Parnell Clarifying Stance on Common Core Standards

Governor Sean Parnell is working to “clear the air” over his stance on the national Common Core Education Standards for K-12 education.

Parnell said that he was one of the first governors to reject the federal government’s attempt to impose Common Core Standards on the states and his position has remained unchanged.

Parnell said that his firm belief is that Alaskans should set curriculum standards for Alaskans, not Washington. He clarified this position to Education Secretary Arne Duncan and Senator Mark Begich just weeks after taking office in 2009 as they both urged the Parnell administration to support national Common Core Standards.

Parnell views the Common Core standards as a a one-size-fits-all federal approach which would jeopardize Alaska’s parental and local decision-making over our public education system, and that is not in Alaskans’ best interest.

The Alaska Board of Education recently established new, more rigorous curriculum standards for high school graduation. After more than two years of review, the Board adopted new standards in language arts and mathematics, because Alaska’s former standards did not reach high enough, as Parnell said, the old standards were not as rigorous as they needed to be for the quality education our children need in a global economy.

Governor Parnell said that the next goal will to be to develop our own Alaska test to measure student progress against our more rigorous Alaska education standards.

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