From the Living in Dialogue blog:
What follows is a joint statement from Paul Horton and Heather Patenaude reflecting their mutual concerns about the Common Core.
There are many voices coming together across the state of Illinois to oppose the Race To The Top Mandates and the Common Core State Standards. We are two unlikely allies in this fight against Common Core, but wanted to present to you a united front in our desire to stop Common Core in Illinois.
In normal life our paths would not cross, but we have joined forces to stop Common Core in our state. We are seeing liberals and conservatives opposing different aspects of the Race To The Top Mandates and the Common Core Curriculum.
Here are our joint concerns:
1) We see the RTTT mandates and the Common Core Curriculum as a complete loss of state control of standards and want to see the control of standards brought back to the state and local levels.
2) We want all state and Federal mandates associated with NCLB and RTTT repealed at all levels! We want repeal legislation introduced in the Illinois legislature. Twelve other states have already done this in addition to the five that refused to endorse the mandates.
3) We would like to see empirical data produced by independent educational researchers who take no money from foundations and individuals who support RTTT and the Common Core Standards that demonstrates the effectiveness of the standards. At this point these standards remain untested, so their empirical viability can not be proven.
4) There are many other aspects of the RTTT mandates and the Common Core Curriculum that are alarming: data tracking (P20), no solid cost analysis at a time when every district is struggling financially, a “teach to the test” mentality that denigrates authentic assessment in favor of multiple choice tests and computer grading of essay, high stakes testing, corruption on many levels as huge corporate vendors like Pearson Education drive out competition and create “imperfect” market conditions, the “one size” fits all education mentality that devalues creativity and imagination, and the “back door” method that the RTTT mandates and the Common Core Standards were ushered into our state. All of these issues need to be examined carefully in public hearings that were never a part of the writing or the state adoption of RTTT and the Common Core Standards.
Please understand that this is not a partisan issue.