Pushback to Common Core State Standards has been led primarily by conservatives until now.
This new organization calls itself Tennesseans Reclaiming Educational Excellence (TREE). Judging from the audience at its first public event, supporters include teachers unions, Democratic lawmakers and more liberal-minded parents. So their complaints don’t exactly mirror those of some conservatives who fear the Obama Administration is driving an agenda through Common Core, which has been adopted in most states.
Still, Nashville parent Lyn Hoyt says there should be more local control over the standards, which now dictate virtually everything students learn in math and reading.
“I think when you just bring it in, in a box that says this is how it should be taught and you don’t have the flexibility, I think that’s why you’re seeing the pushback.”
More over, Hoyt and members of her organization fear that Common Core will lead to even greater emphasis and spending on standardized tests. Republicans in the state legislature already have begun a push to delay new testing associated with Common Core for a year or more.
Despite bi-partisan resistance, another formidable education group is advocating for Common Core louder than ever. SCORE, which was established by Tennessee Senator Bill Frist, released its priorities for the coming year on Monday.
“Tennessee must stay the course on the continued implementation of these Common Core state standards.”
Frist also wants to make sure Common Core testing begins as scheduled next year.
State Education Commissioner Kevin Huffman says he can see no reason to wait.
“I think we’ve had lots of time to get ready for it and we’ve provided probably better resources to teachers and principals in Tennessee than any other state in the country,” Huffman said at the SCORE event. “I feel good about the direction we’re heading.”