An Open Letter to Michigan Governor Snyder

Dear Governor Snyder,

I just finished speaking to another aide in your office regarding Common Core.  I asked him to please inform me regarding your position on Common Core (adopted in 2010), Next Generation Science Standards (pending adoption on May 14), and related assessments currently being piloted in Michigan schools.

Predictably, I didn’t get an answer.  I never do.

On different calls, I’ve been told you don’t comment on bills that are still in committee (HB 4276),  that this is something handled by the State School Board and out of your jurisdiction, or that this was decided by the previous administration and you don’t have a position.   This morning, I was simply and  politely told that my concerns would be passed along.

I’m tired of waiting.  No comment is no longer an option.  These standards are being implemented under your leadership, yet we don’t know whether you think they are a good idea for Michigan.  Where is your “tough nerd” analysis?

Yesterday, in a virtual town hall you called Skunk Works a “good idea.”  You even went further to say,

“So I’m actually going to take that concept and go talk to the state superintendent to say, ‘Why don’t we make that more official.’ Go to the state superintendent, the state board to say, ‘Hey, if that’s a good enough idea, we should be talking about doing that in schools.”

You are GOING to the school board to try and make Skunk Works more official but you refuse to comment on Common Core and Next Generation Science standards?

When I asked your aide about the apparent inconsistency and your willingness to comment on the concept of Skunk Works but not the concept of Next Generation Science Standards scheduled to be adopted by the State School Board on May 14, he said it was because you were asked a question in a virtual town hall.

So, I guess I have to ask my question in public to get an answer.

Are Common Core, Next Generation Science Standards, and the Smarter Balanced Assessments a good idea for Michigan?

The buck stops with you Governor Snyder.    You cannot sit on the fence and appear neutral regarding Common Core. If Michigan plans on requiring students to answer hundreds of questions based on these standards, you should be required to answer one first.  A “tough nerd” would not just answer the question but ace it.


Karen Braun