Thursday, November 10, 2011

Common Core About-Face in Alabama

Alabama Gov. Robert Bentley wants his state Board of Education to reverse its 2010 decision to adopt Common Core Standards (CCS), the Decatur Daily reported this week. Bentley and several board members argue that CCS are less rigorous than the ones the state already requires and they are too costly.

CCS have been adopted by dozens of states and are a keystone of Obama’s Race to the Top grant competition. They are also a huge giveaway to the textbook publishers. In order to implement new standards, school districts must replace many of their existing textbooks, at a cost to taxpayers of millions of dollars or, in the case of California, $1.6 billion (see here).

There is no evidence that uniform federal standards will do anything to improve educational outcomes for children. They do nothing to increase funding or resources for schools. They cannot ease the effects of poverty affecting so many children, nor help prepare students to be academically ready for school. But they are another way to funnel tax dollars into the pockets of the 1%-ers.

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