Schools Threatened by Feds Over Massive Number of Common Core Opt-Outs

From coast to coast, states throughout the country are trying to find any way possible to escape the widespread mess of Common Core. Recently, a large number of Long Island schools were at the center of attention when they reported having the highest number of Common Core opt-outs in the nation. Due to the immense number of students who refused to take place in the intrusive and cumbersome standardized tests, two schools in Long Island risk losing their prized national "Blue Ribbon" award for academic excellence nominations.

As of now, the two schools targeted by the Department of Education are George H. McVey and Quogue elementary schools, who earned their Blue Ribbon nominations based on scores from spring of 2014. However, the actual awards would be given to the schools nominated based on results from the following year’s score next April. This pressure to comply with the Common Core exams means that 12 of the 19 schools nominated for the prestigious award could be taken out of the running due to the opt-outs that have spread throughout the country.

This type of issue is only one piece in a larger part of the culture of corruption brought about by the heavy influence of not only Common Core pushers, but also the Department of Education. A recent Common Core related incident occurred in the past several weeks, where a Harlem principal committed suicide after fabricating the results of her students Common Core exams, all in order to maintain federal funding based on the achievement level of the students.

Parents, students, and even teachers against core curricula and its implementation are the reason so many states are trying to escape this program. So what is left to do at this point? One path was to help strengthen the option for students to opt-out of the exams; Senator Mike Lee tried to do this at the federal level with an amendment to the Every Child Achieves Act of 2015, but that was shot down in the US Senate 32-64. However, a similar amendment authored by Rep. Matt Salmon to the Student Success Act passed the House.

Another more practical and permanent solution would be to keep this issue within the borders of the individual states, since they brought this beast of a program on themselves, it would be best for them to keep it as an in-house issue. Lindsey Burke, a Will Skillman fellow in education policy at the Heritage Foundation, discussed how states could exit from Common Core back in an article for the Daily Signal last April; she stated three main points (for further details on her points, click here):

  1. Determine how the decision was made to cede the state’s standard-setting authority.

  2. Prohibit new spending for standards implementation.

  3. Determine how to reverse course.

Until state governments can come together and realize that the common curricula and excessive, intrusive testing is causing more harm than good, it will depend almost entirely on the grassroots to affect real change by bringing not only awareness, but solutions to the policy table.