Education Reform From the Teacher's Perspective

Tuesday, August 6, 2013

Several news articles have appeared in the past few days articulating how some states such as Georgia are pulling themselves from the testing consortiums and they are loudly bemoaning the loss of "local control" over their standards. According to the article in The Dalton Daily Citizen, the Georgia state director of Concerned Women for America (a group that has been trying to remove Common Core from several states including Georgia, Louisiana and others), the group is tying the Common Core to state sovereignty. Oh, and they do try to make an argument that the testing consortium is too expensive (nearly twice the state testing budget of a whopping 27 million), but that is just window dressing. Georgia spends nearly 80 million a year running it's legislature alone and over 7 billion on education (meaning that the testing budget is .03% of the overall education spending.)

What is state sovereignty?
State sovereignty is a legal principle that US states have the right to prevent the application of programs and regulations of the Federal government. The basis is the Ninth and Tenth Amendments to the US Constitution, which reserve to the states respectively, or to the people, all powers and rights not delegated to the Federal government by the Constitution and thereby prohibited to the states. (source:
Is the Common Core a violation of the Ninth and Tenth Amendments to the US Constitution? Is the Federal government FORCING the states to adopt the standards? I think it would be rather apparent that the common core was created by the National Governors Association and the Council of Chief State School Officers (both of which are State organizations, not a Federal group).

If a state chooses to join the Common Core or one of the testing consortiums, they are not giving up their sovereignty but are participating voluntarily in a new educational movement. Personally, I believe the real problem that is lying under the surface is which groups are opposed to Common Core. Many of them are conservative, Tea Party-like groups. I'm not saying there is a connection between these groups, but it does make one wonder.

Dr. James Norwood is a middle school teacher (English/Language Arts and Drama). He is very passionate about true education reform that reaches all students and all parents. Dr. Norwood possess a PhD in the area of curriculum and instruction and spends much of his time working with his school and district developing a more holistic approach to the curriculum. Contact me


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