A recent POLITICO report on a revolt against Common Core shows that a bottom-up, local approach is an effective strategy against federal programs.

From the report, Common Core revolt goes local:

Even as political leaders in both red and blue states continue to back away from the standards — New York Gov. Andrew Cuomo is the latest example — the hottest battles have shifted to the local level, where education officials are staging public revolts against state and federal mandates to administer Common Core exams.

Politico reports that Chicago, the nation’s third-largest district, students will not “take the federally funded PARCC exam, which will debut next spring in 11 states, including Illinois.”

Her defiance was striking in a district that has long been viewed as a national leader in test-based accountability. It was also rich in symbolism because Chicago public schools were once run by Education Secretary Arne Duncan, a huge cheerleader for both the Common Core and the new exams, developed with $370 million in federal funds.

More important than the political backlash of rejecting the program in the home turf of the education secretary is the domino effect it could create:

Chicago’s stance could well inspire copycat insurrections in other districts, analysts said — and that could undermine not just the Common Core, but more than a decade of public policy that relies on standardized tests to hold schools and teachers accountable for helping kids learn.

This shows the power that individuals can have in taking on the federal and even a state agenda. Without our compliance, their programs have an extremely difficult path forward.

And it’s not just Chicago, there are similar rejections happening in states around the country:

Similar opt-out movements have swelled in states from Georgia to Connecticut to California, where a coalition called “Pencils Down” has been organizing parents to boycott the exams.

Federal programs desperately need state and local help to succeed. Without that support and compliance, they’ll run into a brick wall.  Getting active and involved locally can make all the difference in the world.

So pick an issue important to you, contact your state and local politicians and urge them to do something about it.  Contact us if you are looking for help with model legislation for your area.

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