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ALTERNATIVES

The Common Core repeal victory will be the catalyst for meaningful reform that removes federal government interference and allows teachers to teach – reform that will usher in objective, classical education for South Carolina students. South Carolina Parents Involved in Education will help lead a return to education principles that worked in this country for over a century, prior to federal government involvement, when American education was the envy of the world. If we repeal Common Core, what do we replace it with? This is a question, we have heard many times, so we have researched our alternatives and offer them here for your consideration. First of all, no one has claimed the status quo is good enough for South Carolina schools. What South Carolinians are saying is that, if left alone by the US Department of Education, and the private interest groups that own the Common Core Standards, we can fix our own problems. For example, before yielding to the Race to the Top bribery, many other states had standards that were demonstrably superior to Common Core.  South Carolina should look at the Massachusetts English standards (which provided a genuine classical education and led to the highest test scores in the nation) and the Indiana math standards (which are ranked higher than Common Core) and adapt them for South Carolina. Then we would have the best standards in the country and would not be mired in the uniform mediocrity that is gripping other states. Why not be a leader rather than a follower? In 2006, The Thomas B. Fordham Institute, who claims to be “the nation's leader in advancing educational excellence for every child through quality research, analysis, and commentary”, issued a report titled The State of State Standards. In the chart below from the Fordham report, you will find a rather refreshing sight: South Carolina at the top of a national education ranking list (for a change).

English Standards Alternatives

When the 2006 Fordham ranking is broken down by subject (see chart on next page), we find South Carolina with a “B” in English standards and a “D” in math standards. South Carolina could make minor improvements to the 2006 English standards to bring the grade up to an “A”, and look to some of the “A”-ranking states for math standards. Or South Carolina could download, for free, the Massachuesetts’ “A”-ranking English standards (which led to the highest test scores in the nation). Here is the link for the download: http://www.doe.mass.edu/news/news.aspx?id=5562.

Math Alternatives

There are several good alternatives for math standards. Any of the standards listed below would be a grave improvement over the faulty Common Core Math Standards, which lower the bar drastically for American children. Here are the old (1997) excellent California Standards, and here is its very good 2005 Framework to go with it. Here are the 2010 Massachusetts Standards that were a minor improvement on their previous excellent 20014 standards but were abandoned in the rush to the Common Core in 2010. And here are the 2009 Indiana Standards also an improvement on the already excellent previous (2005) Indiana standards, also abandoned in the rush to the Common Core in 2010.   California: http://www.cde.ca.gov/be/st/ss/documents/mathstandards.pdf California Framework: http://www.cde.ca.gov/be/st/ss/documents/mathstandards.pdf Massachusetts: http://www.doe.mass.edu/news/news.aspx?id=5562 Indiana: http://www.in.gov/edroundtable/files/Math_standards_3-12-09.pdf Regardless which alternative set of standards South Carolina chooses to use, the overwhelming evidence of the perils of the Common Core Standards makes it incumbent upon our General Assembly to make it a priority to repeal the Common Core Standards in the 2014 legislative session. Repealing Common Core is only the first step toward reviving education in South Carolina. The repeal will be the catalyst for meaningful reform that will remove government interference and allow teachers to teach – reform that will usher in objective, classical education for South Carolina students. South Carolina Parents Involved in Education will help lead a return to education principles that worked in this country for over a century, prior to federal government involvement, when American education was the envy of the world.

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