There has been a lot of misinformation about common core education standards, and understandably parents are becoming more interested and concerned about the direction we are moving with education in South Dakota. I think the increased awareness and parental involvement is fantastic. Some are believe that this is an effort by state educators to give up local control of education or to adopt curriculum that is contrary to the values of South Dakotans.
But what I have learned as I have spoken to superintendents and the state department of education is that they have their own reasons for adopting the common core standards which have little to do with the decades-long march to nationalize education standards, textbooks, tests, and methods for all 50 states. The proponents of nationalized education system are very vocal about this agenda, but local educators do not believe adopting these standards equates to endorsing this goal or losing local control. Personally, I disagree. These standards were adopted without parental involvement, which was a huge mistake. We are naive if we do not wake up and realize the common core “carrot” is simply leading us down a path of nationalization that ends with a big, ugly stick.