CARSON CITY — The curriculum to implement Common Core is so confusing that parents can’t even help their elementary school-age children do their homework, a state lawmaker said Wednesday in support of a bill to repeal the controversial educational standards in Nevada.
Assemblyman Brent Jones, R-Las Vegas, said the convoluted curriculum, when combined with intrusive data mining of personal information about students and their parents and a costly unproven testing requirement, make repealing Common Core the right move for Nevada policymakers.
Jones testified before the Assembly Education Committee in support of his Assembly Bill 303, which would do away with the standards in Nevada. One of the biggest problems with Common Core standards is the “top down” control, one-size fits all mentality that many believe will lead to ultimate failure and federal government overreach, he said.
It was the first hearing on the measure, which faces an uphill battle given the opposition to the measure from members of Gov. Brian Sandoval’s Cabinet.
But the intrusive data mining and loss of privacy are also major concerns.
“Now that the public has had a chance to ‘read the rules,’ we discover Common Core violates the privacy of students and their families through the gathering and sharing of vast amounts of personal information,” Jones said.
“And worse yet, that private information is being sent and shared with the federal government and will follow the student and his family for years.”
Jones noted that many states are looking to repeal Common Core as more information about the program has become available. Nevada needs to do the same, he said. Jones has proposed that Nevada instead adopt standards established by Massachusetts.
The bill was opposed by Dale Erquiaga, state superintendent of public instruction, and Dan Klaich, chancellor of the Nevada System of Higher Education.
In a joint letter to the committee, the educators said repealing the Nevada Academic Content Standard for English language arts and mathematics based on the Common Core State Standards would unravel years of work to implement more rigorous academic standards.
The Common Core standards were adopted by the Nevada Board of Education in June 2010.
“With this action, the Board of Education committed to ensuring that all students are ready for college and careers,” Erquiaga and Klaich said. “The standards establish a single set of clear educational standards that outlines what students should know and be able to do in English language arts and mathematics from kindergarten through 12th grade.”
Nevada’s school districts are developing their own curricula and classroom teachers decide how best to instruct to the new standards, they said.
“There is no mandated curriculum or instructional methods that teachers must use, only a set of standards that will promote college and career-ready students,” Erquiaga and Klaich said.
The state Board of Education voted unanimously last week to oppose AB303.
“There is no question that the Common Core standards are good for our kids,” board member Allison Serafin said.
Sandoval has supported Common Core during his time as governor, issuing an executive order in 2013 creating the Common Core State Standards Steering Committee.
The Common Core standards were established by the National Governors Association Center for Best Practices and the Council of Chief State School Officers in 2010.
The hearing concluded with no immediate action on the bill.
Several dozen Common Core opponents rallied in support of the bill earlier in the day.
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