Alive and Well: The Soft Bigotry of Low Expectations
April 5, 2019

The blowback against the Common Core State Standards appeared to die down a few years ago, but some Network members are still encountering those who continue to use standards and assessments as a convenient punching bag.

Alabama has been ground zero for the latest standards dust up and Network member A+ Education Partnership has sprung into action. A state legislator initially introduced a bill to prevent the use of all national assessments, which would have precluded not just the use of Common Core State Standards but also tests like Advanced Placement, the ACT or SAT college entrance exam, and tests related to workforce credentialing. While this piece was quickly amended out, the bill still threatens to lower academic standards in the state.

Some in Alabama have also blamed standards for flattening test scores, an argument some opponents are also using in Texas (read here to see how the Texas Department of Education is responding). Network member Texas Aspires has been working there to protect high standards.

And Michael Petrilli of the Thomas B. Fordham Institute recently penned an op-ed encouraging New Jersey not to lower their high school graduation requirements. It all goes to show that the defense of high standards and quality assessments requires eternal vigilance.

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Dale Chu

Dale is a consultant for the PIE Network and president at DC Strategies

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