Area citizens opposed to federal government influence in local public school curriculum will be picketing a visit by U.S. Secretary of Education, Arne Duncan. Duncan is an advocate for the recently implemented and highly controversial Common Core standards. He will be participating in a town hall-style meeting on career and technical education at Worcester Technical High School on Wednesday, March 12 at 9 a.m.
Common Core is a one size fits all set of education standards. These standards are being implemented in 45 states, though several states are rethinking their participation because of resistance from parents, teachers, and administrators. The un-proven, un-tested and under-funded standards will cost state and local governments billions of dollars to implement.
If fully implemented, Common Core will federalize public education. Local control will be transferred to a bureaucracy in Washington. Common Core standards are replacing the very successful Massachusetts standards that have made the state’s public schools the best in the nation. Ironically, Massachusetts, a leader in standardized student test results, will spend millions to LOWER its standards. According to concerned teachers, it will undermine their autonomy and their creative ability to help students learn.
Just last week in Worcester, the Worcester School Committee voted to support parental rights by giving them the option to OPT out of the standardized pilot PARCC (Partnership for Assessment of Readiness for College and Careers.) associated with the Common Core. This parent lead movement has also gained the support of the EAW (Educational Association of Worcester) teachers’ union in Worcester by voting “NO CONFIDENCE” in the implementation of PARCC.
Common Core is also committed to building massive student data bases by gathering over 400 data elements on each student, including religious affiliation, medical information, and family income – well beyond what is currently captured. These databases are designed to track children from preschool through college.
Picketers will gather at 8:30 am at the corner of Skyline Drive and Belmont Street in Worcester prior to Secretary Duncan’s visit to Worcester Technical School. Worcester Technical High School is located at 1 Skyline Drive, Worcester.