By Kyle Olson, Special for USDR
The Williamson County school board wants to make it clear: they don’t like the Common Core national standards initiative.
The Tennessean reports:
By a unanimous 12-0 vote, the Williamson County school board on Monday night addressed its concerns about Common Core State Standards by voting for a resolution in support of more local control in their district.
The board revised its original resolution (see full text below) before Monday’s vote to eliminate “negative” language. While the bulk of the resolution remained the same, the ending was changed.
The paper notes the original wording stated that the board “stands opposed to Common Core-derived standards and in favor of educational standards and decision-making being driven by local control of the education process.”
That wording was amended to read the board “stands in support of locally derived educational standards and decision making.”
“The fact that we were able to draft something that supported both means to an end, with regards that we don’t control Common Core at the local level, but it also sends a message that we want local control,” school board member Kenneth Peterson says, according to the paper.
Board member Dr. Beth Burgos adds she would ultimately like to see Common Core repealed in Tennessee.
According to The Tennessean, the full resolution passed unanimously by the board reads:
WHEREAS, the Williamson County Board of Education holds student achievement and educational growth as two of its highest responsibilities; and
WHEREAS, the Williamson County Board of Education strongly supports and is proud of the challenging, rewarding and excellent work performed by its teachers, administration and staff members; and
WHEREAS, Williamson County Schools consistently achieves high outcomes in student learning, and has been declared a high performing school district under the High Performing School Districts Flexibility Act; and
WHEREAS, the Williamson County Board of Education strongly supports local control of issues and decisions that have an impact on education in our local schools; and
WHEREAS, the Williamson County Board of Education favors standards and curricula emphasizing critical thinking and analytical skills over rote skill repetition, constant and continuous testing, and data-mining for evaluating student performance; and
WHEREAS, Williamson County Schools has already added additional rigorous standards to those established by the State of Tennessee, in the form of “Williamson County Expectations” or “WCE’s”; and
WHEREAS, Williamson County Schools has recently been granted additional authority to further develop local standards that meet or exceed Tennessee expectations; and
WHEREAS, Tennessee’s current Reading Language Arts and Mathematics standards are based on Common Core State Standards; and
WHEREAS, the educational standards such as Common Core State Standards that are nationally applicable and not locally controlled may be contrary to several existing laws when implemented in Tennessee, including but not limited to, the General Education Provisions Act (“GEPA”), codified at 20 U.S.C. § 1232(a); T.C.A. § 49-1-309; and S.J.R. 491, 108th General Assembly of the State of Tennessee (2014).
NOW, THEREFORE, BE IT RESOLVED AS FOLLOWS:
The Williamson County Board of Education stands opposed to Common Core-derived standards and in favor of educational standards and decision-making being driven by local control of the education process.