President Obama has nominated Acting Secretary of Education John King, Jr. to be the new Secretary of Education to replace Arne Duncan who departed the end of 2015. King comes off a disastrous tenure leading the New York State Education Department. Now Obama wants to give him access to all America’s children!
The basic question is does the Constitution give the federal government the authority to intervene in education in any way? Nowhere in Article 1, Section 8 is that power included in the list of powers given to Congress. Article II does not give that power to the Executive nor does Article III give it to the Judiciary.
Senator Andy Dinniman (D-19) has introduced SB 1382 which would give control of graduation requirements back into the hands of local districts and out of the hands of federal and state governments. Under current law, high school students beginning with the class of 2017 (those currently entering sophomore year) will have to pass high-stakes Keystone Graduation Exams in three subject areas (Algebra I, Biology and Language Arts) in order to earn a diploma. These are developed with no input from teachers teaching those courses. This will simply lead to more “teaching to the test.”
Rep. Jeff Duncan (R-SC) has introduced a resolution, H. Res. 476, which denounces the use of federal coercion to lure states into adopting the Common Core Standards. On the Senate side, Sen. Lindsey Graham’s (R-SC) has introduced S. Res. 345. These resolutions also emphasize the importance of local control of education.
Those supporting Common Core — in PA called Pennsylvania Core Standards – a simple name change offered by the PA Department of Education to appease those of us who say it’s a national curriculum, which all the evidence points to — is mounting an all out offensive by Chambers of Commerce and local school boards from across the state. They want this ‘monster’ in our schools!! Thus far the supporters of the Pennsylvania Core Standards are outnumbering the opponents in submittals to the Independent Regulatory Review Commission (IRRC). We need those who oppose this total remaking of our education system to send their concerns to the IRRC.
The next hearing of the Independent Regulatory Review Commission (IRRC) concerning Common Core is November 21st at 10:00 a.m. in Harrisburg. They will be hearing testimony at that time, but if you cannot attend the meeting, they will accept your written testimony up till November 19th.
On September 12th, the PA State Board of Education voted to approve the “Keystone Exams” and adopt what the Board called “state-developed academic standards”. However nothing they adopted changes the goal of Common Core and none of it looks good for PA school districts nor their students.
Yesterday, (9/12/13) the PA State Board of Education voted 13 – 4 to approve the “Keystone Exams” and adopt what the Board called “state-developed academic standards”. We heard the Secretary of Education Catherine Dumaresq tell us last night that what they adopted were NOT national Common Core standards, but state standards and that they included strict provisions against additional student testing above what PA currently has. Many opponents of Common Core question this, saying that these new standards are nearly identical to the national standards and that invasive testing will still occur.
Today beginning at 1:00 p.m. the Senate Education Committee will hold just such a hearing where individuals for and against Common Core will testify. The chairman of that committee is Senator Mike Folmer who opposes Common Core.