskowitz, of the Success Academy Charter Schools, believes Mrs. DeVos would do an outstanding job, as Ed. Sec., shaking up the status quo. Read her piece. Conversely, Karen Braun, of Stop Common Core/Michigan, complains about DeVos’ ties to the Common Core Standards-friendly Great Lakes Education Project. Read her piece here.

And here’s more pro and con arguments.

Mrs. DeVos’ critics have also complained about her lack of professional experience in education. Whatcha think: Is this a plus or minus?

The U.S. Senate panel vote on her nomination is expected today. But it ain’t over, till it’s over. Stay tuned.

Update: BD confirmed on Feb. 7. Veep Pence casts the historic, deciding vote.

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