Six years ago, in 2010, Michigan formally adopted the newly released Common Core standards. Developed by educational leaders from almost all 50 states, they were created as a way to better unify education across all of the states in every grade level as a way to improve standards across the board to keep American children on par with their international counterparts. While still going strong, Michigan hasn’t been without its challenges.
Calls for Repeal
Even now, dissenters are trying to dismantle the state’s use of the Core. Educators think they are great but many parents argue they aren’t great enough. Many Republican lawmakers back this thought process as they fight to make Michigan an educational leader of the country. According to current statistics, only 50% of third graders have shown proficiency in reading. Because of this and a few other choice statistics, bills have entered into the Michigan system that would have the educational standards completely redone.
At its heart, the current anti-Core bill, introduced by State Senator Patrick Colbeck, would completely dump Common Core and put in its place the standards long used by Massachusetts, America’s top educational state. Even now, the small New England state has always had some of the best test scores in the country, making it understandable as to why Michigan would want to emulate them.
Standing Their Ground
Even so, the Core does have its fair share of strong supporters. Many of these individuals argue that repealing the Core now, after six years of use, would only serve to undercut the progress that has been made. In fact, only two years ago, in 2014, was a standardized test made for Core standards used in the state. In addition, the standardized test was also plagued with controversy as the school system had to do what they could to piece it together themselves after it was ruled that they would not be using the nationally developed test designed specifically for the Common Core.
Many are frustrated that such a push for continual educational change and upheaval continues. They argue that it’s not fair to the students that need consistency and stability to thrive. On top of this, the test results keep getting better each year. After the predicted slump with the new exam, scores are on the rise, highlighting that whatever is going on now is working. Why would people in the government want to interrupt this process of improvement?
As far as the Common Core is concerned in Michigan, it’s hard to say if it will stick around or be replaced. In the long run, though, it seems that the state isn’t entirely against the Core itself. In fact, the major quoted anti-Core individuals are governmental entities that aren’t directly tied to the educational system. As they work to change it, just as many, if not more, are working to keep it.