New York Not the Only State Looking to ‘Review’ Common Core

By Andrew Ujifusa — January 22, 2014 2 min read
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In his budget address Tuesday, New York Gov. Andrew Cuomo said that due to his disappointment over the way the state’s Board of Regents has rolled out the Common Core State Standards, he will assemble a panel to examine the standards in that state and recommend “corrective action,” as my colleague Catherine Gewertz over at Curriculum Matters discusses in a post today.

The pushback has been bubbling in the Empire State for some time. Just to cite one example, the state teachers’ union and others are upset about the state’s implementation of the common-core aligned curriculum. And just over a month ago, the Board of Regents announced it would be setting up its own review of common core in the state. GOP Sen. John Flanagan also held his own public hearings on the standards and is making his own legislative push to tweak how the common core and associated testing will work in New York. Soon, it may be fair to ask if you’ll still be able to count the number of official common-core reviews in New York on one hand.

And New York has company as it sets out to review the impacts and implementation of common core.

In South Dakota, for example, the Senate education committee approved a bill to institute an official study of the standards by a 5-2 vote. If this bill becomes law, a panel that would include lawmakers, state Secretary of Education Melody Schopp, teachers, and administrators would compare the common core to the state’s current standards. It would also compare the state’s current tests from the No Child Left Behind Act era to the common-core aligned assessments from the Smarter Balanced Assessment Consortium, as well as the costs of implementing the common core. (Earlier this month, I wrote about how budgetary concerns could be a prime avenue for legislators to examine, review, or scrap the standards.) The full bill is below:

South Dakota Gov. Dennis Daugaard, a Republican, is a supporter of common core. But since this bill wouldn’t require his state to drop the standards, would he be willing to let the panel get to work in the hopes that the standards would survive its final report? I’ve asked his office that question and will update this post if I hear back. That report, by the way, is due out by July 1, 2015, after the first Smarter Balanced tests are due to be administered.

UPDATE: A spokesman for the governor, Tony Venhuizen, sent back this response to the bill via email: “The Governor has not taken a position on this bill, but he appreciates Sen. Otten’s work to encourage people on both sides to study the issue, and members of the administration will participate if the bills passes.”

Further south, in Tennessee, a group of GOP lawmakers are putting their own “pause” legislation together that would stop the common core in the state, as well as the associated assessments from the Partnership for Assessment of Readiness for College and Careers, according to an NBC affiliate in the state. If successful, this push could clash with the field-testing of PARCC assessments that Tennessee is set to undertake later this year.

And don’t forget, there’s a bill from a Republican lawmaker in Indiana that would extend the state’s current review of the standards until 2015. Right now, it’s set to end this upcoming summer. That’s assuming the standards survive that long in the Hoosier State—given recent remarks from GOP Gov. Mike Pence in his State of the State address, Indiana lawmakers could decide to drop them first.

A version of this news article first appeared in the State EdWatch blog.