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A Lesson for Wyoming: A Tale of Two Moms

A Lesson for Wyoming: A Tale of Two Moms

A recent article in a local Wyoming paper contained quotes from various state and local government officials that ranged from idealistically, dewy-eyed praise of the Common Core standards (and curriculum being developed around it in Wyoming,) to steely-eyed, “don’t mess with it” support. The Common Core is a set of nationally developed but untested education standards 44 states have rushed to adopt with hopes of getting federal money and federal waivers – Wyoming included.

Glaringly absent from the article, however, was any input from parents, students and teachers. Those most directly affected by these standards seem to be absent from the discussion. Why is that? Probably because in Wyoming, like many other states, parents, students and teachers have had little to no input in the process to adopt these standards.

Juxtapose this with what recently happened in Indiana, where (18 months ago) two moms began noticing a change in their children’s homework and started asking questions. This lead them to discover their state had made a significant educational change when the appointed Indiana State Board of Education adopted the Common Core Standards; a change they and many other parents were completely unaware of until they started seeing a difference in their children’s schoolwork. These women were none too pleased by these differences.

You can read the entire story here. It is an amazing and powerful tale of two moms getting active and demanding answers. And not giving up. As of last week, Indiana is the first state to put a halt to the implementation of Common Core standards and curriculum in their state. Parents and education activists in many other states have promised to follow suit.

Despite growing apprehensions nationally and many statewide concerns, some Wyoming legislators, school district administrators and education officials continued to maintain support for the deeply flawed Common Core State Standards. For now.

There is a lesson to be learned from what happened in Indiana: a lesson about the power of parents, teachers and students who start asking questions and don’t give up until they have the answers.

As a growing movement of local parents, teachers and Tea Party activists has begun to get organized, Indiana may provide just the lesson Wyoming needs to learn.

*Since the publication of this post, Wyoming parents have seen little to no improvement in state and local education officials willingness to reach out to them.  The State Board of Education was recently tasked with reaching out to parents to sit on an Assessment Committee and both major parent lead groups in the state were not contacted.

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Wednesday, 23 August 2017
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