Guest post by Colorado Moms
Like so many states in the union, Colorado's 2014 Legislative Session is largely focused on education. The session opened with the introduction of eight education bills...and now there is one more. Senator Vicki Marble has presented the Colorado Mom's Bill to delay the implementation of Common Core and PARCC testing on behalf of a group of parents from her district and throughout the state of Colorado.
We are moms, from all across Colorado, with different backgrounds and political beliefs, coming together, in most cases, as strangers, because we oppose Common Core. This bill has nothing to do with political affiliation and everything to do with our children.
Why Common Core and PARCC alarmed us and our reaction
The state of Colorado is known for having top quality public schools and school of choice. When we found out that school choice would be threatened by the adoption of CCSS and PARCC, we knew we had to do something. For most of us, the first few weeks after we learned about CCSS were spent researching and wrapping our heads around this sly and nefarious monster that had crept into our children's school under the guise of college and career ready. Hour and hours of digging, reading RTTT applications, MOU's, emails back and forth filled sleepless nights. We knew we had to take action, but what could these moms who have jobs and families to care for do to stop this machine? Truly we all have felt like we were David looking up at Golitah. So we prayed. And low and behold, a meeting with an out going school board member turned local Republican Party leader begat a meeting with Sen. Kevin Lunberg who called Sen. Vicki Marble to come to headquarters to hear our story. We presented our research and our concerns. They listened and then Vicki said, "I'll carry your bill." Prayer answered!
We are concerned because Common Core brings the standards to the middle, lifting some schools and lowering others. If a school is already outperforming with its current standards, it still has to teach Common Core's lower standards in order to pass the test to which everything is tied. These standards are copyrighted and cannot be exceeded or changed more than 15%. It is hard to achieve greatness while staying within 15% of mediocrity. Colorado, along with so many others, took the Race to the Top bribe money to adopt Common Core, even before the standards were fully written and neither parents nor legislators were asked to vote on this.
We spoke to Senator Marble about our concerns and she listened. Senator Marble was willing to file a bill, but she allowed the moms to help with the text, because as she said," it is your passion and it is your bill". There was a lot to learn about writing a comprehensive and effective bill, along the way, we found even more like-minded, dedicated and brilliant moms all across Colorado. Through late-night kitchen table meetings, conference calls at swim practice, and Skype sessions in the living room, the Colorado Mom's Bill was written and will be introduced on Friday, January 24th.
The bill asks that implementation of the Common Core State Standards and PARCC be delayed until a comprehensive review is complete. The review will be conducted by an independent task force and will range from an analysis of the academic standards to an independent fiscal audit of implementation, training, technology, and maintenance costs.
Moms in Colorado understand that there are problems with public education. The problems vary considerably depending upon economic factors, local cultures, and locations. Concern for our children brought together moms from every background. Politically, they have little in common, coming from all walks of life, rural and urban areas as well as suburbs and ranches but they stand united with this bill. The moms hope Colorado will unite with them and join the ranks of the many other states who are now rejecting Common Core and/or its tests because they also want better for their children:
Florida, Indiana, Alaska, Alabama, California, Georgia, Kansas, Kentucky, Louisianna, Maine, Maryland, Massachusettes, Mississippi, New Hampshire, New Jersey, New York, North Carolina, Ohio, Oklahoma, South Carolina, West Virginia, Wisconsin.
Colorado moms are urging Coloradoans to contact their legislators today; ask them to co-sponsor this bill with Sen Marble. Time is of the essence. This bill needs your support NOW. Please request bipartisan support of the Colorado Mom's Bill to delay implementation and review Common Core and PARCC, giving our state time to fully review them. The Colorado moms also thank Senator Vicki Marble, who listened, and met countless times with the moms and was willing to carry this bill for Colorado. Please help us and support this Colorado Mom's bill.
Signed: Kristin Tallis, Cheri Kiesecker, Aimie Randall, Lynnette Strauser, Geniphyr Ponce-Pore on behalf of ALL The MOMS and dads of Core Concerns and across Colorado; Fort Collins Core Concerns, Parents Against Recognizing Common Core; Anita and Mike Stapleton, Pueblo Stop Common Core Colorado; Barb Hulet, Katrina Yochim, Karen King Olathe Colorado Parents Against Common Core ; See MORE groups against Colorado Common Core.
What do you think of the bill these activists have generated? Should the Common Core be delayed?