The Common Core and States’ Rights

Tue, Dec 30, 2014

Distance Learning, Uncategorized

by Dr. Charles W. Bindig – Editor of Edutrends

In the continuing education debate relative to student achievement, the constitutionality of an increased federal intrusion into K-12 education funding has been overlooked. It should be noted that the Constitution does not grant the Federal Government authority over education. The Founding Fathers understood that in order to maintain a healthy democracy, the population would need to be educated, but left that authority to the local state level. With this in mind, there should have been a vigorous debate over the No Child Left Behind Act in terms of its encroachment on the rights of the states to oversee education for its citizens. With the NCLB legislation, the Federal Government initiated its oversight of K-12 education by use of the carrot and stick approach by mandating improved student achievement with the maintenance of federal funding for programs. The states did not challenge the constitutionality of this law over fear of a loss of federal funding as a result of a court challenge. Now, barely ten years later, the Common Core curriculum comes along, and the states willingly signed on for this further overreach to states’ rights.
Recently former Florida Governor and Common Core advocate, Jeb Bush, has been quoted that if Common Core becomes another onerous program that by default creates a Federal Board of Education, he would be against the expansion. What has occurred over the last decade is a further erosion of local control of education as a result of funding. We have witnessed states abrogating their responsibility by allowing the Common Core movement to dictate curriculum and text books, as well as national organizations, such as NCATE, to become the ultimate arbiters of teacher education quality.
It is also a given that major assessment producers such as Pearson Education, have not only become dominant in the K-12 testing market, but produce testing for advanced medical degrees and specialities. At the end of the day one must pose the question “Is education still a right maintained at the local level (states’ rights) or have we allowed major bureaucracies to now dictate educational policy”?

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