Michigan Has Bill to Repeal Common Core – Where’s DeVos support?
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Betsy DeVos, President Elect Trump’s pick for US Secretary of Ed has recently stated that she is opposed to Common Core. Interestingly, her home state of Michigan is trying to pass a bill, SB-826, to repeal the Common Core standards and replace them with, not a re-brand, but Pre-Common Core standards from Massachusetts. The bill has sat idle, ignored, stalled, since it was referred to the Full Senate back in April.
DeVos and the Great Lakes Education Project* (GLEP) group she has funded and directed, still have time to support this bill and demand it be put on the calendar and voted on. *Unfortunately, GLEP had previously stated that they “support common core”, perhaps they have since changed their mind? Sadly, another group partnered with GLEP, the Michigan Coalition for High Student Standards, actually testified against SB-826 on April 19, 2016.
MCHH claimed that “Changing standards now would undo recent progress” –What progress? As Senator Colbeck explains in his testimony below, Michigan’s progress in reading and math has declined since adopting Common Core standards. (And let’s not forget the latest PISA results which show that since adopting Common Core, the US is falling behind other countries.)
What a great opportunity for Ms. DeVos to show she is opposed to Common Core and help get this anti-Common Core bill passed!
Read more about the bill SB826 here. If the bill is not put on the calendar for a vote, it will automatically die at the end of this December legislative session.
As reported in this April 19, 2016 Michigan Senate Republican Caucus press release,
“LANSING, Mich. — State Sen. Patrick Colbeck, R-Canton, offered testimony on Tuesday in the Senate Education Committee to repeal Michigan’s adoption of Common Core Standards and replace them with the Pre-Common Core Massachusetts Standards.
Senate Bill 826, which was introduced by Sen. Colbeck to facilitate this change, is based on House Bill 5444, drafted by state Rep. Gary Glenn, R-Midland, with input from Michigan teachers and students.
“I fully support the goal set by the Michigan Department of Education in December of 2015 to make Michigan a top ten education state in ten years,” said Sen. Colbeck. “In order to achieve this goal, it is critical that we pursue evidence-based strategies, and the evidence pertaining to the adoption of Common Core Standards is not good for our students or teachers.”
The Michigan State Board of Education adopted Common Core Standards for English Language Arts and Math in June 2010. The Board adopted Next Generation Science Standards in December 2015 and is currently considering the adoption of new Social Studies Standards.
Sen. Colbeck continued, “Our students and teachers deserve the best standards available. The Pre-Common Core Massachusetts Standards have been shown to consistently produce a high level of academic excellence in a variety of subjects.”
Michigan currently ranks 38th in reading and 37th in math. The State Board of Education adopted the Common Core Standards in 2010 without any evidence of academic performance improvements in an attempt to qualify for Federal Race to the Top funding.
Sen. Colbeck provided evidence that Michigan’s reading and math performance were demonstrating upward trends prior to the adoption of Common Core. Since adopting the Common Core Standards, the evidence shows that academic improvement by Michigan students in these areas has leveled off and even started to decline.
The Senate Education Committee will continue hearings on SB 826 in coming weeks.”
It’s been a few weeks, 32 in fact, and nothing has happened with this seemingly abandoned, yet important, bill.
President Elect Trump promised to end Common Core and the data mining associated with it. We have asked before if Trump and DeVos will truly end Common Core. Parents, students, and legislators have spoken out against Common Core. Since Ms. DeVos now opposes Common Core, will she help her state of Michigan end Common Core?
The bill is ready and waiting. So are we.
Contact Michigan Senate Majority Leader Meekhoff at (517) 373-6920 or by email at SenAMeekhof@senate.michigan.gov ask him to schedule this SB-826 bill in the Senate, so it can be voted on and then heard in the House. Ask your legislators to support this bill; vote yes to end Common Core.