January 27, 2014

Article as it appeared on Breitbart.com

When the new legislative season begins on February 5, Connecticut State Senator Joe Markley (R-16) will introduce a bill that blocks officials from spending $1 million on an advertising campaign for Common Core.

“Why should the government spend a million dollars of taxpayer money to convince people why they should like Common Core?” Markley told Breitbart News. “They passed it without asking us, the educators or parents.”

Connecticut is offering a $1 million contract, and four public companies are competing for it. Their names are withheld under Connecticut’s Freedom of Information statutes.

Private interest groups based in Washington, D.C., without any representation from the states, developed Common Core. The Board of Education was involved in the meetings and continues to pour money into the standards. The states had to adopt Common Core in order to receive Race to the Top funding.

Markley told Breitbart News the state board of education decided to implement Common Core behind closed doors. The state government, parents, and students did not have any knowledge of the standards, and the board was not engaged enough when they passed them.

“They told us they were going to reform education,” Markley said. “We had 45 minutes to look it over and the papers were still hot from the copy machine. I have noticed a serious deterioration in communication between the board of education and state government since the first time I served in office.”

He was first elected to the state Senate in 1984. He decided to return and was reelected in 2010.

“I do not think education standards should come from D.C.,” he said. “I would not care if it was President Reagan in office. Education should be at the local level. Not federal or even state. It should be local.”

Markley said his 16th district includes towns that are both industrial and upscale. Each town is different, and he believes they should control their own education standards because the teachers and parents know the students better than those in D.C. or the state government. Other districts, such as New Haven Public Schools, expressed this same thought and said the standards are too much for students in some of their schools.

“Before the start of a new legislature season I talk to people in their towns,” he said. “Many people from both sides of the aisle come up to me and say they are against Common Core. It is a pleasure to see both sides working together.”