Though I have faith that the Wyoming State Board of Education did the best it could with the information it had when it chose to adopt the Common Core Standards this past summer, I am becoming convinced this decision was a mistake.
Citizens must understand the serious dangers: Loss of local control regarding what happens in the classroom, privacy concerns about data to be shared as it never has before, huge costs for the state, and what amounts to federal control over standards and curriculum in violation of three federal statutes.
Experts debate about the quality of the standards themselves, and very serious educational concerns have been raised. This would not be worrisome if we had flexibility to adjust the standards. But we won't. We've agreed to adopt them, even for subjects not yet written, as is. What will we do if those yet unseen standards are unworthy?
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Even more troubling, we will lose the opportunity to build "educational laboratories" across our state and country. Common Core Standards, and the national curriculum and tests soon to follow, will ensure that there's only one game in town, and that all kids will eventually be taught the same content the same way, geared toward the same test, regardless of their gifts, interests or needs. This approach utterly kills educational innovation, competition and choice, makes human beings products in a factory of narrow educational focus, and threatens the freedoms of home and private schools.
All this is coming down from unaccountable, distant board members, opening a wide door for sociopolitical agendas to be promoted through the schools. It's simply too few people with too much power, while Wyoming citizens will pay the cost and have no voice.
I implore you to research the Common Core and what grassroots movements and some state legislatures are doing to stop it. A great start is the American Principles Project video at http://truthinamericaneducation.com. Please explore this website thoroughly.
For Little Snake River Valley residents, another opportunity to learn more will be at the Repeal Senate File 104 meeting May 7.