Legislatures taking state education into their own hands

Aug 3, 2014 by

The backlash against the Common Core has prompted lawmakers in at least 12 states to get more involved in setting their own K-12 academic standards, injecting politics into a process usually conducted in obscurity by bureaucrats.

In several states, legislators have placed new restrictions on state boards of education, which typically write and update academic standards. In others, lawmakers have opened up the development of standards to greater scrutiny, requiring that proposals receive public vetting.

And in Oklahoma, which has embarked on an extreme makeover of its standards process, lawmakers passed a law that lets them rewrite any standards they don’t like.

Oklahoma lawmakers in May voted to scrap the Common Core State Standards, the national academic standards that were set to take effect in the coming school year, which begins there in two weeks. The legislature sent its state board of education back to the drawing board with directions to write entirely new standards by 2016.

“It’s just completely an overreaction for state legislatures to believe they can develop and manage and implement academic standards,” said Reggie Felton of the National School Boards Association, which represents school boards around the country and opposed the changes in Oklahoma. “They don’t have the technical capacity to do that.”

Politicians shouldn’t set academic standards, Felton said.

“The greater concern is that various organizations, through their own lobbying efforts or simply because they have the right money behind them, will influence these members,” he said.

via Legislatures taking state education into their own hands – The Washington Post.

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