Iowa Lawmakers Want to Pull Away From Common Core

They are the teaching standards now across 45 states, including Illinois and Iowa. It’s called the common core, but as one area school district goes all in, others could soon opt out.

It was a late night math lesson Wednesday, February 12, 2014, for Moline parents. They got a crash course on Common Core State Standards 101.

Common Core State Standards is a way to better prepare students for careers or college by critical thinking and problem solving.

“I’m seeing a lot of kids a lot more engaged and a lot more creativity and a lot more deeper thinking,” said Garfield Elementary School teacher, Lynsy Erickson.

While it’s been a successful first year with the Common Core in Moline, in Iowa some lawmakers already want to go back to life without those standards.

“It is surprising, maybe disappointing. I’m not sure its being done for the right reasons,” said Pleasant Valley school district’s superintendent, Dr. Jim Spelhaug.

There are two bills in Des Moines right now to chip away at the Common Core Standards, including one which seeks to make Common Core curriculum voluntary.
Dr. Spelhaug says he fully supports the Common Core Standards and wants them kept.

“What we see is the great opportunity,” said Dr. Spelhaug.

A way to move education forward, the lawmaker’s proposal, he says would do the opposite.

“If we get immersed in this get rid of the common core, I just think that would be unwise for this state,” said Dr. Spelhaug.

Losing the focus of what is important.

“I think its turning into such a political thing which makes me really sad, because I think more than anything this is about the kids and what they need,” said Erickson.

The other bill up for debate in Des Moines, seeks to get Iowa out of an oline testing system for students. That’s set to go into effect across dozens of states, including Illinois next school year. No word how soon or if Iowa lawmakers could vote to opt out of this system.

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