Seattle pushes back on Common Core Standards and high-stakes testing


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.



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.

Adopted                                              by                                                                                     

Submitted by:

Breann Treffry, Washington State Against Common Core

Wayne Au, PhD, Associate Professor: Education Program at UW Bothell

Dora Taylor, President: Parents Across America

Post Script:

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:

Stop Common Core in Washington State

Truth in American Education

Common Core Standards

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.

Dora Taylor


17 thoughts on “Seattle pushes back on Common Core Standards and high-stakes testing

  1. Hi Dora and others,

    Is there a way that Social Equality Educators and the Respect slate running for leadership of SEA can support this resolution on March 9th? I’m just wondering if a press conference or other action is planned that we can help support. This resolution perfectly captures how corporate education “reform” is the wrong path to take if we are serious about delivering on the promise of a rich, quality public education for all. Well done.


  2. I’m confused by what action to take. To what “district” should we submit this and how, and with what instructions or request?

    1. If you’re in Seattle, get the resolution to your legislative district’s chair. For instance, if you live in the 36th District, contact your 36th Democratic District Chair, you can Google to find them vi the district’s FB page or wensite, and submit it to them.

      There will then be a vote on the resolution in your district on March 9th.

      The best strategy is to get the resolution submitted and then show up at the caucus meeting, with friends if you can get a few to join you, and be prepared to talk in support of the resolution. If you have an opportunity to present your case, you’ll have two minutes so be succinct and to the point on why the resolution should be passed.

      You can also prepare informational flyers to pass out before the meeting as people arrive so that folks have an idea of why the resolution should pass.

      It’s Democracy in action. It can be fun and exciting. The best part is that you meet a lot of like minded people who are engaged in what’s going on in their district and beyond.


      1. Will do. Thank you for the clarification. I was encouraged by the result of my recent trip to Olympia when the bill to use standardized test scores to evaluate teachers got voted down by all the Dems and 7 Republicans. I will certainly act on a local level. Thank you for the information.

  3. I’d like to support Sarajane’s excellent remarks above AND commit to sending these out to as many elected officials as possible, from local school boards to our city, county, state and federal elected officials, news organizations and the PTA organizations throughout our state.

    It’s time to fight back. And virtually every public opinion survey demonstrates that when the average voter understands what is really going on with our public schools and the danger posed by corporate control, the already tepid and superficial “support” for these so-called “reform” measures evaporates rapidly, often turning into outright hostility.

    I’m very happy to see an active “Fight Back” stance beginning to take shape.

    And don’t forget to inform and include conservative organizations in this effort as well. They know, as well as we non-conservatives know, that we’re going to disagree on almost all other issues, at all times. But we’re only playing into the hands of our worst mutual enemies—The Privatizers—if we allow them to keep dividing us on issues where we could ALL gain by coming together on specific issues, ignoring those other divisions, at least temporarily, so that we might BOTH succeed, against our REAL mutual enemy: Those who want our tax dollars for their corporate backers.

  4. Excellent job. I just forwarded it to every Democratic leader I could think of. One thought, though. I strongly recommend that the word “reform” be in quotes in the title and wherever it appears. This is a GOP frame that they use on many privatization and ALEC bills, such as giving letter grades to “failing” schools and school districts. The only real education reforms are the ones in two bills passed in 2009 and 2010 that define K-12 Basic Eduction, and on which the McCleary decision is based. We Democrats are the real reformers.

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