Common Core Ballot Question May Be Added in Massachusetts

Published September 28, 2015

Massachusetts Attorney General Maura Healy determined a proposed statewide ballot question that asks voters to decide whether the state will adhere to Common Core standards is constitutional.

In the wake of Healy’s September decision, a statewide campaign called End Common Core Massachusetts is collecting voter signatures to get the question on the ballot in 2016.

“We need to gather around 68,000 signatures,” Donna Colorio, chairwoman of End Common Core Massachusetts, told School Reform News. “Then, we’ll continue to build public support for passing the ballot initiative and returning Massachusetts back to its previous nation-leading position in state academic standards and tests.”

End Common Core Massachusetts advocates ending the use of Common Core standards and Common Core-aligned tests in the state, restoring the previous Massachusetts standards. Colorio says Common Core standards are of lower quality than the state’s previous standards.

“[Common Core] cuts classic literature, poetry, and drama in the Bay State by 60 percent,” Colorio said. “Since Massachusetts began to implement Common Core in our schools between 2011 and 2013 on NAEP fourth-grade reading, [which is] the strongest predictor of future academic achievement, though still number one in the country, we’ve dropped five [percentage] points, the largest drop in the country.”

Colorio says state control of standards is important.

“The U.S. Constitution leaves K–12 education to the states, not the federal government,” Colorio said.

Vivian Hughbanks ([email protected]) writes from Hillsdale, Michigan.  

Image by woodleywonderworks.