Senate Education Committee passes Common Core repeal bill

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LANSING, Mich. — State Sen. Patrick Colbeck, R-Canton, continued his push to make Michigan a top ten state for education by urging repeal of Common Core in Michigan during testimony before the Senate Education Committee on Tuesday.

The committee passed Senate Bill 826, sponsored by Sen. Colbeck. The measure would repeal the Common Core  Standards in Michigan and replace them with the Massachusetts pre-Common Core standards.

Tuesday’s hearing featured testimony from Dr. Sandra Stotsky in support of SB 826. Stotsky is a former dissenting member of the Common Core Validation Committee and led the development of the Massachusetts pre-Common Core standards that helped establish that state as the nation’s top performing education system.

“Massachusetts pre-Common Core standards in ELA, mathematics, science, and history/social science are the only sets of K-12 state standards in the country with empirical evidence to support their effectiveness,” Stotsky said. “They are also among the few sets of K-12 standards thoroughly vetted by high school teachers and academic experts in the subject areas they address.”

She explained that the goal of the state’s pre-Common Core standards was to increase all students’ achievement, not just to close the achievement gaps, as Common Core does, “by lowering the achievement of the top 50 percent and by trying to raise the bottom.” The end result of pre-Common Core standards was that “all demographic groups improved, but the gains of lower-achieving students were accelerated.”

Joining Stotsky in support of the bill were many parents, teachers, and students dedicated to stopping the Common Core experiment in Michigan, including second grader Cody Prested of Livonia, who expressed concerns over the emphasis on testing at such a young age.

Senate Education Committee Chairman Sen. Phil Pavlov also spoke about the need to replace Common Core.

“It is time to end the disastrous national experiment that is Common Core and let Michigan manage its own destiny to achieve excellence in our education system,” said Sen. Pavlov, R-St. Clair Township. “This bill sets quality, Michigan-controlled standards that give our schools consistency for the future and give local communities a voice in their children’s education.”

Sen. Colbeck added, “The way Michigan becomes a top ten state in education is to emulate the best state in education, not the middle of road, as the State Board of Education did by adopting ‘Common’ Core in 2010. With the passage of SB 826, Michigan students will be back on the path to educational excellence.”

The bill now resides on the Senate floor awaiting consideration by the full Senate.