EAST LANSING — The following statement can be attributed to MEA President Steven Cook regarding MEA’s opposition to HB 4192, which would repeal the Common Core standards in Michigan (the bill is up for a hearing today in the House Committee on Michigan Competitiveness):
“While the implementation of Common Core leaves much to be desired, the negative consequences of repealing the standards outweigh any positives, which is why MEA is opposing HD 4192. More than $250 million in Michigan tax dollars have already been spent to implement the standards, along with countless hours of time by educators in districts statewide. Students and educators need continuity in education policy – not arbitrary changes to standards and tests.
“It’s important to note that Common Core is about state-driven ‘standards’ – not about a federally-mandated curriculum. Having common standards across districts and states is helpful, especially for students who need to change schools so they’re learning the same things at the same grade levels. How to educate students to meet those standards – the curriculum – is something that can and should be controlled at the local level with input from front-line educators who are the experts at educating kids.
“Regardless of what the standards are, we must guard against overuse of standardized testing to judge students, educators and schools. Michigan’s over-emphasis on testing isn’t a product of Common Core – it’s driven by state policies that put inappropriately high stakes on standardized tests, such as closing schools for poor test scores and negatively evaluating teachers based on how students score on a test one day a year, rather than looking at the development of the whole child over the course of the entire school year. The over-valuing of standardized test scores – not the Common Core – has constrained innovation in our schools and led to a damaging narrowing of curriculum. Lawmakers in Lansing need to focus greater attention on that issue for the good of students and educators.”
Contact: Doug Pratt, MEA Director of Public Affairs, (517) 337-5508