Policy Documents

Invited Testimony for a Hearing in Michigan on House Bill 4276

Sandra Stotsky –
March 20, 2013

 In this testimony before the Michigan House, Sandra Stotsky makes 4 general points regarding the common core:

  1. Why Common Core's non-rigorous English standards will reduce college readiness and  the ability to do “critical” thinking. 
  2. Why they lack a research base, international benchmarking, and qualified authors 
  3. How the English class can prepare students for authentic college coursework 
  4. Where Michigan can get ideas from for a first-class core academic curriculum 
  5. What Michigan can do to increase student learning in all subjects 

Stotsky concludes that, 

  1. Common Core’s standards are NOT internationally benchmarked and will not make our students competitive. 
  2. Common Core’s standards are NOT rigorous. Would any state have adopted them if it weren’t told they were rigorous?
  3. There is NO research to support Common Core’s stress on “informational” reading instruction in the English class or in any other high school subject.
  4. Michigan does not need Common Core to find out how its students compare with Iowa students. It can use NAEP’s results to find out. 

In the end, she states that,

All state standards should be reviewed and revised if needed at least every 5 to 7 years by identified Michigan teachers, discipline-based experts in the arts and sciences, and parents. All state assessments should be reviewed by Michigan teachers and discipline-based experts in the arts and sciences before the tests are given. This can’t happen with Common Core’s standards and assessments. Michigan’s main task is simply to pay for their costs. The future costs for staying with Common Core will far outweigh the costs for leaving while leaving is still possible.