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Candidate for state superintendent of education takes fight against Common Core to the voters

  • Monday, January 27, 2014

  • Updated Wednesday, January 29, 2014 7:25 pm

Lloyd Mackall/For The Times Republicans listen as Sheri Few explains how the process of repealing Common Core has begun in Columbia with measures introduced in the General Assembly, SC Senate—S.300 and SC House of Representatives—H.3943, “The State Board of Education may not adopt and the State Department of Education may not implement the Common Core State Standards…”

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After announcing her candidacy for state office, Sheri Few came to Pawleys Island last week to tell why the Common Core Standards Initiative should be repealed by the state General Assembly.

Few, who lives in the Midlands and is seeking the Republican nomination for state superintendent of education, was in town to speak to Waccamaw Neck Republicans.

“It is an attempt by Washington, D.C., special interest groups and the federal government to herd the states, and our children, into one-size fits all national standards,” Few said.

She calls Common Core a “massive unfunded mandate.”

“Nationally costing $15.8 billion for the first seven years to only address basic expenditures across the country,” she said. “It is estimated to cost South Carolina $250 million.”

Few said the motivation for states to adopt the standards started with the infusion of stimulus money through the U.S. Department of Education.

“Race to the Top grants involving billions of taxpayer dollars were used and Common Core was adopted by 45 states,” she said. “This was linked to No Child Left Behind program waivers.”

Few said the General Assembly has already started the process of repealing Common Core with S.300 and H.3943.

“The State Board of Education may not adopt and the State Department of Education may not implement the Common Core state standards.”

She said local citizens should contact the state's congressmen and legislators and urge this repeal.

She met with Republican state Sen. Ray Cleary III, who is chairman of the Senate Education Committee.

“He is well informed on the issue,” she said. “He could encourage bringing S.300 out of his committee and onto the Senate floor.”

Few traveled all over the state in the last year making slideshow presentations about the problems with Common Core.

“Parents showed up to hear me and shared stories about their children who were once math scholars and now struggle to make a ‘C' because of the Common Core math,” she said. “I met other parents of young children who are anxious, crying and don't want to go to school because of the developmental inappropriateness of the Common Core K-3 standards.”

“I even hear from parents of what are known to be the best school districts in the state, who never would have considered home schooling or private schooling a year or two ago, and are now making great sacrifices to protect their children from Common Core as they exit the public school system,” she said.

“They've taken parents and local school boards out of the decision-making process of providing education to our children,” she said. “The other reason it's bad is there is not enough money at the state level for Common Core.”

She said she rejects Common Core state standards because there is no system of governance and accountability.

“A private trade association has copyrights on the program,” she said. “Common Core involves computerized testing and data mining of students, beginning in preschool and continuing through college and into the workforce. There are constitutional invasion-of-privacy concerns as the data can be used for government planning and research.”

On Feb. 17, Few said there will be a state rally on the repeal of Common Core, under themes of loving the state and loving its children.

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