Much was said Friday in the House Education Committee about the Common Core Standards.
Much of it was wrong.
Education Secretary Melody Schopp obviously understands CCS. I can say with confidence that Reps. Jim Bolin and Ray Ring understand them too. As for the rest of them, well, are we sure this was the House Education Committee?
“What is wrong with having a standard that makes it so that we don’t pass kids that can’t read because we have to get them to the next grade?” - Rep. Scott Ecklund, R-Brandon
He seems to be confusing standards with proficiency benchmarks. The CCS say what students should know and be able to do. They are what a teacher’s curriculum is based upon. They are not cut scores on standardized tests.
“If we don’t have these Common Core Standards, who will set the standard?” - Rep. Burt Tulson, R-Lake Norden
I can’t be sure, but he seems to think what Ecklund thinks.
“I’d like to reiterate what Dr. Shoop said. Common Core Standards do not dictate what the children are going to be taught, nor does it tell us how they’re going to be taught. It only measures their performance, where they stand at any one time.” - Rep. Timothy Johns, R-Lead
Her name is Schopp, and she didn’t say that the CCS measure student performance. The CCS-aligned tests will do that, of course, but that’s a separate matter.
“It’s so jargon-filled that parents will never again be able to help their kids with homework.” - Art Marmorstein, NSU professor who called in
Sure, some of the tasks described in CCS are hard to read. But the “jargon” in the CCS is not what’s going to be on a kid’s homework assignment.
“It’s dumbed down, what I’ve read. I’ve read that, for instance, what is taught in 8th grade now will be taught in 9th.” - Linda Schauer, Concerned Women for America
The opposite is true.
“The Common Core’s here. Math and reading, period. OK, so that’s past the fact. It was adopted in 2010 by the Board of Education. We took an entire year of public comment. We had educators from across the state who weighed in on the pros and the cons of the Common Core. We had no opposition to the Common Core. We didn’t have people who came out and testified in that public hearing.” - Melody Schopp
I think she’s right that no educator spoke against CCS, but Steve “Sibby” Sibson did testify against them in Mitchell.
“If the bill becomes law, it’s almost certain to have no consequence. The Common Core initiative was limited to math and English language arts, and there are no plans to expand into other subjects. Other groups are working on standards for science, world languages and arts, but Bolin’s bill is specific to the Common Core initiative.” - Josh Verges, Argus Leader
I’m confident this part of my story today is accurate, but Rep. Bolin doesn’t think so. He wrote in an email to me: “There are new standards coming. They may change the names but the whole whole think is designed to have national standards and national control over schools in the country.” [sic]
The CCS website says otherwise: “CCSSO and NGA are not leading the development of standards in other academic content areas. Below is information on efforts of other organizations to develop standards in other academic subjects. …” http://www.corestandards.org/resources/frequently-asked-questions
I’ll leave you with another quote from Friday’s hearing, which I will not attempt to fact-check:
“Government’s been running education in South Dakota since 1889 with minimal or low standards, and as I look around the room, I see a bunch of intelligent, apt individuals who are able to take care of themselves and be successful. I would argue that we’re searching for a solution to a problem that doesn’t exist.” - Rep. Dan Kaiser, R-Aberdeen