Do they not know that states that have it are trying to get out of it?
by Celeste Busby
Believe it or not, the Virginia School Board Association (VSBA) is encouraging the Virginia Board of Education (VBOE) to adopt Common Core. Have they not paid any attention to the abundance of states that are trying to get out of Common Core? Have they not checked out the complaints from other states like New York where only 33 percent of students passed the end-of-year tests, or like Montgomery County, Maryland where Algebra students and their families had to cancel vacation plans so that that the 80 percent of students that failed algebra could take a mandatory summer school class in algebra in order to pass? Have they not heard that Virginia has already added Common Core content to its Standards of Learning (SOL) and that, especially, in math our students are failing because of the crazy way math is being taught?
Common Core is not the fix for education that is already clearly not working! In the VSBA’s report “Legislative Positions of the Virginia School Boards Association,” dated January 2014, on page 22, section 1.5 Aligning State and Federal Accountability Programs, they share their position on two programs related to standards, and encourage the VBOE to rethink its past decision to not sign up for Common Core. The VSBA’s reasoning is:
It will be complicated, burdensome, and expensive for schools and school divisions as well as the state to implement and comply with the requirements of these two accountability programs. The VSBA urges the Board of Education to regularly review and revise the Standards of Accreditation so that the assessment accountability program mandated therein does not conflict with the implementation of the federal accountability program mandated in the No Child Left Behind Act.
The VSBA urges the Board of Education to re-evaluate the decision not to adopt the Common Core State Standards. . . .
The VSBA urges the Board of Education to provide information to local school boards during the course of the Board’s re-evaluation so that school boards can become better informed regarding the Common Core State Standards. The VSBA urges the Board of Education to seek and consider the input of local school boards on the consideration of the Common Core State Standards.
From Louden County: In the March 2014, VSBA Communications Plus—A Communications Service for Education (gina@VSBA.org), on the front page, it states, “Many of the objections to the new [CCSS] standards are based on inadequate communications. Read these suggestions for spreading the word about the Common Core in your community.” The suggestions are about four pages later in a section called “Common Core State Standards, What Do Board Members Need to Know?” and they are:
- Find out what Common Core really is.
- Make sure you know what your district’s plan of implementation is so you
can talk knowledgeably with your superintendent and other leaders.
- Make sure you understand your local approach to Common Core.
- Communicate with your community.
- Learn about the plan for testing in your area.
Of course, there is a defining statement under each of these.
Also in that section under “Background,” it states “The CCSS were developed through the leadership of the National Governors Association (NGA) and the Council of Chief State School Officers . . .” However, it says nothing about the fact that the NGA, even though it is co-owner of the copyright to the CCSS, is now not taking a position on the CCSS, http://www.breitbart.com/Big-Government/2014/07/14/National-Governors-Group-Avoids-Radioactive-Common-Core and one governor has suggested that the CCSS are “radioactive,” while another has called them “toxic.”
I encourage everyone to contact their school board members, telling them to oppose the VSBA’s position to adopt Common Core for Virginia. Also you can contact the Virginia Board of Education by either calling Melissa Luchau at 804-225-2924, or E-mailing her at firstname.lastname@example.org. She will put the information that you send to her in the board member’s packets. You can also schedule a three-minute talk at the monthly VBOE meeting through Ms. Luchau.