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Representative Orrall’s amendments include Amendment No. 16, which would require a cost benefit analysis be performed by the Department of Education on using the new assessment. The analysis will be provided to the legislature upon completion. Amendment No. 36 would limit the Department of Education’s authority to make such dramatic changes in educational policy without legislative input. Amendment No. 52 would pause the implementation of the PARCC assessment until the required analysis and reporting back to the legislature are completed. Amendment No. 61 would require the state to reimburse any town for expenses incurred while upgrading information technology to accommodate the new assessments. Finally, Amendment No. 1076 would establish a legislative task force to provide an independent evaluation of the current Common Core standards adopted by the state board.
Amendment 16: Adopted; as changed
Amendment 36: Consolidated in Amendment A
Amendment 52: Consolidated in Amendment A
Amendment 61: Consolidated in Amendment A
Amendment 1076: Consolidated in Amendment A
Although Common Core is ostensibly a program of voluntary cooperation among states to create one set of content standards for all public schools in the whole country, HSLDA has grave concerns about this program, and more and more organizations are lining up to oppose it.
It’s touted as a program of “voluntary cooperation” among states: in fact, states are getting fistfuls of federal money to ditch their own carefully developed standards and embrace a national standard. It’s touted as being academically sound: in fact, it’s a “dumbing down” of standards that individual states already have. And while Common Core currently only applies to public schools, HSLDA’s long history of fighting against a national, one-size-fits-all approach to what children learn is due to our concerns that homeschoolers would one day be forced to use the same curriculum that all other school children are using. In fact, there is discussion of aligning tests that homeschoolers take (like the SAT) to the Common Core, which would pressure homeschool parents to align their homeschool curriculum to what public school students are being taught. In addition, some of the supporters of the Common Core’s central databases are already discussing expanding their program to include the personal data of homeschool students.
Proponents talk about Common Core as a spontaneous movement of individual states working under the auspices of the National Governor’s Association. But through the Federal Department of Education’s Race to the Top program, federal education dollars are used to lure states to adopt the Common Core and this gives more power over the drafting of educational standards that will be used in schools all across the United States to federal education bureaucrats who are far removed from the parents and teachers at the local level.
For generations, Americans believed that Washington, D.C. should stay out of what local elementary school children learn. But Common Core threatens this historic tradition.
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