Skip to content

As West Virginia Threatens to Dump Common Core, WV Teachers Union Works to Keep It.

March 6, 2015

On February 28, 2015, the West Virginia House of Representatives voted 74-19 to repeal the Common Core State Standards (CCSS). In West Virginia, CCSS is called Next Generation.

As the March 1, 2015, WV State Journal reports:

Under the proposed measure, the West Virginia Board of Education would undertake a comprehensive review of the standards on or before July 16, 2015 to ensure that the Common Core Standards, as approved by the board in May 2010, are repealed. Also stated in the proposed bill is that “no assessments designed to assess student learning based on the common core standards, including but not limited to the Smarter Balanced Assessment, will be used in West Virginia public schools.” The proposed measure would require the state board to conduct at least four regional, town hall-style meetings to engage in public discussion and would require not more than one statewide assessment per school year.

The State Journal also notes that the bill includes language about stakeholder teams’ developing new WV English and math standards.

The VW House CCSS repeal gained bipartisan support. However, the WV state board of education did not want CCSS repealed.

Apparently, WV governor Earl Ray Tomblin is not publicly offering a position on CCSS.

As of March 3, 2015, the bill has moved forward to a WV Senate subcommittee.

WV Federation of Teachers president Christine Campbell does not support WV’s CCSS repeal, citing, among other issues,  that “it took two years to develop the Next Generation standards.”

Actually, CCSS writing did not take two years. It was two years from the time that Council of Chief State School Officers (CCSSO) president Gene Wilhoit and CCSS “lead architect” David Coleman asked billionaire Bill Gates to bankroll CCSS (summer of 2008) to the official debut of CCSS (June 2010).

As to initially projected writing time, the CCSS memorandum of understanding (MOU) outlined only five months for CCSS writing– from the projected completion of the “anchor” standards in July 2009 to the scheduled completion of the entire CCSS in December 2009. The National Governors Association (NGA) and CCSSO (the CCSS owners) did not keep this schedule; however, the point is that they thought they could and rushed the process. (I examine this in greater detail in my upcoming book on CCSS.)

Add to this rush job the fact that there was no CCSS field testing, including no examination of long-term financial costs to states for CCSS and its consortium assessments.

And yet, the WV Federation of Teachers unswervingly supports CCSS. It seems that when it comes to CCSS, the American Federation of Teachers (AFT) and its state affiliates are so faithful because they are wed to the National Democratic Party. No other explanation remotely accounts for why AFT would try to reach a compromise with Obama-administration-friendly Center for American Progress on the issue of federally mandated testing.

To date, the Democratic parties in all states except Washington continue to cling to CCSS. Ironic that Washington State Dems were the first to flatly reject CCSS since Washington is the home state of CCSS purchaser Bill Gates.

Image result for common core democrats

Also interesting:  The term “Common Core” is notably absent from the education page of the National Democratic Party website. Yet it is no secret Democrats support CCSS, with US Representative Hakeem Jeffries (D-NY) authoring an amendment to incorporate CCSS and its assessments into the reauthorization of the Elementary and Secondary Education Act (ESEA). (Note that CCSS was never designed to be separated from the annual testing birthed in No Child Left Behind.)

Furthermore, Senate Ed Committee ranking member, Democratic Senator Patty Murray, has no plans to scale back the number of standardized tests in the Senate’s proposed ESEA reauthorization bill.

In short, influential Democrats want both CCSS and loads of standardized testing.

Let us consider how this is playing out in West Virginia, where “never tested itself” CCSS is threatened.

On March 7, 2015, the WV Federation of Teachers is planning a rally to save CCSS. Here is how they are advertising the event:

Our Kids Deserve Better.

State legislators are pushing proposals that are bad for kids and schools.

Some West Virginia lawmakers are devaluing children and public education by pushing legislation that would deprive our schools of resources and break the promise of a great education for West Virginia’s children.

AFT president Randi Weingarten is the keynote speaker.

The notice also includes a detailed busing schedule.

That CCSS is pretty valuable in certain circles, so much so that it is being marketed as a “civil rights issue.”

That tag line sure makes rush-job CCSS sound a lot less Republican. But be careful, faithful, Core-toting Democrat. You’re sure to bump right into the presidential ambitions of CCSS buddy, Jeb Bush.

Image result for common core jeb bush

_______________________________________________

Schneider is a southern Louisiana native, career teacher, trained researcher, and author of the ed reform whistle blower, A Chronicle of Echoes: Who’s Who In the Implosion of American Public Education.

 

7 Comments
  1. Laura chapman permalink

    Ignorance and misplaced loyalty.
    Unbelievable that the union supports this and Rani is there to cheer them on.

  2. Dr. Rich Swier permalink

    Great. Posted: http://bit.ly/1BVZzMT

    Rich

  3. Dave S. permalink

    I just don’t know what to say. You simply can’t–CANNOT–support the common core state standards but in the same breath say you are against everything else–teacher evals, high stakes tests, attacks on tenure and collective bargaining through teacher evals and high stakes tests–because it is all wedded together. Randi Weingarten has to start backing the right horse. Before you know it, she’ll be taking Governor Cuomo of New York out to dinner to thank him for his service to teachers.

  4. Jill Reifschneider permalink

    Althought it is true that “To date, the Democratic parties in all states except Washington continue to cling to CCSS. Ironic that Washington State Dems were the first to flatly reject CCSS since Washington is the home state of CCSS purchaser Bill Gates.” Senator Patty Murray is Washington State’s senator who I am so, so disappointed by when it comes to her stance (understanding?) of these educational issues. I wrote to her last year as Washington’s legislature was being pressured to pass a law that uses standardized test scores in teacher evaluations in order to not lose the waiver from NCLB. She reponded by telling me this was a “state” issue, not a “federal” issue. I reminded her at that time that the whole issue is NCLB, a federal law. Meanwhile, WA lost control of federal funds for its schools that need it the most because of its “failure” to pass the law to use test scores in teacher evaluations. The law is proposed once again, this session. We shall see what results this round. Unfortunately, Patty Murray doesn’t get it.

    • K Quinn permalink

      Agreed, Jill. I’ve also brought it up with our WA state legislators. Some of them say its a Fed issue and they don’t get it either. Or they blame the Feds and say their hands are tied. Very few who actually do understand the issue will speak up, and the ones who don’t understand have no problem bashing teachers, public schools, and saying we shouldn’t be afraid of accountability and rigor. They’ll gladly sell our souls for Fed dollars.

  5. rastamick permalink

    Thank you once again for staying on top of Weingarten. She is a disgrace and a traitor on her best day. I have my own post on her currently at B-loedscene.blogspot.com

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out / Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out / Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out / Change )

Google+ photo

You are commenting using your Google+ account. Log Out / Change )

Connecting to %s

%d bloggers like this: