Cape Gazette
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Concern growing about Common Core standards

By Karen Gritton | May 24, 2014

There is a growing concern about Common Core State Standards and the high-stakes tests called assessments by more and more Delaware parents, teachers, religious leaders and school board members.

Over the past year, there have been several organized presentations by the Delaware State Department of Education throughout the state. Some of these presentations were not made available to the general public but were designed to gain buy in from our state legislators. Others were designed to receive little or no public comment but rather to promote Common Core as a way to render our children college and career ready." This program of educational standards and assessments is now coming under scrutiny by parents and local school boards.

Common Core is not what it is purported to be and we believe it is just the most recent in a long line of damaging national education initiatives designed to wield power over local districts with little in the way of empirical data to support the claims it makes to produce ‘college and career ready’ students.

High Stakes Testing (assessments) will not only determine the future of our children but that of our teachers and schools. Similar to No Child Left Behind (another failed attempt to bring accountability to a failing school system), Common Core has its own remediations that allow for school closings, teacher firings, student transfers, etc.

No matter what your position on Common Core, a growing number of parents and community leaders want you to know that our numbers are increasing every week. This situation is not going to go away. The education of our children is the responsibility of their parents and teachers. At no time was Common Core presented or reviewed by our local school boards, teachers, parents or even our elected legislators. When individual school districts were asked to ‘sign off’ to receive Race to the Top grant funding in 2009-2010, Common Core State Standards were almost an afterthought. In fact, when our Governor agreed to hold to the Common Core State Standards Initiative in 2009 those same standards had not yet been written. Our school boards signed up for grant money, period without understanding the long-range impact their uninformed decisions would make on our children and our teachers.

The latest push by some Republican and Democrat leaders is to rename this educational power grab to throw opponents off track and stay the course where educational reform is concerned. This too, is a futile effort and will be easily exposed by informed parents. This issue has awakened a sleeping giant, that of Parental Rights. The responsibility is now and has forever been that of parents for the best interests of their children. Exhausted, working two jobs and barely making ends meet can no longer distract parents from the issue of the future of our most precious commodity, our children. This matter will prove to be a litmus test in the 2014 and 2016 elections here in Delaware and across the nation.

Karen Gritton

Lincoln

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