The education establishment is battening up the hatches to quell Common Core repeal.
The Ohio School Boards Association (OSBA), the Ohio Association of School Board Officials (OASBO), and the Buckeye Association of School Administrators (BASA) sent a notice to members informing them of the October 14th hearing on the Common Core repeal bill HB 597. See notice HERE.
The notice is written under the assumption that its recipients – school board members and school administrators – all support the Common Core State Standards (CCSS). Here are some excerpts,
“Unfortunately, only those who support HB 597 (those opposed to the CCSS) will be permitted to testify! However, we urge school leaders from around the state to attend the hearing as a show of support for ‘staying the course’ with the adoption of the standards.” (Emphasis in original.)
“To defeat HB 597, we need your continued advocacy in opposition to the legislation. It is yet unclear whether there will be additional opportunities for those opposing the bill to testify. Therefore, repeated contact with legislators is crucial.”
“If you have questions about the hearing or if you need more information about the bill, please contact us.” (Emphasis added.)
While it’s not surprising that school administrators run in lock-step with the education establishment which promotes Common Core, why is it assumed by these organizations that school board members do as well? Taxpayers elect school board members to serve as watchdogs of the public interest. Board members should conduct their duties with an independent mind, researching issues, and questioning the policies set before them by school administration – not serving as bobbing heads rubber stamping all policies and blindly following directives from education trade organizations.
Many parents concerned about the CCSS have found that their board members have no independent knowledge of Common Core and simply parrot the talking points of school administration.
As such, our system of local control of schools has been corrupted by an aggressive education bureaucracy which takes advantage of the sheeplike demeanor of school boards. Only through an over abundance of complaisance could school boards throughout Ohio agree to participate in Race to the Top (RTT), the federal program that brought us Common Core, in exchange for a federal grant which, for most districts, came nowhere near to covering the millions of dollars in costs associated with the RTT mandates. (Most Ohio districts received grants between $100,000 and $600,000. See article HERE for more information on this point.)
If Ohio is truly to have local control of schools, it’s going to take more than just repealing Common Core. It’s going to take a new breed of school board member willing to represent their constituents in an active way – asking tough questions and being willing to vote “No” when the public’s best interest is not being served.