And I read an absolutely brilliant piece in my favorite print publication in Massachusetts. I love it. The Boston Broadside. I urge everybody to subscribe to it.
In the current issue there is a piece on the cover front page story. By Dona. Colorio, I hope I’m pronouncing that correctly. She is the chairperson of end common core in Massachusetts. She is spearheading. A ballot initiative. We need over a 100000 signatures. To put on the ballot in 2016…and join me now is Ms. Colorio, Donna, thank you so much for …”
Here’s Donna’s Article in the Nov. Edition of the Boston Broadside
by Donna Colorio
The Massachusetts educational system, once considered the envy of the nation, is undergoing a radical transformatio – a dramatic “race to the middle” caused by former Governor Deval Patrick and his education commissioner, Mitchell Chester.
As the leader of Common Core Forum, a grassroots group of parents and educators dedicated to restoring our high pre-Common Core standards, I write today to ask for your help in our final sprint to collect 100,000 signatures to place a repeal of Common Core on the ballot. With just two weekends left before our November 17 deadline, we need all hands on deck to gather as many signatures as possible.
What is Common Core, and how did we get here? Why should YOU be involved?
In 2010, a D.C.-based nonprofit called Achieve, under the guidance of the National Governors Association and the Council of Chief State School Officers, created what is now known as the “Common Core” standards. The goal was to create standardized learning throughout our country.
The lack of transparency regarding how we came to this juncture is disturbing. In May 2008, The Gates Foundation started funding the promotion of the Common Core standards. In December 2008, the National Governors Association, Council of Chief State School Officers, and Achieve released their report “Benchmarking for Success.”
The first draft of the Common Core grade level standards was released to states in November 2009. The first public draft followed on March 10, 2010. By that time, 40 states had already applied for Race to the Top phase-one grant funding.
If the new and largely untested Common Core standards were not adopted by a state by Aug. 1, 2010, the state would lose crucial points in Round 2, so off we went.
Massachusetts applied for Race to the Top funds by the Jan. 19, 2010, round one deadline. Our Department of Elementary and Secondary Education adopted the Common Core state standards that July, with a goal to be fully implemented in 2013-14.
Just like that, essentially brand new curricular standards had re-oriented 17 years of curricular development and MCAS alignment, which had evolved in Massachusetts since passage of the Education Reform Act of 1993.
Now it is clear: Parents, elected representatives, school committee members and teachers appear to have been largely bypassed in the initial process of adopting the Common Core state standards.
Educational policy is too important to be decided this way. It ignores the very heart of the democratic process, and the value of thoughtful, deliberative, inclusive planning. As parents and educators, we at Common Core Forum decided our journey down this dangerous path must be stopped, and our excellent pre-2010 standards restored. That is what our ballot question will do, and we ask for your support in our final stretch.
As a parent and School Committee member, I didn’t take up this cause lightly. I asked many questions that still have gone unanswered:
How much local control of education do we lose to a nationalized-educational curriculum? Are the present Massachusetts educational standards (using the MCAS as a benchmark) better or at least equal to the Common Core? How much will this new standard cost the Massachusetts taxpayers (estimates are over $15 billion)? What kind of tests will be required as a result of the implementation of the Common Core? How are our disadvantaged or higher achieving students affected by this change in standards? What will the impact be on our teachers?
The silence is deafening.
What is clear, is that Common Core WILL:
1. Take away local control of our
2. Implement lower, federal education
3. Violate our children’s privacy
4. Cost our Commonwealth scarce
I have long believed that education is a state and local responsibility. I believe it is our job to ensure that our students are being taught to the highest academic standards and that curriculum is developed or chosen by our state and/or local authority. At minimum, our signature drive begins a conversation that includes parents, teachers, voters and other stakeholders ignored at the outset of the implementation of Common Core.
Action Plan – The 2016 Ballot initiative is a BIG DEAL – it is the first in the nation. If we successfully get the question on the 2016 ballot, it will serve as a model for other states to bypass legislators and unelected bureaucrats and rip out Common Core by its roots … via citizen action. Imagine the nationwide repercussions if we not only get on the ballot but we WIN? It will be the death-knell of Common Core.
This Can Be Your Legacy – please, volunteer NOW – with whatever time you can spare. We are well along in obtaining the 100,000 signatures needed. But we need your help. Be part of this historic initiative … twenty or thirty years from now, you can share with your grandkids that you were part of that END COMMON CORE MA effort that saved America’s educational system.
Please join me today. Call 508-658-0223 or email EndCommonCoreMA@gmail.com. Thank you.
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