Michigan Rolls Back Common Core, Pulls Funding for Implementation

After signing the state’s budget last Thursday, Governor Rick Snyder announced Michigan is now one of two states that has decided not to implement Common Core Standards for English and mathematics. Brian Smith of M Live reports that lawmakers are planning on revisiting the implementation of the standards in the fall, according to House Speaker Jase Bolger.

“I’ve asked members to go home all summer, to talk to people in the education committee, talk to their citizens, get informed and to be ready to come back to cast a vote, yes or no, in regard to moving forward with Common Core,” Bolger said after the budget signing.

The vote will happen before the new fiscal year on October 1st before the provision blocking funding for Common Core Standards in the Michigan Department of Education budget would take effect, according to Bolger.

It was decided by both houses of the state legislature that any assessments based on the standards or any spending for their implementation is prohibited without obtaining legislative authorization.

Common Core Standards have generated increasing controversy in recent months. Particularly, many conservative groups fear that schools will lose local autonomy and control over curriculum by deferring to what are, in effect, national standards.

Potential Republican presidential candidate Sen. Rand Paul (R-Kentucky) has called Common Core “a dangerous new curriculum that will only make public education worse and waste more of our money” and describing the standards, developed by the National Governors Association and the Council of Chief State School Officers, as “the same old radical Progressive ideology in a new package.”

“Instead of teaching kids about our Constitution and our heritage, Common Core will teach students to be ‘global citizens.’ It gets worse. Common Core also mandates that school districts track everything about our nation’s children and report it back to the federal government,” Paul is quoted as saying.

Common Core makes no reference to data collection. The group that developed the Common Core Standards, the Common Core State Initiative, explicitly denies that data collection is required of participating states.

In June of 2010 the Michigan State Board of Education adopted Common Core Standards and the state’s school districts have been altering their curriculum to match since, according to the Michigan Department of Education.

The state has also taken part in a multi-state initiative to develop assessments scheduled to release in time for the 2014-2015 school year.

Six weeks ago, Indiana became the first state to withdraw from Common Core, and in early June Minnesota announced that it will continue with Common Core reading standards, but will keep its own math curriculum.

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