Lessons Learned from the Stop Common Core Movement
It was not long ago that you were seeing, and you can occasionally still see, a “Stop Common Core” sign. The Stop Common Core movement was a grassroots movement that created a great deal of passion and enthusiasm surrounding the implementation of a national curriculum and testing system. One of the many initial goals was to ensure that students who were transient would receive the same content as they moved from district to district and state to state.
The involvement of the federal government’s Race to the Top initiative incentivized states and school districts to adopt this Common Core curriculum and complicated the initiative. These were financial incentives that the Federal Government financed, essentially creating a federally mandated curriculum that schools really had no choice but to adopt.
This grassroots movement to stop the Common Core proved to be very effective, as the Ohio legislature not only dramatically reduced the amount of overtesting that was taking place in school districts, but they also mandated that the curriculum standards be rewritten, and that process is underway.
The important part about this is that the majority of people communicating with our legislators were concerned citizens and not professional educators. They worked tirelessly to stop the implementation of a nationalized curriculum and the over testing of our students.
As a result of this movement, superintendents across Ohio learned that it is not enough to be the only voices talking to legislators about educational issues. As a result, school superintendents in west central Ohio and across the state have organized to work more closely with legislators, in a respectful and helpful manner. When our efforts don’t work, we would like use the model that the Stop Common Core movement used. By informing and requesting help from parents and community members to discuss educational issues with their local legislators, we hope to have more local control of our educational decisions.
In the future, there may be occasions that I request our community’s help. We need your voices to be heard on educational issues that simply don’t make sense, like the mandated overtesting of students.
In an effort to communicate more, I’m also introducing my blog that will be shared via our notification system and posted on our website at www.wapak.org. Not all of these post will be requests for help. In fact, that may be infrequent. Many may be simply communications about various issues, events, activities, or bragging items that we would like to share with you. However, when I need your help, I will attempt to ask directly and provide you with enough information on an issue for you to be well informed.
Keith Horner, Superintendent