The latest threat to our rights as Kentucky parents to educate our children in ways that best fit each child’s needs comes from a federally imposed, one-size-fits-every-state educational directive known as the Common Core State Standards (CCSS).
Father used to know best. Now nameless, faceless edu-crats inform us that without their blessed intellectual ingenuity, we out here in common-sense America would be clueless as to what our children should be learning.
The leftist National Governors Association and its union-friendly counterparts at the Council of Chief State School Officers are trying to force the CCSS, which they developed, upon us because they apparently believe that Kentucky parents are incapable of figuring out how to help rather than hinder the education of our children.
Senate President Robert Stivers said in an interview posted today with “Pure Politics” anchor Ryan Alessi that while he believes that while state law allows Gov. Steve Beshear to join Obamacare’s Medicaid expansion, which will add 308,000 Kentuckians to the government-run health program, it was wrong not to include the legislature.
Stivers, R-Manchester, noted that way too many unanswered questions remain about the impact of adding 308,000 Kentuckians to the Medicaid rolls. Here are the questions he said Beshear needs to answer:
“What are the raw dollars that are going to be spent here?”
“What’s going to happen in three years?”
“What is it going to mean in three years when it not a pure federal contribution, which is still your tax dollars?”
“What’s going to be the phase-in period?”
“What type of match money (is Kentucky) going to have to have?”
“How many health-care providers are we short?”
“What is going to be the economic impact to our communities?”
“What’s going to be the health impact to our communities?”
“This is something … that’s gonna cost the state hundreds of millions of dollars at some point in time. Do we have that ability to do that?”
“The overall cost: I’ve heard as high as $2 billion of federal tax dollars being spent. Do we want to do that?”
While a legal battle is being waged in state courts by tea party activists over whether Beshear has the right to act in such a unilateral manner – especially when it involves the expenditure of tax dollars – Stivers said one thing is for sure: whether the program is funded by federal or state dollars, Kentucky taxpayers will foot the bill.
The title of this new editorial from the Los Angeles Times, “Was adopting Common Core a mistake,” makes it clear that things like a $1 billion additional education price tag just for California plus the uncertainty of quality in the new Common Core State Standards have even this liberal newspaper’s editors worried.
Kentucky has also bitten into Common Core. Should we be worried, too???
The Boston Globe just ran an interesting Op-Ed from Tom Birmingham, the former head of the Massachusetts Senate.
Birmingham discusses the new Common Core State Standards, which have replaced Massachusetts’ former very excellent public school education standards:
“I also fear that universal high standards and objective assessments are being jettisoned in favor of a return to vague expectations and fuzzy standards.”
Birmingham notes some remarkable gains after Massachusetts enacted its former education program, which included the best standards in the nation.
1) Eventually, over 90 percent of Massachusetts students would pass the state’s old MCAS assessments,
2) The Commonwealth’s SAT scores would rise for 13 consecutive years,
3) Massachusetts’ students would become the first in every category in every grade on national testing known as “the Nation’s Report Card,” and
4) Massachusetts would rank at or near the top in international science tests.
Now, a watered down Common Core based education system is putting all of that performance at risk. Why?
And, why didn’t Kentucky go for what already worked, spectacularly, in Massachusetts?
Why didn’t other states?
What is really going on here?