Souhegan Tea Party finds much to dislike about Common Core
Developed by the National Governors Association and the Council of Chief State School Officers, the Common Core Standards were introduced in 2010 when much of the country was struggling with a bleak economy. States that adopted Common Core bettered their odds in the Race to the Top contest for more than $4 billion in federal education aid. New Hampshire’s Board of Education signed on to Common Core in July 2010, but no Race to the Top money ever arrived in Concord.
No vote or public hearing was held on the plan to redesign the public school system.
Banfield said that loss of local control over community schools is just one of the problems with Common Core.
In addition to adopting the standards, many states agreed to create longitudinal databases that collect student test scores and personal information, such as race, ethnicity, parents’ level of education, income level and religious affiliations.
“What’s going to be collected, I don’t know,” she said. However, Banfield did say that states can share student data with other government agencies, such as the Department of Labor.
Shift from liberal arts
Banfield said she might have accepted the Common Core mandates if New Hampshire was getting a well-planned slate of educational reforms that aimed at achieving academic excellence.
Literature will give way to reading and analyzing more informational texts; calculus has been pushed aside so more time can be spent on algebra; and individual achievement will be downplayed while group projects and group problem-solving will be emphasized.
Like other groups with concerns and questions about the standards, the Souhegan Tea Party thinks lobbying the state Legislature to reign in Common Core may be the answer.
Souhegan Tea Party organizer James Kofalt, who said he launched the group because he was tired of sitting alone and yelling at his television, gave everyone who attended a schedule of Common Core meetings and presentations and other tips on how to effectively oppose the initiative.
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