What happens when a state decides or some state legislators decide they don’t want national standards… you know the standards that were slated as optional… not pushed by the Federal government… completely developed by the states (meaning the National Governor’s Association and Council on Chief State School Officers)?  Why Education Secretary Arne Duncan wishes them well and respects their choice right?  Right?

Not so much.  Secretary Duncan issued a statement yesterday blasting South Carolina for contemplating a bill, if passed, would block the South Carolina Department of Education from implementing the Common Core State Standards.  South Carolina Governor Nikki Haley is in support of the bill, as is their State School Superintendent Mike Zais.  The South Carolina Legislature will hopefully get the chance to vote on it; it’s still in committee.  This is how the system should work, but here is what Duncan had to say:

The idea that the Common Core standards are nationally-imposed is a conspiracy theory in search of a conspiracy. The Common Core academic standards were both developed and adopted by the states, and they have widespread bipartisan support. GOP leaders like Jeb Bush and governors Mitch Daniels, Chris Christie, and Bill Haslam have supported the Common Core standards because they realize states must stop dummying down academic standards and lying about the performance of children and schools. In fact, South Carolina lowered the bar for proficiency in English and mathematics faster than any state in the country from 2005 to 2009, according to research by the National Center for Education Statistics.

That’s not good for children, parents, or teachers. I hope South Carolina lawmakers will heed the voices of teachers who supported South Carolina’s decision to stop lowering academic standards and set a higher bar for success. And I hope lawmakers will continue to support the state’s decision to raise standards, with the goal of making every child college- and career-ready in today’s knowledge economy.

Why is he involving himself in what is a state decision?  Then he smears their education system.  Who says they won’t raise their standards?  Because they don’t adopt the Common Core?  Perhaps they don’t want to dumb down their literature standards like the Common Core does.  Perhaps they actually want to use math standards that haven’t been roundly criticized.

Secretary Duncan needs to butt out of the affairs of South Carolina and any other state for that matter.  His involvement in education and the action that he has taken has been demonstrated to be illegal.  Not to mention how costly it would be for the states.

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4 comments
  1. Nice picture of Duncan. I felt like drawing in some pointy devil ears.  I think Arne’s rant will actually push a few more SC Republicans over to our side against Common Core.  Thanks for this post.

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