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Common Core Battle Flares in Michigan

Today, the fight on Common Core heated up with the first hearing on the topic in Michigan. On one hand is the more liberal wing of the legislature which feels that the Common Core standards would set a high bar for academic achievement across the country. On the other hand is the conservative wing, which understands that this would be a huge intrusion of the federal government into education. 

Although Michigan passed legislation to adopt Common Core standards, funding has been blocked. In fact, Rep. Tom McMillin (R-Rochester Hills) added language to a budget bill barring the Department of Education from spending any money to implement Common Core standards in Michigan. “I’m very confident that if we have honest debates over these next couple of months and we hear from the grassroots and the people that are affected, the legislature will decide ... to stop the funding permanently,” McMillin said.

In today’s hearing, the argument was over transparency and local control of education. State Superintendent Mike Flanagan spoke on behalf of Common Core, asking for steps to be taken towards implementation immediately. McMillin argued that the public was not involved in the process, saying "It's clear that the people supporting Common Core don't actually want to get into the details of it. They know that they get into trouble when it's actually pointed out that they're taking away local control." He also pointed out the lack of transparency "They did not have public hearings," McMillin said. "They might have had some discussion but there was never an opportunity during the State Board of Education meetings to actually have public input." 

Pushing something through that will so fundamentally affect our children, especially with little transparency, can never be a good idea. Nor can a federal intrusion on this scale. Unfortunately, there are those who disagree and paint Common Core as the only way to make American children competitive in the global marketplace. The next meeting is on July 31st. Bring the popcorn, it looks like it could be quite a show.