Educational Decisions Are Meaningless Without Political Freedom   Leave a comment

Some teachers and administrators like Common Core standards.  Some don’t.  Those who like them are unhappy that I (and others like me) are petitioning Utah’s leaders to sever ties with Common Core and the SBAC.  Yesterday, an administrator accused me of not caring about education but only about politics.  How can she separate the two?  Educational decisions are meaningless without political freedom.

Like this administrator, I love the idea of higher educational aspirations and standards for our kids.   Why does she believe that if we sever ties with CCI and SBAC we’ll lose any good thing that has happened in Utah’s educational system as a result of beginning the CCI implementation this year?  Why would we lose any good academic choice in salvaging the academic freedom to choose?  It makes no sense.

Not only can we retain all the good we want to retain, since it’s all in public domain and we didn’t get any new standard that we’ll have to return; but importantly, we will retain our educational sovereignty.  If we sever ties with CC and SBAC:

  • No one will be able to tell us that we can’t raise Utah’s educational standards even higher (because of the severed necessity of staying “common” with the other consortium states).
  •  No one will be able to tell us that they’ve changed the CCSS standards at the federal level and that we must now, by mandate, add ideas and values to our curriculum and standards that we may oppose whether on academic, social, political, religious, or privacy related grounds.
  •  We will not be bound to the CCSS, which as you know, has NO AMENDMENT PROCESS.  We will not be bound to the SBAC tests, which, as you know, have zero input from the Utah Common Core and are based on the federal CCSS standards alone.  We will not be financially and technologically invested in a system that does not look kindly on withdrawals.

Posted April 11, 2012 by Christel Swasey in Uncategorized

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