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Letter to the editor: Common core standards are not local control

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    Robert N. Hart
    Robert N. Hart

In reference to your article concerning the West Virginia Board of Education showing support for local control of education, I would like to provide another point of view. 

Local control of education in the United States has always been emphasized. There have been several Supreme Court decisions that support it. To say the West Virginia Board of Education in any way supports local control flies in the face of the facts. First, the West Virginia Board of Ed's seizure of control of many county schools and the dysfunctional result of their efforts, for instance, McDowell County schools after 12 years of state control.  

Second, the West Virginia State Board of Ed was the second state school board in the U.S. to accept federalization of local school curriculum when they accepted Common Core. Common Core was not accepted by the Legislature, governor or "We the People." Few people seem to realize this. 

Common Core is the opposite of local control. "Top down" standards, curriculum and testing ensure less local involvement. On the promise of better standards, local communities have lost the ability to make key decisions about their local school's education programs. There were no local meetings, public input or debate about Common Core. The decision was made for your family by the Governors appointee's without your input. The Common Core standards are copyrighted and parents will lose all input to their children's education under Common Core.

The dysfunction in the educational system in West Virginia validates that the further away a decision is made from those it affects, the worse that decision is. For State BOE President (Gayle) Manchin to say she as supports local education is fiction not fact. The factors addressed in your article that the BOE considers an attempt to give any local control back to parents are a joke.

Real local control means you can again take control of your children's education at the county level and still receive state and federal funding.

Jim Hinebaugh
Maysville