Michigan House Votes to Defund Common Core State Standards



michigan-state-capitol

Breaking…. big move in the Michigan House of Representatives!   The Michigan House today approved the Department of Education budget (HB4328) on a 59-51 vote with an amendment which does not allow them to implement Common Core State Standards or “Smarter Balanced Assessments”.  The amendment was sponsored by State Rep. Tom McMillin, the amendment is similar to House Bill 4276 which is currently before the House Education Committee.

The amendment reads:

Funds appropriated in Part 1 (MDE’s full budget) shall not be used to fund the Common Core State Standards Initiative or Smarter Balanced Assessments. Funds shall not be used to implement programs or student assessments created by the Common Core State Standards Initiative or Smarter Balance Assessments.

It should be noted that Common Core State Standards were never approved by a Michigan Legislature (or any state legislature for that matter). A press release sent by McMillin noted said that “Concerns have been raised about the State Board of Education exceeding its authority as it attempts to implement standards in Michigan schools that were created by a private, national organization, the National Governor’s Association. The National Governor’s Association controls the content of the Common Core State Standards, and the privately-owned “Smarter Balanced Assessments” align with those standards.”

“The Department of Education is trying to put Michigan schools in Common Core without legislative approval,” said McMillin, R-Rochester Hills. “Giving our authority to control what is taught in our schools to any national entity is wrong. I am glad the House is taking up the debate of whether this is appropriate.”

National education experts also weighed in on the budget amendment.

“The Common Core adoption cut the people and their elected legislators out of the process,” said Emmett McGroarty, an executive director at the American Principles Project. “On a matter that concerns the education of children, that is an especially fatal flaw. The House has taken a big step toward correcting that.”

Sandra Stotsky served on Common Core’s Validation Committee from 2009-2010 and now advocates against the standards. “Michigan can have a brighter future if its own mathematics, science, engineering and literary experts at its great universities are asked to work out college-ready standards for Michigan high schools,” said Stotsky, Professor of Education Reform at the University of Arkansas. She holds the 21st Century Chair in Teacher Quality. “Today’s smart move by the House gives Michigan the opportunity to work out a range of state-based high school curriculum options.”

State Representative McMillin told me that the budget bill only included non-school aid spending which includes funding for the Michigan Department of Education.  School aid money, he said, goes directly to local school districts who can use the money to implement the Common Core if they choose to do so, but the state can not.

The budget will go to the Senate for consideration.

Photo Credit: DanMacMan via Flickr (CC-By-NC-ND 2.0)

Originally posted at Truth in American Education

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  • Rachel

    THAT IS THE BEST NEWS I HAVE HEARD ALL DAY! THANK YOU MCMILLIN FOR LEADING THE CHARGE AND ANYONE WHO VOTED TO STOP COMMON CORE! TODAY IS A GOOD DAY!

    • JustWondering

      Why are you so happy about not pushing students’ capacity to learn and think?

      • http://shanevanderhart.com/ Shane Vander Hart

        Why are you so convinced these standards would actually do that? As far as answering your question, this blog is full of reasons why we are against the Common Core. Take some time to read some of the posts you may be enlightened.

      • JustWondering

        Here’s the first of 8 Standards for Mathematical Practice that the CCSS sets for students. Seems reasonable:

        CCSS.Math.Practice.MP1 Make sense of problems and persevere in solving them.
        Mathematically proficient students start by explaining to themselves the meaning of a problem and looking for entry points to its solution. They analyze givens, constraints, relationships, and goals. They make conjectures about the form and meaning of the solution and plan a solution pathway rather than simply jumping into a solution attempt. They consider analogous problems, and try special cases and simpler forms of the original problem in order to gain insight into its solution. They monitor and evaluate their progress and change course if necessary. Older students might, depending on the context of the problem, transform algebraic expressions or change the viewing window on their graphing calculator to get the information they need. Mathematically proficient students can explain correspondences between equations, verbal descriptions, tables, and graphs or draw diagrams of important features and relationships, graph data, and search for regularity or trends. Younger students might rely on using concrete objects or pictures to help conceptualize and solve a problem. Mathematically proficient students check their answers to problems using a different method, and they continually ask themselves, “Does this make sense?” They can understand the approaches of others to solving complex problems and identify correspondences between different approaches.

      • JustWondering

        I’ve started to read all the related postings on your site regarding CCSS to get a better picture of why some folks oppose it. Definitely more to read and understand. I did come across an article from your site that just happened to tie into my post about Mathematical Practices. I thought the author clearly identified a major reason why some folks might be opposed to the CCSS (at least in the Mathematics portion), and its based on how they are being interpreted and thus implemented. If one doesn’t see and try to understand the CCSS as a new model, and instead attempts to bolt it onto existing models of teaching/learning mathematics (e.g., “traditional” or “reform”) then it significantly weakens the CCSS’ intent.

        In another post, “Common Core State Standards Content” I came across the study done by the Fordham Institute comparing State standards against the CCSS. I saw that your state of Iowa scored an F+ in the ELA standards, compared to a B+ for the CCSS. I was curious about what you thought about this comparison.

        Thanks!

  • Cathy

    Can this be the beginning of the restoration of my faith in elected officials?! Great news for the children of Michigan and their parents!