Rep. Gary Glenn, R-Midland, has introduced bipartisan legislation to repeal state Common Core educational standards in Michigan, replacing them with proven standards and more emphasis on local control.
Glenn’s bill, House bill 4192, is co-sponsored by 26 Republican and two Democratic members of the House.
“Michigan students deserve the best standards, proven by actual test results,” Glenn said. “And ultimately, our own local school boards and educational leaders — not the federal government – know what’s best for Michigan students.”
However, local officials would like to be a part of the conversation on any legislation.
“It is always disappointing when legislation is proposed without those in the profession being a part of it. The Common Core became a political stone to throw when it is purely a local curriculum issue. Legislators forcing their will without regards to what those in the field will say is best,” stated Midland Public Schools Superintendent Michael Sharrow in an email to the Daily News.
Glenn’s legislation would:
Eliminate Common Core as the state’s educational standard.
Replace them with acclaimed standards used in Massachusetts prior to the Obama Administration’s promotion of Common Core. Glenn cited a 2014 report from the Business Leaders for Michigan, which noted, for example, that Massachusetts ranked first nationwide in fourth-grade reading (page 34), eighth-grade math (page 35) and career and college readiness (pages 36-37) while Michigan scored in the bottom half of the states.
Give local school boards in Michigan the authority to adjust the standards as they decide what best serves their students’ interests.
Parents would be free to opt their child out of any class, instruction or testing.
The state and local schools would be prohibited from collecting data regarding an individual student’s values, attitudes, beliefs, and personality traits, or the student’s political or religious affiliations or views.
Test questions used by public schools would be made easily available to the public.
Glenn noted that critics of Common Core have long cited the use of unproven methods under such standards for teaching math, unfunded mandates for intensive testing and other problems.
“It’s past time for Michigan to regain control over the education of our own children,” Glenn said.
Sharrow also stated, “Being a conservative myself it seems local control has been truly lost.”
The Michigan Competitiveness Committee, chaired by Rep. Lee Chatfield, R-Levering, will hold a public hearing on the bill Wednesday, Feb. 15, from noon to 1:30 p.m. The location of the hearing has not yet been finalized, but will occur either in the state Capitol or the House Office Building across the street depending on crowd size.