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State Superintendent Race: Letter to the Editor

Dear Editor:

Given the gubernatorial and congressional races, it would be easy to overlook a contest for State Superintendent of Education. In his guest column, therefore, Phillip Bowers made the timely and cogent point that selecting the state schools chief well may be the most important decision South Carolina voters make on Nov. 2. (“Zais for Education,” Oct. 12.)

A growing number of state board of education members around the nation are beginning to sound the alarm about the implications of the national education standards (the so-called “Common Core”) that the Obama Administration and its monied allies are pushing states to adopt. But Bowers may have laid out the stakes more succinctly than anyone else has.

Currently, he notes, the state (through its Board of Education) is responsible for teacher training and certification, textbook content, and teaching standards — in short, the cornerstones of an educational system.

“The problem,” he concludes, “is common standards will produce common tests; common tests will produce common textbooks, and common textbooks will produce common teacher training and certification. Common Core standards will result in total control of education by bureaucrats in Washington; not teachers, not South Carolinians.”

Indeed, federal and foundation money already is going into developing a national test linked to the national standards that originally were touted as “voluntary.” South Carolina voters ought to study carefully the backgrounds of the candidates for state education superintendent and decide which one would stand for local and parental control and which one would fall in line with Washington’s grand design.

Robert Holland, Senior Fellow for Education Policy, Heartland Institute

Chicago, IL

Read more: The Pickens Sentinel – State Superintendent Race