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Schaffer: time to “shed light” on Common Core in Colorado

By | December 11th, 2012

“If you had to describe the sequence by which Colorado committed itself to the Common Core, it would be ready, fire, aim,” said Colorado State Board of Education Chairman Bob Schaffer.

Schaffer voted against the curriculum standards in 2010, when the Board voted to adopt them by a 4-3 vote.

On Monday, we profiled the new standards and how they may negatively affect curriculum, students and their prospects for competitiveness in the new global economy. Implementation is expected to be completed by 2015 in every school in every state (46) that has approved the Common Core.

Given that Colorado - and many other states - appear stuck with the new standards for now, we asked Schaffer, “What, if anything, can Colorado do to reverse their adoption?”

“At this point the state is so deeply and firmly attached to them [Common Core standards] even in their infancy that the most prudent thing to do at this point is just shed light on the issue and begin talking and letting people fully understand what the state has committed itself to,” he said.

“The State Board held a hearing a little earlier today…It became very apparent that even the advocates of the Common Core Standards can’t answer basic questions about what these standards actually, really look like when it comes to implementation. How the assessment alignment will really take place. So we’ve essentially joined a well-intentioned set of ideas, but as to what this means for Colorado, there are more questions than answers at this point. So raising those questions, having opinion leaders and political leaders in the state fully discuss the meaning of Common Core membership in Colorado is the first step before the state will even get to the point of deciding whether it’s a good idea.”

Schaffer, who is completing six years of service on the State Board of Education, served three terms in the U.S. House of Representatives, representing Colorado’s Fourth Congressional District. Earlier in his career, he served in the Colorado state Senate for nine years. Since 2010, he has served as principal of Liberty Common High School in Fort Collins, a high-performing charter school.

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