Colorado State Board of Education Adopts Common Core Academic Standards

I’ve been listening this morning to the Colorado State Board of Education discuss their decision to adopt the Common Core standards. If you want a play-by-play, check out my Twitter page.

Bottom line: the State Board just voted to adopt Common Core by the margin of 4-3. Republican Randy DeHoff joined the Board’s three Democrats in favor of adoption. Among other things, this move effectively ensures Colorado has an inside shot to win up to $175 million in federal Race to the Top funds.

I expressed my views on the matter Friday. Even then I knew that stopping the train would be a difficult task. And though the vote may not have turned out as I wished, opponents like Board member Peggy Littleton and the hundreds of citizens who spoke out were able to ensure an open, honest and clarifying debate about values and principles. Too bad the specter of federal money loomed overhead.

State Board Chairman Bob Schaffer put the matter in perspective, said the decision is all about the federal money, and not the quality of the academic standards. Yet he doesn’t see it as starting our state down an irreversible course of federal subservience.

Thus we move on, keep working on important issues and hope for the best: for example, being vigilant about how Colorado uses the Race to the Top dollars our state is likely to win. And after all, I have a long future ahead of me.