I may be young, but I didn’t fall off the apple cart yesterday (or however that expression goes). In fact, your little Eddie sometimes is way ahead of the curve on local education issues. Take Colorado’s emerging debate over Common Core Standards: Been there, done that.
Six weeks after I first brought your attention to the concerns raised by State Board of Education member Peggy Littleton, the Denver Post comes through with a front-page story this morning:
A backlash over national education reforms is growing in Colorado, with some school leaders rejecting what they call a federal intrusion into the classroom.
The piece by Jeremy Meyer not only highlights Littleton’s efforts and some statements made by U.S. Senate candidates Jane Norton and Ken Buck, but it also zooms in on one of the state’s smallest school districts out on the Eastern Plains:
[Kit Carson School District Superintendent Gerald] Keefe intends to ask state legislators next year to change Colorado laws that force schools to teach civics, dictate how sex education should be taught and set statewide graduation requirements. The next step would be a lawsuit, he said.
This development is most interesting, and one I can assure you my friends and I will be following closely in the coming weeks. The Post story also mentions Keefe’s decision not to sign on to Race to the Top — similar to Peggy Littleton’s concerns — and his district’s other recent past decisions to decline federal funding because of the strings attached. Too often the issue of “local control” is tossed around like a rhetorical football, so it’s most refreshing to see a leader with real conviction behind him.
How far will this protest movement go? No doubt it’s an uphill battle. The next key date is August 2, when the State Board of Education meets to vote on the Common Core Standards. As of now, only two officials on the seven-member State Board have expressed opposition. But Littleton is sending out an email blast today to rally the troops and garner more support.
I told you several weeks ago that this debate over Common Core Standards was one to which you needed to pay attention. I won’t spend that much time gloating and saying, “I told you so.” But if you brushed me off before, maybe next time you’ll stop and listen to little Eddie. While I don’t bring as much attention as the front page of the Denver Post, if you follow me you’re going to stay ahead of the curve.