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Standards not preparing students

Published 11:00pm Wednesday, March 13, 2013

As a retired educator directly involved in public education, I am writing in response to the recent article, “Taking Bell’s Comments to Task”.

I have extensively studied federal intrusion in local education by NCLB and the CCSSI. I must disagree that NCLB is more intrusive that CCSSI. Although flawed, NCLB gives states individual freedoms to establish curriculum, standards, assessments, and state specific goals. The CCSSI mandates control over four areas: (1) States must adopt and implement ALL standards as written. (2) Stats must participate in national assessments approved by the USDOE and aligned with Common Core. (3) Teacher evaluations must be done through an approved instrument and be tied to student test scores. And, (4) School systems must maintain data systems containing more than academic information, and through FERPA expansion, it may be shared with third parties.

For preparation beyond high school, the standards are geared toward workforce needs. They prepare students to enter a job as a skilled laborer or obtain a vocational/technical degree or certificate. They do not prepare students for university level college in preparation for professional careers.

To address a final point about dissuading students to enter the teaching profession, I must agree with Mrs. Bell. I am in regular contact with classroom teachers in Alabama and other states. They are extremely overwhelmed and frustrated. Just as physicians are fleeing the medical profession due to federal control, teachers are leaving the field and students are choosing other options.

Lisa A. Harris


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