Democrat Party leaders in the state of Washington have condemned the Common Core standards in a new resolution, one that is similar to a resolution passed by Washington State Republicans last year.
On Saturday, Democrats met in Olympia and approved a resolution that says their state was pressured unfairly into adopting the controversial standards nearly five years ago, reports the Associated Press (AP).
“They are asking the Legislature and Superintendent of Public Instruction Randy Dorn to back away from the Common Core and return to a similar list of education goals created in Washington state,” the AP notes.
Dorn, however, said he supports the controversial standards because he believes they allow families in transition – such as those in the military – to receive a similar education regardless of their location.
“This levels the playing field,” he said.
“I do not believe that most people understand what this is about. It’s become a political propaganda issue,” Dorn continued. “This wasn’t just done overnight. This was done over a long period of time with a lot of input from teachers and administrators, and top education researchers.”
The Common Core standards are a federally promoted education initiative introduced in the Obama administration’s 2009 stimulus bill through a competitive grant program called Race to the Top (RttT). States could apply and compete for federal grant money and obtain waivers from the federal No Child Left Behind law as long as they adopted a set of common standards and aligned testing, and designed student data collection systems and teacher evaluations based on student performance on the assessments aligned with the standards.
The standards were developed by three private organizations in Washington, D.C.: the National Governors Association (NGA), the Council for Chief State School Officers (CCSSO), and progressive education company Achieve Inc. All three organizations were privately funded by the Bill and Melinda Gates Foundation, and none of these groups are accountable to parents, teachers, students, or taxpayers.
There is no official information about who selected the individuals to write the Common Core standards. None of the writers of the math and English Language Arts standards have ever taught math, English, or reading at the K-12 level. In addition, the Standards Development Work Groups did not include any members who were high school English and mathematics teachers, English professors, scientists, engineers, parents, state legislators, early childhood educators, and state or local school board members.
The 46 state boards of education, most of them unelected, that signed onto the unproven Common Core standards did so with little, if any, public or media scrutiny, prior to even seeing the standards themselves.
According to the AP, Democrats in Washington state say the controversial Common Core standards allow the federal government too much power over education decisions. They also observe the influence of corporate and special interests over officials and politicians, particularly in the millions spent by the Gates Foundation and other groups to privately fund development and implementation of the Common Core.