Sen. Colbeck offers testimony on Michigan Common Core standards at Senate Education Committee meeting

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Senator Patrick Colbeck

Senator Patrick Colbeck

LANSING, Mich. — State Sen. Patrick Colbeck, R-Canton, offered testimony on Tuesday in the Senate Education Committee to repeal Michigan’s adoption of Common Core Standards and replace them with the Pre-Common Core Massachusetts Standards.

Senate Bill 826, which was introduced by Sen. Colbeck to facilitate this change, is based on House Bill 5444, drafted by state Rep. Gary Glenn, R-Midland, with input from Michigan teachers and students.

“I fully support the goal set by the Michigan Department of Education in December of 2015 to make Michigan a top ten education state in ten years,” said Sen. Colbeck. “In order to achieve this goal, it is critical that we pursue evidence-based strategies, and the evidence pertaining to the adoption of Common Core Standards is not good for our students or teachers.”

The Michigan State Board of Education adopted Common Core Standards for English Language Arts and Math in June 2010. The Board adopted Next Generation Science Standards in December 2015 and is currently considering the adoption of new Social Studies Standards.

Sen. Colbeck continued, “Our students and teachers deserve the best standards available. The Pre-Common Core Massachusetts Standards have been shown to consistently produce a high level of academic excellence in a variety of subjects.”

Michigan currently ranks 38th in reading and 37th in math. The State Board of Education adopted the Common Core Standards in 2010 without any evidence of academic performance improvements in an attempt to qualify for Federal Race to the Top funding.

Sen. Colbeck provided evidence that Michigan’s reading and math performance were demonstrating upward trends prior to the adoption of Common Core. Since adopting the Common Core Standards, the evidence shows that academic improvement by Michigan students in these areas has leveled off and even started to decline.

The Senate Education Committee will continue hearings on SB 826 in coming weeks.