Revoking the Common Standards: An Idea Under Consideration in Several States

By Catherine Gewertz — May 19, 2014 1 min read
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Not long ago, Indiana became the first state to “un-adopt” the Common Core State Standards. (See how lonely and blue it looks on our standards-adoption map, below?)

Indiana might soon have company. A few other states are seriously entertaining giving the standards the elbow. It’s intriguing, and worth watching, because as my colleague Andrew Ujifusa has noted, many common-core attacks at the state level have focused not on the standards but on the assessments developed for them by two federally funded consortia. (He wrote a story about the increasing pressure on the assessments last August.)

As Andrew reported last week on the State EdWatch blog, Missouri is on the verge of revoking its common-standards adoption. The bill, House Bill 1490, is awaiting Gov. Jay Nixon’s signature. It requires the state to convene work groups by Oct. 1 to design new standards for implementation in the 2016-17 school year.

Of course, what will be in those standards is anyone’s guess at this point. As Andrew has pointed out, Indiana’s “new” standards look an awful lot like the Common Core State Standards they were making such a big point of tossing out the window.

The newest addition to the “considering-unadoption” states is South Carolina. A bill making its way through the legislature there calls for a review, by Jan. 1, 2015, of any standards that aren’t developed by the state department of education. (Common-core advocates would certainly argue that the new standards don’t fit that description, since the states participated in their writing.) According to the bill, new standards would need to be in place for the 2015-16 school year. The bill, House Bill 3893, cleared both houses easily earlier this month, but still needs to go through the conferencing process before it has a shot at the governor’s desk.

Oklahoma’s House Bill 3399 would require the state board and the State Regents for Higher Education to develop new standards by August 1, 2015 that “shall be solely approved and controlled by the state through the State Board of Education.” That measure passed both houses and is headed to conference committee.

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