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LETTER: Ask more questions about Common Core

To the Editor:

I take offense to Bob Mercer’s assumption that Common Core opponents are “stirred to action by a common hatred for President Barack Obama.” This is nonsense. I can and will speak only for myself as one of those opponents.

I am “just” a parent of five students in elementary, middle and high school who wants what is best for my children, and all children in our state and country. I am all for “rigor” in the standards and am not afraid of change.

My opposition to CCSSI (Common Core State Standards Initiative) is fundamental. It is an overreach of the federal government, plain and simple. I encourage you to Google U.S. Code Title 20 3403 Relationship with the States.

The Department of Education can speak of “stateled” standards all day long, but it does not change the fact that South Dakota, along with almost all other states, signed on to the Common Core standards before they were even written, all in the hopes of receiving Race to the Top funding. These standards, which have been called “the best,” (instead of “the only”) by our own secretary of education were initiated by two Washington trade organizations and written with little to no input from educators. The standards are copyrighted, so they cannot be adapted to fit the needs of individual districts or states. And, they must align to the assessments of which states only have two choices. It was a speedy and confidential process, as well.

Talk to your state legislators and ask them to speak for the people of South Dakota. Thank you to those that have and continue to do so. I, for one, will keep asking questions. Join me.