The Battle for Seattle continues.
Please submit this resolution, modified for your district, for adoption at the March 9th Democratic district caucuses, specifically the legislative district chair. The deadline for submissions is this Wednesday. The more districts that pass a resolution against Common Core Standards, the more likely it will pass at the county and, ultimately, the state levels.
RACE TO THE TOP AND COMMON CORE STATE STANDARDS EDUCATION “REFORMS”
WHEREAS the Common Core State Standards (CCSS) are a set of academic standards, promoted and supported by two private membership organizations, the National Governors’ Association (NGA) and the Council of Chief State School Officers (CCSSO), who receive millions of dollars from private third parties, philanthropies, and corporate interests to advocate for and develop the CCSS without a grant of authority from any state; and
WHEREAS the CCSS were developed by a committee of 24 individuals, almost all of whom were associated with educational corporations, with no decision-making authority granted to practicing K-12 teachers, through a process not subject to public scrutiny or Freedom of Information Act laws, and were adopted by the Legislature without sufficient opportunity for public review or comment; and
WHEREAS funding the implementation of the CCSS, its associated reforms, and the assessments developed by the Smarter Balanced Assessment Consortium (SBAC) is a substantial financial burden on local school districts, the state, and taxpayers in a time when Washington is already insufficiently fulfilling its paramount duty to fully fund K-12 education; and
WHEREAS the CCSS have never been piloted, tested, or proven in any arena to increase student learning or prepare students for college or career, and the funds allocated for their implementation and associated reforms and assessments are made unavailable for purposes that have been proven effective, such as reducing class sizes and hiring teachers, providing special education services, diversifying course offerings, etc; and
WHEREAS research has proven that high-stakes, standardized tests of any kind limit the curriculum to tested subjects and have caused changes to pedagogy in ways that are detrimental to student learning, and there is no evidence that SBAC developed assessments for the teaching and learning of the CCSS will depart from this historical norm, and
WHEREAS research has continually raised serious and substantive questions about the accuracy and statistical reliability of using high-stakes, standardized tests to measure learning and evaluate teaching, and there is no evidence that the SBAC developed assessments for the teaching and learning of the CCSS are any more accurate and statistically reliable for evaluating teaching and learning; and
WHEREAS Race to the Top (RTTT), CCSS “reforms”, and the SBAC developed assessments include and facilitate the collection of confidential personal and non-educational student, family, and teacher data, and the SBAC Cooperative Agreement allows for access to that data by the federal government and third party organizations without parent, student, or teacher notification or prior written consent;
THEREFORE BE IT RESOLVED that the King County Democratic Party recognizes RTTT and CCSS “reforms” as a coordinated effort to centralize control of public education under the influence of private interests; and
BE IT FURTHER RESOLVED that we oppose high-stakes testing and any attempt to tie teacher evaluations to the SBAC developed assessments or other state test, further raising the stakes of high stakes testing and distorting the teaching profession; and
BE IT FURTHER RESOLVED that we urge the Legislature to reconsider its adoption of the CCSS and direct the Superintendent of Public Instruction (SPI) to withdraw Washington state from the SBAC, allowing local control of education to return to Washington state and Washington districts.
Breann Treffry, Washington State Against Common Core
Wayne Au, PhD, Associate Professor: Education Program at UW Bothell
Dora Taylor, President: Parents Across America
We encourage people in Seattle and beyond to print this resolution and take it with you to school events, PTA meetings, your community and civic meetings and your district’s legislative town hall for discussion and action.
We can do this.
For additional information on the Common Core Standards with a focus on Washington State as well as opting out of the MAP test and state test, see:
A recommended article is The Trouble with the Common Core.
Post Script 2:
March 10, 2014
The resolution passed in the 36th District which is where I reside. Now it’s on to the County and State meetings to vote on the resolution being a part of the Democratic Party platform.