Letter to the Editor:
I want to thank two of our local elected officials for taking their time to really look at where the federal Common Core standards will take education in Pennsylvania.
Republican State Rep. John Lawrence, and Democratic State Sen. Andy Dinniman have spoken out against several of the issues associated with Common Core.
Lawrence has legislation to deal specifically with the collation of student data into a nationally accessible database. This legislation recognizes that there is no reason each child's personal information, grades, behavioral variations, etc., should be recorded, stored on a database, and made widely available. Such individual-level data is the business of a child, his or her parents, and the local school.
Sen. Dinniman speaks strongly against the federal Common Core, and has also stated that all 23 members of his caucus are against Common Core. One of his stated reasons was that, with the data collection and the subsequent labeling of a school as a failure, a whole school district will suffer economically because no one wants their children educated at any school in that district.
My concern, as a mother, extends to the child. What if a child is labeled as a failure? Children have good experiences and bad experiences in school and with teachers. What happens when they are labeled?
Pennsylvania has a long history of local control, and the school districts in Chester County perform well under local control. Standards for each grade level are an important part of any education process. Common Core, however, imposes nationally applied standards effecting "one size fits all" teaching environments in every grade level across the nation. The rigidity of these standards ties teachers' hands in teaching based on their education and experience, and in adjusting to what is happening in their classrooms.
London Britain Township