Legislators want to control curriculum, now

The state’s legislators, almost all of whom campaigned on promises of limited government, are intent on expanding their authority as far as possible.

The Legislature appears poised to reverse or hamper the Common Core Standards curriculum. Their fear is that it somehow represents an expansion of federal control.

The people of the state elected a Board of Education to deal with school issues, but the Legislature — despite a complete lack of expertise in educational issues — seems incapable of letting the board do its job.

The Board of Education adopted the Common Core curriculum for good reasons, the same reasons that most superintendents and local school boards support it and 44 other states have joined Alabama in adopting it. The standards benefit from the collective experiences of the states and they make it feasible for families to move from one state to another.

Common Core is not, despite legislators’ paranoia, a federal program. The National Governors Association sponsored the initiative. The U.S. Education Department recognizes the benefits of Common Core, but the agency did not develop it and is not a significant player in its implementation.

The members of the state Board of Education, elected by the people, studied the Core Curriculum extensively and adopted it. Rather than seeking ways to expand their authority into areas in which they have no expertise, the Legislature should defer to those who do.

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Filed under Alabama politics, education, States' rights

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