Colorado Springs News, Sports & Business

Gazette Premium Content GUEST COLUMN: Reasons Colorado should opt out of Common Core

Terri Carver Published: March 2, 2014

In 2010, Colorado committed itself to Common Core educational requirements to compete for federal "Race to the Top" funding. There are four reasons why Colorado should clearly opt out of Common Core, the sooner the better.

Common Core drives standardization of educational curriculum. We achieve educational excellence in Colorado when local school districts and charter schools can be innovative in determining educational curriculum. Common Core requirements conflict with local control of educational curriculum mandated by our Colorado Constitution. They also conflict with Charter School laws. Common Core criterion and testing reflect a national "cookie-cutter" approach to education. Common Core proponents argue that these standards won't determine curriculum in the local schools. That argument is disingenuous. Because Colorado schools, teachers, and students will be "graded" through testing based upon Common Core standards, schools which deviate from these detailed standards risk poor test results.

Second, Common Core educational standards are less stringent than the standards of top-rated Colorado schools. For example, contrary to proponents' statements, the Common Core math standards are not "rigorous and bench-marked to international standards." Common Core math standards delay math proficiency and, ultimately, harm our ability to compete internationally. Common Core standards also short-change our students in their exposure to literature and our American cultural heritage.

Third, Common Core requires an excessive and costly testing regime. Increased testing requirements deprive teachers and students of valuable instruction time and encourage what we don't need: "teaching to the test." Common Core requires online testing and drains resources from already strained school budgets.

Finally, Common Core implementation demands Colorado participation in extensive data-gathering on our children, including intrusive questions about their home life. This database will be available to various organizations and the federal government. This is an egregious violation of our privacy.

An increasing number of Colorado's premier schools are now opposed to Common Core implementation, including the Lewis-Palmer School District 38, The Classical Academy, Monument Charter Academy, and the James Irwin Schools. Now you know why.

Please read school board resolutions in opposition to Common Core implementation in Colorado for yourself.

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Terri Carver teaches energy law at UC-Denver Business School, space law at Webster University, and is a Republican candidate for Colorado House District 20.

Tanner's response:

Check the facts for yourself.

CCSS are internationally bench marked and each state and district will use them as a starting point. Many districts already exceed these standards, and they will not be lowering their bar. It's debatable whether we're not already teaching to a test, but CCSS won't make things worse. It will improve continuity. As it is, Colorado tests more than NCLB requires.

Implementing CCSS doesn't require data collection. States won't have to share data beyond existing state and federal requirements.

We've seen an array of curricula developed and there's plenty of innovation. Be proud Colorado is a noted leader in that innovation.

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