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Knudson named to Assembly Select Committee on Common Core Standards

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Rep. Dean Knudson, R-Hudson, on Wednesday, Sept. 25. issued the following statement upon his appointment to the Assembly Select Committee on Common Core Standards.

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“I had hoped that the co-chairs of the Joint Legislative Council would have formed a Common Core study committee, but instead the select committee will investigate and make recommendations.

“The public and members of the legislature deserve a real opportunity to ask basic questions about these standards and to learn more about the costs, risks, and benefits involved.

“The select committee will play an important role in providing an opportunity for public input on this contentious topic, and I am honored that the Speaker has asked to me serve. I am anxious to get to work.”

Knudson, a member of the Joint Committee on Finance, authored language included in the 2013-2015 state budget that paused implementation of Common Core Standards and sought further study and input from the Legislative Fiscal Bureau, the Department of Public Instruction and the Joint Legislative Council.

The Common Core Standards were an initiative of the National Governors Association.

According to a website promoting the standards, the purpose is to help teachers ensure that their students have the skills and knowledge they need to be successful by providing clear goals for student learning.

“The Common Core State Standards Initiative is a state-led effort that established a single set of clear educational standards for kindergarten through 12th grade in English language arts and mathematics that states voluntarily adopt,” states the website for Common Core State Standards Initiative, www.corestandards.org.

“The standards are designed to ensure that students graduating from high school are prepared to enter credit bearing entry courses in two or four year college programs or enter the workforce. The standards are clear and concise to ensure that parents, teachers, and students have a clear understanding of the expectations in reading, writing, speaking and listening, language and mathematics in school.”

The website says the federal government was not involved in the development of the standards. It says local teachers, principals and superintendents lead the implementation of the Common Core.

According to Wikipedia, 45 states are members of the Common Core State Standards Initiative, with the states of Texas, Virginia, Alaska and Nebraska not adopting the initiative at a state level. Minnesota has adopted the English Language Arts standards but not the Mathematics standards.

Some conservatives are opposing implementation of the standards. They have said the standards amount to a nationalization of the educational system and don’t set a high enough bar for achievement. Others oppose them for cultural reasons.

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