Tahlequah Daily Press

Letters to editor

May 19, 2014

Senseless to repeal Common Core

TAHLEQUAH — Editor, Daily Press:

Repealing the Common Core State Standards is a waste of years of work and millions of dollars that have been committed to their implementation in Oklahoma, while putting the quality of our education standards at risk.

Eliminating the CCSS creates a significant curricular disruption and deals a major blow to the morale of educators who have devoted countless hours to their successful implementation. Teachers have already adjusted their classroom practices to reflect the focused, coherent, and rigorous nature of the CCSS. AP classes, the ACT, and the SAT have been aligned with Common Core and districts like Tahlequah are building curriculum around these standards.

Finally, Colleges of Education across the state, and here at NSU, have been training their students to teach using these standards, working under the assumption that Oklahoma’s commitment to them was more than a passing fad. All of this work will be for not if our elected officials repeal the standards.

Our children’s education is not a game. We should not succumb to some irrational fear that they represent a federal takeover of our public schools. I challenge anyone who has read the standards to identify a standard that they would rather our students not learn. I cannot find one.

It’s senseless to repeal these standards only to implement “Oklahoma” standards that are highly likely to look virtually the same. And if the Oklahoma standards are not similar, not only do we lose the ability directly to compare Oklahoma students’ performance to that of students in the vast majority of the rest of the country, but we are likely to get standards that will not predict college and career readiness.

If we are going to help more Oklahomans become college-ready, reduce remediation, and prepare them for the modern workforce, then we need the CCSS. These standards contain what students need to know in order to succeed in introductory college English, mathematics, and science courses. We know that the living-wage jobs of the future require a college education, and we know that every remedial course we put in front of students is another potential exit ramp off their educational freeway.

Let’s fulfill our commitment to Common Core.

Chuck Pack, National Board Certified Teachers

Tahlequah math teacher

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