Guest column submitted by U.S. Senator Mike Crapo
As active participants in the decisions made in Congress, Idahoans contact me with valuable input about the issues our country faces. Realizing that many may not have the chance to contact me, I post the top five issues of concern from Idahoans and my responses on my website. Concerns with the Common Core Standards and the federal government's overreach in education are among the issues constituents have contacted me about recently. The following is my response:
The Common Core Standards were adopted by Idaho in January 2011. At first, the standards were a state initiative designed by the National Governor's Association and the Chief State School Officers. However, with recent incentives by the Obama Administration, the federal government has become heavily involved in the adoption and the development of the two consortia that create and administer the assessments.
Race to the Top Grants were awarded to both consortia as well as to many states that adopted Common Core Standards. Similar to the grant requirements of the Race to the Top program, the state education waivers to No Child Left Behind also require "college and career ready standards," which mirror the Common Core Standards. The steps taken by the Administration to push the Common Core Standards are alarming and may present a dangerous path toward a federal takeover of state standards.
As a father of five, I understand the importance of state and local decision making, and its impact on the effectiveness of the education provided to Idahoans. We must continue to fight against federal overreach and nationalized approaches to our education system, as these policies inherently produce ineffective policies and unintentional consequences.
As a strong federalist,I support polices that ensure states and localities remain the determinants of the standards, curriculum, and daily decisions in education to best fit the needs and circumstances of their students. As expressed by the economic theorist Charles Tiebout, local governments allocate resources in an optimal fashion due to their ability to recognize the specific preferences of individuals who choose to live in their locality. The federal government is unable to provide a good or service at such a detailed and effective level. Rest assured, I will make every effort on a federal level to prohibit any moves toward a national school board or national curriculum.
To view responses to the top five issues of interest, please visit my website at: http://crapo.senate.gov. The messages you send me help to shape my approach on a number of important matters. Please continue to keep me informed of your views.
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