In a portion of his latest newsletter, Sen. Pat Roberts, R-Kansas, presented a plan to stop the federal government from using bribery to get states to adopt Common Core Standards.
I introduced a bill to preserve state education autonomy by prohibiting the federal government from coercing states to adopt education standards like Common Core. Setting high standards for our schools, our teachers and our children is the right thing to do, but those standards should be decided in Kansas, without bribes or mandates from Washington. We need to get the federal government out of the classroom, and return community decisions back to where they belong - in the community.
Designed by the National Governors Association and the Council of Chief State School Officers in 2007, Common Core was an effort to raise math and reading standards for students across the country. States could adopt Common Core voluntarily.
In defiance of federal law, the Obama Administration began coercing states to implement Common Core. They required states to adopt Common Core standards to receive federal funding under the Obama administration's multibillion-dollar Race to the Top (RTT) program and used federal funds to develop Common Core-aligned tests.
My legislation, the Learning Opportunities Created At the Local (LOCAL) Level Act would strictly forbid the federal government from intervening in a state’s education standards, curricula, and assessments through the use of incentives, mandates, grants, waivers or any other form of manipulation.
Unfortunately, it is evident that certain waivers from onerous education requirements have been granted only to those states that agree to implement the White House’s preferred education policies. In fact, The New York Times has referred to the waiver process as “the most sweeping use of executive authority to rewrite federal education law since Washington expanded its involvement in education in the 1960s.” My bill ensures States retain their authority to determine the curriculum and standards that are best for their students.