Common concerns

Rachel Haidle, Bismarck

Forty-six states have attempted to implement the Common Core State Standards during the 2013-2014 school year. Thirty-one of those states are in various phases of re-evaluating Common Core or have rescinded adoption altogether. The Common Core is one of the most comprehensive attempts to control the details of education that the federal government has ever made. The Common Core lets federal bureaucrats and private organizations decide what children should learn and when they should learn it, robbing parents, teachers and local school districts of this important decision.

I am especially concerned with the federal government’s role in pushing the Common Core. Federal law prohibits the Department of Education from setting specific content standards, but using the Race to the Top program or a waiver of the No Child Left Behind program incentivized by $4.35 billion in federal grants, the federal government has enticed many states to adopt the Common Core and develop curriculum and assessments aligned to the Common Core. Furthermore, I am disturbed by the efforts of the Department of Education and the Department of Labor in connection with the Common Core to begin collecting large amounts of personal information on students from their preschool years through their entry into the workforce. This is extremely dangerous for the privacy of American schoolchildren.

It is very important to me that parents and teachers be allowed to decide what to teach their students and when to teach it. Please help stop the advance of the Common Core by becoming informed about this issue. An informational meeting with Duke Pesta of the University of Wisconsin, Oshkosh is being held May 8 at 7 p.m. at the Ramada Bismarck Hotel and also on May 9 at 7 p.m. at the Fargo Kelly Inn on Main Ave. I encourage you to contact your state legislators and ask them to sponsor or support legislation that will defund the implementation of the Common Core in North Dakota, as well as prohibit North Dakota school districts from aligning curriculum or testing with the Common Core.