(Ferndale Schools Press Release, Aug. 20, 2013)
The Ferndale Schools Board of Education unanimously voted at their August 19, 2013 meeting to endorse the principles and goals of the Common Core State Standards as adopted by the State of Michigan. In their resolution, they “strongly urge the Michigan Legislature to support and fund their continued implementation in Michigan’s public education system in order to maintain Michigan’s commitment to rigorous expectations for all students through equitable funding and support for economically disadvantaged districts.” The resolution will be sent to Governor Rick Snyder, the members of the Michigan legislature, local public officials, and State Superintendent Michael Flanagan.
The Board took this action because even though the Michigan State Board of Education voted unanimously on June 15, 2010 to adopt the Common Core State Standards as the Michigan Core Standards for mathematics and English/language arts. This year, the Michigan Legislature inserted language into the Michigan Department of Education budget that effectively prohibits Michigan from participating in the career-ready and college-ready Common Core State Standards.
Board President Jim O’Donnell said: “The Common Core Standards are under attack from a noisy, narrow segment of the political spectrum. Common Core Standards are important to moving forward in establishing consistent benchmarks for our students, including critical thinking skills and the project-based learning skills that are critical to 21st Century success. Local school boards, such as Ferndale’s, retain control over textbooks, curriculum and instruction methods. The Common Core Standards are a positive development that will help Michigan and our kids prepare for the future.”
Furthermore, Michigan school districts have already begun to implement the Common Core State Standards. The Ferndale Board asserts that the failure to implement the Common Core State Standards will jeopardize the waiver Michigan received under the No Child Left Behind Act, causing a majority of school districts in the state to fall below the adequate yearly progress standard. They recognize that in order for students to compete in a knowledge-based, global economy, Michigan needs consistent standards that will provide appropriate benchmarks for all students, regardless of where they live. They also believe that abandoning the implementation of the standards will lead to confusion for teachers and students as to what is expected of them.
The Common Core State Standards were developed collaboratively by teachers, legislators and other education professionals in 44 states to provide a consistent set of clear K-12 expectations that outline the knowledge and skills students need in English/language arts and mathematics to lead to career-readiness and college-readiness. The Common Core State Standards promote equity by ensuring all students, no matter where they live, are well prepared with the skills and knowledge necessary to compete with their peers in the United States and abroad.
For more on Ferndale Schools visit www.ferndaleschools.org.