This summer Oklahoma became the latest state to ditch Common Core. Their legislation has real teeth because no back-door federally influenced standards will be allowed in. Tennessee is the latest state to put the brakes on Common Core implementation, as Fox News’ Perry Chiaramonte reports:
Two Republican state senators introduced legislation this week to repeal the national curriculum, a move that came on the heels of Gov. Bill Haslam calling for a public review of the English and math standards being pushed by Washington. The efforts show building momentum that could make the Volunteer State the third to opt out of the controversial program, which is aimed at establishing minimum national standards but has met with broad criticism from parent groups, conservatives and even some teachers unions.
Like many other states, this is a key issue this year in Tennessee," said Sen. Mike Bell, chairman of the government operations committee. "I believe we need control over our own state standards. This legislation will start the discussion about how we will accomplish that task, while ensuring we have the highest standards to give our students the career- and work-ready skills they need in a competitive 21st century workplace.”
Bell was joined by Sen. Dolores Gresham, who chairs the Senate education committee, and said Tennessee became the "fastest-improving state in the nation" in education by employing its own, locally and state- controlled standards.
“We need to be a leader and take the next logical step, which is to use the knowledge we have learned and tailor it to Tennessee students, exerting state responsibility over education,” Gresham said. …
In the legislation, known as Senate Bill 4, Gresham and Bell propose the creation of a nine-member commission equally appointed by the governor and legislative leaders, tasked with holding public meetings to “ensure transparency and maximize public input into the process.”
As with all legislation, citizens need to read the fine print.
Lawmakers could just be trying to appear as though they are “doing something.” Here’s a good yardstick. Hands down, some of the best state standards around come from Massachusetts and California.
If lawmakers in Tennessee are serious about education excellence, they will take a closer look at what Massachusetts and California did pre-Common Core.
If not, parents and taxpayers should be on guard and hold their elected officials accountable.