Over the next year, Michigan and 45 other states will be transitioning to the same grade-level curriculum standards for their K-12 schools under the Common Core State Standards Initiative. Since this curriculum has never been implemented or piloted before, the states’ children will become guinea pigs for this experiment.
MI Bill HB4276 changes 1976 PA 451, entitled “The revised school code,” by amending section 1278 (MCL 380.1278), as amended by 2004 PA 596, and by adding section 1278c. On February 19, 2013, the bill was introduced by Representatives McMillin, Hooker, McBroom, Somerville and Howrylak and referred to the Committee on Education.
AMENDMENT TO SECTION 1278 (MCL 380.1278) – The State Board Model Core Academic Curriculum content standards shall not be based upon the Common Core Standards described in Section 1278C.
AMENDMENT TO SECTION 1278C (MCL 380.1278) - (1) The State Board and the Department shall not implement the Common Core Standards promoted by the Common Core Standards Initiative coordinated by the National Governors Association Center for Best Practices and the Council of Chief State School Officers. The State Board shall take the necessary action to rescind the State Board’s adoption of those Common Core Standards, which occurred on June 15, 2010, and to discontinue any assessments aligned to those Common Core Standards.
(2) After the effective date of this section, the State Board or any other state official or agency shall not participate in the Common Core State Standards initiative described in Subsection (1).
(3) The State Board shall ensure that the State Board Model Core Academic Curriculum Content Standards under Section 1278 and the subject area content expectations that apply to the credit requirements of the Michigan Merit Standard under Sections 1278A and 1278 are not based upon the Common Core Standards described in Subsection (1).
Diane Ravitch, a former assistant U.S. secretary of education who was appointed to office by both Clinton and George H.W. Bush, recently changed her mind about Common Core. Ravitch now refutes claims by Obama and Common Core that the standards were created by the states and voluntarily adopted by them.
She writes in The Washington Post, “They were developed by an organization called Achieve and the National Governors Association, both of which were generously funded by the Gates Foundation. There was minimal public engagement in the development of the Common Core. Their creation was neither grassroots nor did it emanate from the states.”
Instead, Common Core is being driven by policymakers in D.C. When Common Core Standards were introduced Jennifer Granholm (D) was the Governor of Michigan with a Democratic Majority State legislature and advised Michigan would adopt Common Core. Currently, the Governor is Rick Snyder (R) with a Republican Majority legislature. Conservatives, including the Heritage Foundation, believe it is undermining states’ rights and local control.
Many Michigan groups have called for the legislature to pass this bill, including the Michigan GOP Party, several Michigan Tea Party Chapters and the Michigan Women’s GOP Party.
1. Contact the Chairman of the Education Committee. Urge her to schedule a hearing immediately for HB4276 and .to vote YES on this legislation.
Representative Lisa Posthumus Lyons, (517) 373-0846, LisaLyons@house.mi.gov
2. Contact all the other Members of the Education Committee. Advise them that you would like them to vote YES on HB4276.
Contact information for Education Committee Members here.
3. Encourage your local community to take action as well. Encourage your local school boards, GOP Party Chairman, Tea Party Chairman and other groups to contact the State legislators and urge them to vote YES when the legislation comes up for a vote.