Baumer: Illinois should not be a Common Core state
Although the idea behind Common Core — to have everyone receive an equal education — is a good one, the reality is everyone has different life experiences and learns differently, Katy Dolan Baumer, Republican candidate for the 44th State District House seat, said.
“I think Common Core was a good idea, the intent was good, but I think school choice is a better idea,” Baumer told the West Cook News.
One problem is Common Core eliminates project-base teaching in classrooms. Baumer gave an example of a teacher setting up a mystery for her students to solve by analyzing footprints, determining if it “the crime” was committed by a right- or left-handed person and other evidence. These types of experiences help children to learn but are also something they remember for many years. Hours of testing will not provide students with the same positive impact in their futures, she said.
“I'm not wild about Common Core," Baumer said. "I see the value of it, but I think it puts a lot of stress on teachers, kids and administrators."
One of the problems with Common Core is it takes the control out of the hands of the teachers and administrators and even the states, which are more familiar with the circumstances the students in their school district are facing, the candidate said.
The federal government needs to step out of education and let the states handle it the way it was originally set up. The federal government asserts schools and states have a choice on whether they will accept common core, but it's not a choice when grants are attached to it, Baumer said.
The government's job is not to run our lives, Baumer said. The government should provide some basic tools and infrastructure and let the state, villages and townships handle what needs to be done.
The government has done the same thing by trying to take over social programs. In the past it was social agencies such as churches, the Red Cross, the Lions Club, and the like that stepped in to help people when they fell on hard times, Baumer said. The government has tried to step in and take over, but it's the people in the community that can really understand the problems their neighbors face. Education is not going to disappear if the federal government steps out of it. People understand the value of education, but parents and educators should be responsible for choosing how students will learn, not the government, Baumer said.
Illinois needs to follow the lead of other states and drop out of the consortium that creates the Common Core assessments as well, Baumer said.
The entire system needs to be re-evaluated, Baumer said, especially when it comes to the tactics used to convince states to adopt the Common Core curriculum.
“I think it's unfair and sabotage to tie it to grants,” she said. “Illinois should not be a Common Core state. There are other options."