Saturday, April 6, 2013

The NFF opposes Common Core for Nebraska's schools

What is Common Core?

The Common Core State Standards (CCSS) are a set of learning standards in English language arts (ELA) and mathematics. These standards, if adopted by a state, will replace existing state standards in these subject areas. 

Why is the Nebraska Family Forum opposed to Common Core?

Nebraska is one of a handful of states that has not yet adopted the Common Core standards. Our state has resisted efforts by the federal government to go along with these national standards, even though millions in federal dollars are being dangled as an incentive.  However, the Nebraska Board of Education is now considering adopting this set of NATIONAL standards and we need to stop this fast moving train!

There are volumes of information about CCSS available if you would like to know the details of the standards but at the core of this debate, and why NFF is committed to fighting CCSS in Nebraska, is the loss of local control over our schools.  This is a national initiative, and a power grab by the federal government, to take over our children’s education. Our fear is that if we open this door, it will lead to a national attendance policy, a push to longer school days and an extended academic year--in other words, more time with teachers and less time with parents and family.

Over the past year, we have been successful in drawing attention to, even changing, local attendance policies to respect parental discretion and family time.   Can you imagine changing a NATIONAL attendance policy?  It would be extremely difficult, if not impossible, to do.  Similarly, when parents have questions or concerns about curriculum, their local school board is accessible.  This will not be the case if CCSS is implemented in Nebraska.  There will be nowhere to go and no one to call.

Another very alarming aspect of Common Core is a concept called data mining.  As part of implementing CCSS your children's personal information, including social security number, health information, learning disabilities, attendance, homework completion, disciplinary action (from detentions for minor infractions to expulsions), religious affiliations, etc. will be entered into a longitudinal database.  Not only can this information be shared nationally, it can be given or sold to other organizations WITHOUT PARENTAL PERMISSION.  The company charged with collecting and storing our children's data, inBloom, states in its own privacy policy that it “cannot guarantee the security of the information stored in inBloom or that the information will not be intercepted when it is being transmitted.”

You have been seeing posts on this subject from the NFF's founder and past director, Stephanie Smith Morgan. She is fighting the uphill battle to have CCSS removed from Maryland schools where she lives now. Her fight to reverse CCSS is much harder than to stop it from ever being implemented, similar to the truancy law we have been fighting for the last several years. That law should have never been passed in the first place, and now we have been paying the personal cost of dealing with the unexpected ramifications of a law that looked good on its surface but ended up bringing down a great deal of collateral damage on innocent families.  All of you who have been in this fight know how hard it is to turn around something that has already been passed. 

Join us in this fight. We need your ACTION!

Write to the Governor, your State Senator, the Legislature's Education Committee, the State Board of Education and let them know that you do NOT want to give up local control of our children’s education and we do NOT want Common Core State Standards in Nebraska! This is happening now so we need voices heard NOW...please write, call, email TODAY!
Governor Heineman 

Education Committee of the Nebraska State Legislature

Nebraska State Board of Education

Please join our effort to keep Common Core out of Nebraska and support the right to retain local control of our educational system.  For more information on Common Core, click on the link below: