Massachusetts Ballot Initiative to Repeal Common Core Risks Putting Students and Teachers at a Disadvantage

End Common Core Massachusetts, a group seeking to add a ballot question that would require voters to determine whether to replace the state’s Common Core Standards, has gather enough signatures, and the issue will now be heard by the Legislature. The group’s members falsely insist that Common Core is a federal intrusion into local education issues.

“The Common Core is a tremendous overreach of the federal government into our local communities,” claims one parent and a former candidate for state office who gathered signatures for the petition, Wicked Local reports.

“During my re-election, I heard from so many who thanked me for standing up to [Common Core], and I am very glad the ballot question is advancing to the Legislature so we can give the people of Massachusetts a voice,” adds a local committeeman.

In 2010 the Massachusetts Board of Elementary and Secondary Education voted unanimously to voluntarily adopt the Common Core because the standards were determined to be more rigorous than the new standards Massachusetts was developing.

Additionally, the recently enacted Every Student Succeeds Act voids any remaining concerns about federal intrusion regarding states’ standards.

“All along, the conversation about Common Core has been about the Commonwealth seizing the opportunity to improve upon our already high standards,” said Education Secretary Paul Reville at the time. “Today’s action ensures that Massachusetts will continue to be the recognized leader not only in performance but in setting the direction for nation’s future education reforms.”

Over the past nearly six years, Massachusetts educators and administrators have diligently implemented the standards. Late last year, Education Commissioner Mitchell Chester reiterated the state’s commitment to the standards and high-quality tests: “[The national media has] inaccurately described Massachusetts as ‘abandoning’ the Common Core and PARCC. We have not abandoned either one.”

Parents support rigorous, consistent education standards and honest student assessments. As the tumultuous path Oklahoma has taken demonstrates, voters should not allow political pressures and misinformation pressure them into uprooting Massachusetts’ Common Core Standards, which would put students and teachers at a disadvantage.