Looking to join Oklahoma and ten other states that have rejected or repealed Common Core standards in education as well as 33 other states that are in the legislative process, Assemblyman Brent A. Jones (District 35 – Las Vegas) will present AB 303 in the Assembly Education Committee on Wednesday.
The bill will not only end Common Core in Nevada but will also do away with three issues of concern to parents in his district. These include: 1) confusing curriculum, 2) data collection (mining), and 3) mandatory Smarter Balanced Assessment Consortium testing (SBAC); an assessment aligned to the Common Core state standards in English language, arts, and math.
Jones is concerned that Nevada blindly approved Common Core in pursuit of more education dollars from the federal government when then-Governor Jim Gibbons applied for “Race to the Top” in 2009. Federal funds were taken as a commitment to implement Common Core. That commitment was agreed to long before the final standards and associated curriculum were published.
“We have a lot of real world experience now and, as we all know, the devil is in the details. As Common Core has rolled out in the various states, concerned parents have become loud and vocal in opposition. As legislators, we have a responsibility to examine these standards, especially since so many are now saying no and passing legislation against it,” Jones said.
One of the biggest problems with Common Core standards is the “top down” control, one-size fits all mentality that many believe will lead to ultimate failure and federal government overreach.
Besides the confusing curriculum, another major objection Jones has to Common Core is the intrusive amount of data mining and the loss of privacy.
“Now that the public has had a chance to ‘read the rules’, we discover Common Core violates the privacy of students and their families through the gathering and sharing of vast amounts of personal information. And worse yet, that private information is being sent and shared with the federal government and will follow the student and his family for years,” Jones said.
The final issue for Jones is the proprietary testing. The Smarter Balanced Assessment Consortium (SBAC) stands to make millions of dollars from the State of Nevada as all students are required to take only their approved tests.
“These required tests are an example of crony capitalism at its worse. That is why I am proposing the Massachusetts curriculum standards be used in Nevada. They are free and have proven to be effective,” stated Jones.
Also appearing at the hearing on AB 303 will be Karen Gray from Nevada Policy Research Institute (NPRI), Dr. Sandra Stosky, an education expert who served on the original validation committee for Common Core, and Ze’ev Wurman, an expert on curriculum and costs associated with Common Core.