State Superintendent Reveals Federal Pressure
On March 6th, talk radio host Rod Arquette interviewed State Superintendent Larry Shumway and Alpine School District Board member Wendy Hart (speaking for herself and not the board) on the subject of Common Core. The interview took place just a few days after Superintendent Shumway had written a letter to Secretary of Education Arne Duncan, as well as a letter to the Senate education standing committee near the end of the 2012 Utah legislative session. You can read the Superintendent’s letters by clicking those links. Here are links to download the show portions dealing with Common Core (Shumway, Hart, and a few callers).
Rod Arquette Show (3-6-12) mp3 – listen now (just under 30 minutes)
Here are important clips from the show:
Rod: How about the letter itself, Superintendent. Why do you think it was important to write?
Larry: Well, I thought that there were enough people being concerned about the Federal Government’s intrusion into the [Common] Core Standards in Utah that I should make clear where we stood. I wanted to push back on comments that I’ve heard Secretary [of Education] Duncan make and President Obama make about their participation in the [Common] Core. These standards are our standards. We’ve adopted these in our states, and we control them.
Rod: You said you were disappointed. What did they do to create that disappointment you have? Are they trying to inch in on this a little bit?
Larry: Well, I’m bothered by things I hear the secretary say in speeches and the President say in speeches where they take credit for these standards. And I’m bothered by the Department of Education making requirements that are associated with these standards. They’re not their standards, and so that offends my sensibility and it pushes against our states’ rights of sovereignty in public education.
I applaud State Superintendent Larry Shumway for asserting our state rights to Secretary of Education Arne Duncan in a letter, but the contracts we have entered into supersede any letter than can be written. It is quite obvious to anyone that takes the time to look into the facts that the federal government’s involvement is just getting started. Why is it that educators who hated NCLB and the strings attached, get excited about Common Core and the strings it comes with?
Utah, it’s time to wake up to what’s happening and see the writing on the wall, or as this Washington Times article points out, “states are likely to become little more than administrative agents for a nationalized K-12 program of instruction”.