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Common Core Unrest Obvious in 17 States

November 23, 2013

Proponents of the Common Core State Standards (CCSS) are fond of saying that CCSS “has been adopted by 45 states and the District of Columbia.” However, it seems that they refuse to mention the CCSS resistance that has found its way into state offices–often resulting in formal hearings.

Below I offer the latest in CCSS unrest from 17 states, compliments of my esteemed fellow teacher, Vicky Johnston. Each of the following CCSS, “state of the states” articles is from September-November 2013, thereby representing fresh unrest.

For each state, I include an excerpt from the linked article. Follow the link for additional details.

Over one-third of the states whose governors and state superintendents signed the CCSS Memorandum of Understanding as part of US Department of Education Race to the Top (RTTT) funding are now percolating with CCSS misgivings.

That is what happens with top-down reform.  The “bottom”– those directly affected by the “top’s” decisions– eventually seethe.

Consider the excerpts below as a “catalogue of seething.”

Alabama 11-16-13

The Alabama state school board on Thursday voted to rescind a 2009 agreement that “commits states to a state-led process” that leads to adoption of the Common Core. 

But the vote to rescind drew funny alliances, as the supporters of Common Core were the ones pushing to rescind the old commitment.

The Alabama school board members who have been critical of the controversial national standards called the vote a ruse designed to “make it appear the board has done something to correct the Common Core disaster.”

In the end, the vote passed, and the agreement was rescinded. The move was offered as an assurance that only Alabama educators will control Alabama’s curriculum. But Alabama standards remain unchanged, and those align with Common Core.

Florida 11-20-13

Florida’s public school superintendents on Tuesday asked for a three-year “pause” before the state fully implements the Common Core education standards in every kindergarten through high school classroom in the state.

Volusia County School Superintendent Margaret Smith told the state Board of Education, meeting in Gainesville, that the state’s 67 school superintendents strongly support the Common Core standards but think the districts need more time to adequately prepare to teach the new standards as well as use a still-developing test to measure student performance.

Georgia 11-17-13

Sen. William Ligon, R-Brunswick, has earned numerous followers both in the General Assembly and in grassroots groups for his leadership in opposition. He intends to push anew his bill to force Georgia’s complete withdrawal from Common Core.

That’s despite Gov. Nathan Deal’s executive orders to prevent the sharing of student data with entities outside the state and to develop the state’s own student assessments rather than the expensive, computerized exams offered through the national program. It’s also mindful of Deal’s request that the state Board of Education conduct its own review of the standards.

Indiana 11-18-13

Indiana’s top Republican lawmakers say it’s time to move on from the Common Core standards initiative and write state-level expectations for students.

House Speaker Brian Bosma called the fight over nationally-crafted education standards known as the Common Core a “distraction” and says it’s time for Indiana to develop its own expectations for students.

Iowa 10-16-13

Iowa Governor Terry Branstad signed an executive order on Wednesday rejecting federal intrusion into the state’s education system. The order, Number 83, declares that the state, “not the federal government of any other organization, shall determine the content of Iowa’s state academic standards”.

The order also states that school districts may also choose to use additional assessments to measure student progress.

Kansas 11-22-13

Gov. Sam Brownback is in the process of researching Kansas’ mathematics and English standards.

Asked whether the state should retain or drop the Common Core standards adopted by Kansas in 2010, the governor told The Topeka Capital-Journal in an interview Thursday he is examining the matter.

“We’re researching and looking at that now,” Brownback said.

Kentucky 11-18-13

Kentucky has often been hailed as the exemplar of implementation of the Common Core State Standards, from its handling of new classroom practices to the way it’s massaged the public perception of lower standardized test scores. But a couple of developments over the last week might give Bluegrass champions of the common core, and friends of the standards in general, some pause about the standards.

The first potential kink is a relatively straightforward one: A political activist, David Adams, has filed a lawsuit challenging the legality of the common core in Kentucky. What’s his argument? He essentially says that the Kentucky Legislature has failed to fulfill its obligation under the state constitution to ensure an “efficient system of common schools” and to make sure those schools are operated “without waste, duplication, mismanagement or political influence.” The Kentucky state school board officially adopted the standards in June 2010. But because state officials and others announced that they would be adopting the standards before they were finalized, Adams told me, they not only jumped the gun, but also crossed the line into some form of mismanagement or malign political influence.

Louisiana 11-21-13

Louisiana State Superintendent of Education John White announced Thursday the state would be delaying how students, teachers and schools are held accountable under the Common Core State Standards and related testing for at least two years.

He also said the state would be shifting to a “a long-term, 10-year view of what our education system can accomplish with these standards.” The announcement came after months of pressure from parents, teachers and political groups urging the state to delay or drop the standards all together.

Maine 09-10-13

[Maine Governor] LePage’s effort to distance himself from Common Core was evident last week, when he disavowed support for the standards and, in a separate move, issued an executive order saying the state would not divulge personal student information to the federal government.

The governor’s statements seemed aimed at his supporters on the right, who were crucial in lifting him to the Blaine House in 2010. But those statements won’t endear him to business interests, which have emerged as strong backers of Common Core.

 Maryland 11-21-13

Many [teachers and parents], they (MD senators) said [to MD Superintendent Lowery], complained about how the state is simultaneously implementing three big programs: a new testing system, new ways to evaluate teachers and a more rigorous set of education standards known as the Common Core. …

Lowery responded that the state has already sought ways to slow down the reforms, delaying when the new teacher evaluation system tied to student achievement takes effect and when new tests will be used to measure the state’s education system. …

This is one of the worst program implementations I have ever seen, in terms of educating parents and families,” Sen. Ed Reilly, an Anne Arundel County Republican, said to Lowery and other top state education officials. “Public relations is part of your job — all of your jobs — and it’s been done very poorly.”

Other senators warned that missteps and disruptions could jeopardize Maryland’s coveted ranking by Education Week as having the best schools in the nation.

Massachusetts 11-22-13

This week, the Massachusetts Board of Education voted to slow the transition to Common Core.

The board decided to delay implementation for two years while it compares the Common Core aligned Partnership for Assessment of Readiness for College and Careers (PARCC) tests to their existing—and widely praised—Massachusetts Comprehensive Assessment System (MCAS) exam.

Commissioner Mitchell Chester, who also chairs the governing board for the PARCC consortium, says that adopting the Common Core by the 2014–2015 deadline would cause Massachusetts “too precipitous a transition.”

New Hampshire 10-31-13

Even as teachers move forward with implementing the Common Core in their classrooms, there continues to be resistance to the controversial new educational standards. …

There are at least six bill requests dealing with the Common Core that lawmakers have filed for 2014. They range from completely terminating state participation in the Common Core to delaying the implementation of the Smarter Balanced Assessment.

New Jersey 11-20-13

Twelve Republican state senators asked Education Commissioner Chris Cerf on Tuesday for more details on the Common Core, a new set of guidelines for what students should learn in math and language arts in every grade.

In a letter released by Sen. Joe Pennacchio, R-Morris, the group asked Cerf to explain the rationale behind the guidelines, their cost, the method for tracking student performance and the assurance of privacy for student data. Pennacchio said he was not hostile to the Common Core but sought answers to questions that parents and teachers have asked. 

New York 11-21-13

A group of eight prominent school principals from around New York State have drafted a letter to parents expressing their deep concerns about the validity of new Common Core-aligned standardized tests that  state education officials are giving to students in grades three through eight — and in just a few weeks more than 530 other principals and nearly 3,000 parents and teachers have signed in support.

Ohio 11-21-13

Members of the Ohio House of Representatives’ Committee on  Education pored over hours’ worth of written and oral testimony, mostly from  opponents to the national standards known as Common Core. 

 
COLUMBUS, Ohio — A bill that would exclude Ohio from impending  national education standards received a second hearing Wednesday before a  gallery of vocal critics that filled a hearing and overflow rooms at the  statehouse. 

 

Members of the Ohio House of  Representatives’ Committee on Education pored over hours’ worth of written and  oral testimony, mostly from opponents to the national standards known as Common  Core, asserting the most recent federal directives on education are both  substandard and too intrusive to students’ personal information.

Oklahoma 11-05-13

Parents, teachers and legislators are voicing their concerns over a set of public education principles known as common core state standards.

A legislative hearing on common core was held Tuesday before a House committee. There is growing opposition, especially among some conservative House legislators, to the standards that were approved in 2010 and are now being implemented by Oklahoma school districts. …

Some opponents claim the standards are a federal intrusion into the state’s public education system.

House Speaker T.W. Shannon introduced a bill earlier this year to repeal the standards, but Republicans leaders in the Senate and Gov. Mary Fallin say they support common core.

Wisconsin 11-20-13

And as a local control state, school districts in Wisconsin technically wouldn’t have to adopt the standards, or could drop them altogether. That’s unlikely, however, because schools are still required to take annual state assessments. Starting next year, Wisconsin will switch to new computer-based standardized tests that are aligned to the Common Core. The ACT college and career exams, which will be required for high schoolers starting next year, will also be Common Core-based.

The Truth About Being “State Led”

The CCSS Memorandum of Understanding for federal, RTTT funding requires states to contractually agree to be “state led.”

Such irony: The federal government “requiring” states to be “state led” as part of a federal contract.

In critically reconsidering their agreements to abide by CCSS and its related RTTT high-stakes assessment and data collection requirements, it seems that a number of “CCSS” states are attempting to do exactly that– reinforcing the right of states to listen to the concerns of their citizens and subsequently adjust their own education systems.

Sounds like democracy, doesn’t it?

Note: If I missed any CCSS unrest in other states, please add info in the comments section of this post.  Thank you.

37 Comments
  1. Tennessee Senate Education Committee held two days of Common Core hearings on September 19 & 20, 2013. Our Senators on the Education committee asked some very in-depth, informed questions of the experts. Tennessee parents are hopeful for action in January when TN’s legislative session is back in session.

  2. As always, thank you for sharing! The first Common Core forum that I know of to be held in my city in Alabama was held this past Thursday evening. It was well attended and I was particularly happy to see some Catholic school parents there as well since my Archdiocese has adopted Common Core’s Math and ELA Standards. It does not matter what type of school a child goes to; if Common core is not gotten rid of, it will affect all children and it is not a good curriculum. I have previously stated and still strongly believe that once one brave state finally manages to completely drop Common Core, others will quickly follow! This post gives me hope!

  3. Bookworm23 permalink

    TN parent, I’m a fellow parent and teacher. I SO badly want to be hopeful! I was disappointed a couple of weeks ago to learn that our state department is organizing teachers to review common-core aligned math textbooks for adoption. This is 2 years EARLIER than the usual textbook adoption cycle.

  4. “[Maine Governor] LePage’s effort to distance himself from Common Core was evident last week, when he disavowed support for the standards and, in a separate move, issued an executive order saying the state would not divulge personal student information to the federal government….”

    • Barry Hildebrand permalink

      Good for Gov. LePage and the students, teachers, and parents of Maine. Now we just need the remaining 28 to follow suit, and this latest communist menace (the big red bear) will disappear into the woodwork. Our Gov. “Moonbeam” doesn’t have either the smarts or the huevos to make California well. Arne for Federal Pen.

      • Opposition to the Core is pretty Universal — I’m a card-carrying Green, and have friends in the Tea Party with whom I share views on it.

        It’s profiteering at its worst, draining schools, districts, towns and states of their money to enrich Pearson, McGraw Hill et. al.

  5. Reblogged this on Timbered Classrooms… and commented:
    “[Maine Governor] LePage’s effort to distance himself from Common Core was evident last week, when he disavowed support for the standards and, in a separate move, issued an executive order saying the state would not divulge personal student information to the federal government.”

  6. ira shor permalink

    Thank you, perfect timing. Our parents’ group is meeting today to plan next moves.

  7. This is very useful. Hope you keep it updated as a resource for others.

  8. Laura h. Chapman permalink

    I hope this resistance increases, but it is important to remember that the some of the forces at work to defund and eliminate state/local obligations to the CCSS just want the freedom to install “parental choice” as the all-purpose solution to the problems in schools–including standards, the curriculum, who is permitted to teach what, when, etc.
    It is probably wise to track not just the efforts to rescind the CCSS/ RTTT obligations but the reasons (explicit and implicit) being offered. I think the case for “local control” made by some groups may be functioning as political cover for a different but equally restrictive agenda.
    I am hopeful, but my cautions arise from experience. I grew up in the South, attended and taught in segregated schools. I entered teaching in the McCarthy era when teachers had to sign a loyalty pledge and affirm they had never belonged to any of a long list of communist organizations and groups labelled “sympathizers.” With others, I barely survived the politics and intended purges of content built into the Texas textbook review.
    I have been critical of the CCSS on about a dozen blogs. As a consequence, some home schoolers, fans of “parent trigger,” and other ultraconservative critics of the CCSS think I am willing to endorse their agendas. Not so, but I think this is a good reminder that rescinders are not necessarily on the same page.

    • Laura, I am sure that some of the legislative and other officials’ “change of heart” comes with ulterior motives. That is why it is particularly useful to compare state to state and offer a common setting (the comments section of this post) where stakeholders in all CCSS states might come, examine the evidence, and “talk it over.”

  9. Joseph permalink

    Not listed in New York is Senator Jack Martins hearings in Mineola and elsewhere, his call for the resignation of the Commissioner King, as well as legislation that would protect children’s data, which is the same package.

  10. Mark Twainfive permalink

    I believe California’s Governor Brown indicated his state would stop progress on building the data base to share student data with the federal government.

    • If Govenor Moonbeam has stopped work on the data base, I say ‘Good move for him”, but nothing in the media (print and electronic) bears that out.

  11. Missouri continues to be forgotten in these lists. Last year we had two bills against Common Core, HB616 and SB210. SB210 made it all the way to the last day of session, was voted out of the House and only died in the Senate due to politics having nothing to do with common core. We are making tremendous strides in our state and will have legislation this next session starting in January addressing both common core and data collection. House leadership is with us as are a significant number of representatives and senators. Look for big things coming from Missouri in 2014. http://missourieducationwatchdog.blogspot.com/2013/05/sb210-is-laid-aside.html

  12. Read the Wisconsin Public Radio article. The first paragraph states: “The Common Core State Standards were developed by teachers, school administrators, and other education experts in an effort coordinated by state school commissioners and governors around the country.”

    • A number of the articles include the stock CCSS info.

      • Marge Borchert permalink

        Good Evening – All instances of the inBloom software and data warehouse should be shutdown. NOW. I ask fellow bloggers to join me in boycotting Amazon.com products and services now and throughout the Holiday Season until they shutdown ALL instances of the inBloom data warehouse, all backups of inBloom data destroyed and ALL servers that have ever had inBloom software or data be disconnected from the Internet and powered off PERMANENTLY. The FASCINATING SUBURBAN MOMS HAVE THE POWER OF THE WALLET!! NO BLACK FRIDAY FOR AMAZON. Hit them with your pocketbook . NATION – WIDE—– WORLD – WIDE!! The almighty dollar is the only thing they understand!

        Marge

  13. Liz permalink

    House and Senate delay resolutions in IL, growing opposition from all sides

    http://nocommoncore.blogspot.com/search/label/Resolution

  14. Ginny permalink

    Also not listed for NY is Assemblyman Al Graf’s proposed legislation to withdraw New York from the Common Core Curriculum and national Race To The Top initiative. Bill A07994 will be voted on in January when the general assembly reconvenes

  15. South Carolina has filed Senate Bill 300 to repeal Common Core and the House companion Bill is 3943. SC Parents Involved in Education is leading the education and repeal efforts and has five regional work groups that meet twice a month to implement repeal strategy and continue educating parents. Here are links to the action: http://www.scpie.org and Stop Common Core in South Carolina FB page:.https://www.facebook.com/StopCommonCoreInSouthCarolina?ref=hl.

  16. concerned parent permalink

    I’m surprised Colorado isn’t on your list. Maybe I’m missing something but I know one county douglas county has opted out of common core.

  17. Thanks for your great work! I love your blog. IDAHO also has resistance building. Check with the Idahoans 4 Local Education website to see what we have been working on. Data privacy and trying to get our state to withdraw from the SBAC.

Trackbacks & Pingbacks

  1. Schneider: CCSS Backlash in 17 States | Diane Ravitch's blog
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  12. States and districts opting out of Common Core & data mining | Concerned Palos Verdes Parents
  13. Designed for Failure: The Common Core State Standards | Academe Blog
  14. More on the Common Core: Achieve, Inc., and Then Some | Seizing Liberty

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