Saturday, June 7, 2014

Sen. Ron Wyden Doesn't Get It On Common Core


Pat Eck, an OSOS member, recently wrote to Senator Ron Wyden concerning the Common Core State Standards. Here is Wyden’s responding email which is confusing as he recognizes that many constituents have raised concerns to him, yet he continues to think Common Core and the testing to be what is best for Oregon students.  Furthermore, he urges Oregonians to contact their legislators with these concerns as well.

Dear Mr. Eck:

Thank you for contacting me with your concerns about testing in Oregon schools.  I appreciate hearing from you on this important issue.

As you may know, the State of Oregon adopted Common Core Standard testing in 2010.  The aim of the Common Core Standards Initiative is to give students a clear understanding of the expected proficiency levels in reading, writing and mathematics while in school.  It is important to ensure that students graduating from high school are prepared to enter college programs and the workforce as soon as they graduate.

I have heard from many Oregonians in opposition of these standards for many well thought out reasons.  I understand how Oregonians can be frustrated with a national policy that compels states into heavy testing, and how that testing could handcuff local curricula.  At the same time, I believe our schools need to be held to a standard that promotes success for all Oregon students.  We need the policies in place that tell parents and teachers where each student stands, and what each student needs to work on for future success.  While this debate continues, and while we wait to see the results of the Common Core Standards in Oregon schools, I want you to know that I will not stop fighting for education reform and proper funding for Oregon schools as long as I am in office.

Please rest assured that I will continue to do all I can on the federal level to ensure Oregon students receive the highest quality education, but I also encourage you to contact your state legislators because the Common Core Standards are adopted by states independently.  Their contact information can be found at the Oregon State Legislature’s website at www.leg.state.or.us or by contacting your county election official.

Again, thank you for keeping me apprised of issues that are important to you.  If I may be of further assistance in the future, please do not hesitate to contact me.

Sincerely,

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