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Tuesday, January 21, 2014

Backlash against Common Core continues

The Common Core State Standards don’t amount to a “federal power grab,” according to a January report released by a Mississippi state watchdog committee.

Mississippi’s Joint Legislative Committee on Performance Evaluation and Expenditure Review took a comprehensive look at the standards, adopted by the state in 2010. In a 94-page report, the PEER committee addresses whether the state should be concerned about warnings over the standards often echoed by conservative critics.

“PEER did not find credible evidence that the Common Core State Standards initiative is a federal ‘power grab’ or an effort to usurp the authority of states and local school districts in setting curricula for the purpose of social or political change,” the report says. “Based on an analysis of the history and development of CCSS, its primary focus has been on developing internationally competitive content statements that clearly specify what students should be able to understand and be able to do at a particular grade level.”

The report also emphasizes that the standards weren’t developed under the influence of special interests. The standards were developed by the National Governors Association, the Council of Chief State School Officers and others, and funded through fees, contracts, federal grants and contributions from foundations and corporations.

The state board of education is likely to approve the new high school course descriptions, a transition plan for new assessments and new textbooks aligned to the standards, The Associated Press reports.

— Caitlin Emma


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