Editor, Times-Union:
I am a candidate for District 22, Indiana House of Representatives. I am opposed to the Common Core State Standards Initiative, also known as Common Core. The current representative favors it. I believe the citizens are entitled to know why I oppose “Common Core.”
I suspect a lot of people do not understand what Common Core is. It is an effort to standardize the teaching of math and English language on a national basis with testing to determine if students meet certain learning objectives.
I oppose Common Core because it is an attempt to force a “one size fits all” based, essentially, upon a single national standard. I believe that the education of our children should be accomplished at the local level rather than from top down directives. I am concerned that implementation of Common Core will chill the initiative of our fine teachers and administrators in the district. Their job is to teach our children by opening their minds on how to learn as much as learning technical proficiency in certain subjects. Our teachers and administrators ought not to be saddled with the burdens of bureaucratic mandates; rather, they should be empowered to teach with creativity and agility. I also suspect that the Common Core initiatives will prevent our exceptional students from pursuing educational trajectories unique to their particular gifts. In short, I am concerned that Common Core will have the opposite effect of its stated purpose; it may ultimately serve to harm the education of our young people.
There is little doubt that adjustments must be made in the American educational system. We lag behind in certain subjects, particularly in impoverished areas of the country. However, my sense is that educational deficiencies are the result of poverty and family disintegration more than problems in the educational system itself. Targeting teachers and administrators and expecting them to solve these systemic problems is both unfair to them and a diversion from the root problems in our society.
I am very interested in hearing from all constituents on this subject or any other. I can be reached at dkolbe@dkolbelaw.com We who seek or serve in office owe it to the people to let them teach us their aspirations and concerns. After all, we work for you.
David C. Kolbe
Warsaw, via e-mail