ST. CHARLES - School board members in west suburban St. Charles are so concerned about the federal Common Core curriculum mandates that they passed a resolution Monday night to caution state lawmakers about plunging deeper into the Obama Administration's education plan.
In a 6-1 decision, St. Charles Community Unit School District 303 passed the resolution. They are hopeful other districts will follow suit.
"We have heard from parents and fewer teachers - I don't think they are able to speak up so easily," board member Judith O'Connell told Illinois Review. "We're hopeful other districts will follow suit, legislators and candidates will pay attention and consider. In three years, this was my favorite board meeting."
O'Connell said she has been sharing information about the Common Core curriculum with other board members. Indiana recently pulled out of the program, while 14 other states are either considering pulling out or delaying implementation due to the high costs and unfunded mandates associated with the program. Most of all, parents, teachers and now school board members are concerned about losing local control to a federal bureaucracy.
The Common Core Standards resolution passed Monday night states:
WHEREAS the Board of Education of St. Charles Community Unit School District 303, Kane and DuPage Counties Illinois, wish to express their concern regarding the development, selection, and implementation of both the Common Core State Standards and the PARCC Assessment Program.
WHEREAS the Board of Education of the St. Charles Community School District 303, Kane and DuPage Counties, Illinois, is concerned with:
1. The increasing encroachment of the Federal Government on education issues at the State and local level.
2. The lack of local control over the development of standards and the selection of assessments that meet the needs and expectations of the local community.
3. The high costs associated with the PARCC assessment particularly associated with the need for new technology infrastructure and hardware.
4. The amount of instructional time lost to excessive assessment practices associated with the administration of PARCC assessments.
5. The elimination of funding for the ACT, a critical assessment for students with higher education aspirations.
6. Continued unfunded mandates from the State of Illinois which are unduly burdensome on the tax payers of St. Charles Community School District 303.
NOW, THEREFORE, BE IT RESOLVED that the Board of Education of the St. Charles Community School District 303, Kane and DuPage Counties, Illinois, request that elected State officials carefully review, question, and oppose legislation that provides further appropriations for the development, implementation, field testing, or administration of the Common Core Standards and the PARCC assessment program.
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State Representative Dwight Kay (R-Glen Carbon) has been unsuccessful in seeking a vote in the Illinois House on a resolution calling for a delay in Illinois' implementation of the Common Core standards. State Senator Kyle McCarter (R-Highland) is running into the same obstacles in the Illinois Senate.