Assessment

Former Texas Chief Takes Anti-Common-Core Show on Road

By Catherine Gewertz — February 19, 2013 1 min read

You might have read in EdWeek recently about the work of a circle of common-core foes who have gained ground in a few states with attacks on the new standards and accompanying assessments. With that report, by my colleague Andrew Ujifusa, in mind, I noticed similar rumblings in Kansas and Georgia. And what they have in common is former Texas education Commissioner Robert Scott.

Recently, Scott was in Georgia, sharing with the state legislature his misgivings about the common core (Texas is one of four states that did not sign on to the standards). You can see Scott on YouTube, talking about how he was pressured to pledge support for the standards before they were written. He also outlined his views in an essay for The Washington Post‘s “Answer Sheet” column.

Now, apparently, Scott has taken his opposition show on the road to Kansas. According to local press reports, he spoke to state lawmakers there, too. He was joined by Sandra Stotsky, a co-author of Massachusetts’ highly regarded standards and now a frequent and vocal critic of the common core. Stotsky, Scott, and others—as detailed in Andrew’s story—have become a key pulse point in the interstate work to persuade lawmakers to undo what so many of their state boards of education did in the past three years.

Since state boards of education typically are empowered to adopt academic standards, without any input from state lawmakers, this now marks a new stage in the life of the Common Core State Standards: the widely anticipated stage in which legislators can put the kibosh on, by controlling the legal or financial purse strings.

These are hardly the first signs of objection in state legislatures. We’ve reported to you on many occasions about bills introduced here and there in the last year or two, but few have gained traction. Whether that landscape changes now, however, bears watching.

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A version of this news article first appeared in the Curriculum Matters blog.