Campaign Announced Against Maine’s Common Core Education Standards 

The Maine Equal Rights Center announced a first in the nation campaign on Wednesday. The group is backing a movement to put Maine’s Common Core education standards out to referendum on the November 2014 ballot.Common Core guidelines have been implemented throughout the state for two years now in both math and language arts.Those rallying in the Hall of Flags believe their children should not be common.”There are multiple levels of Common Core that are disturbing from the federal overreach to the cost to the standards themselves,” said Heidi Sampson, Co-Founder of No Common Core Maine. “Everyone has a different reason why they don’t like it. I’ve heard everything from the data mining portion. Dumbing down is another portion that really upsets people. The standards are actually lowered in many ways. I’m not a political person. I am a mom. I’m a mama bear. I’m concerned and there are many others out there like me,” said Erika Russell. I spoke with Education Commissioner Bowen about the Common Core guidelines schools around the state follow. “I haven’t heard issues that the standards aren’t rigorous. I think if anything they’re more rigorous. We’re seeing in states that are fully implemented and have already done assessments that the assessment scores are down because the bar has been raised. And as for the federal thing, this was a joint project of the states. The federal government doesn’t have involvement in it. They didn’t give us any money to do it. They didn’t write it. It was a joint project of the governors and the state commissioners of education. Really the states working together to come up with a common set of standards,” said Bowen. The commissioner says he’d be interested in what the group calling for the repeal would plan to do instead.”My feeling is that we can do better by replacing better English Language Art standards that have been proven over time and better math standards,” said Sampson. “In my experience traveling around the state visiting schools, I don’t have educators coming up to me and saying I’m really concerned about what those standards say. They are concerned about budgets and work loads and meeting the needs of all kids. The kind of concerns teachers already have,” said Bowen. But those opposed to the standards are determined to make change.”We have no money to make on this. We have nothing more invested than the children. That’s what it’s is for us,” said Russell.