NASHVILLE (Apr. 22, 2015) – Yesterday, the Tennessee Senate gave final approval to a bill withdrawing the state from the Common Core education standards, sending the measure to the Governor’s desk.
Introduced by Rep. Billy Spivey (R-Lewisburg) along with 47 co-sponsors, House Bill 1035 (HB1035) directs the state board of education or the department of education to “cancel any memorandum of understanding concerning the Common Core State Standards entered into with the National Governor’s Association and the Council of Chief State School Officers.”
If signed by Gov. Haslam, the new law would “implement a process whereby the set of standards known as the Common Core State Standards adopted in 2010 will be reviewed and shall be replaced with new sets of standards adopted to fit the needs of Tennessee students.”
HB1035 passed through the state House unanimously with a 97-0 vote, and passed through the state Senate with a 28-1 vote.
Committees consisting of “two representatives from institutions of higher education” along with “six educators who reside in the state and work in grades kindergarten through twelve” would be responsible for creating the new academic standards in an open process available for public viewing online. The new standards would be completed by the 2017-2018 school year.
“This legislation is a template for all states to begin a much needed journey of separation from federally generated standards and an invitation to embrace each states’ own constitutionally delegated authority to serve its citizens at its own will,” said HB1035 chief sponsor Rep. Billy Spivey (R-Lewisburg). “
“I set out on a mission to do everything in my power to repeal Common Core in State of Tennessee this year,” said HB1035 chief co-sponsor Rep. Andy Holt (R-Dresden). “In addition to repealing Common Core, this bill puts even more control back in the hands of families, local schools and the State of Tennessee, which is exactly where it belongs.”
While a powerful step towards permanently ending Common Core in Tennessee, the process it not without its potential pitfalls. Shane Vander Hart at Truth in American Education noted, many Common Core replacement bills end up being little more than “rebranded” versions of the same program. He was most concerned about the potential for this under provisions of the bill that would give the State Board of Education final say on what standards are ultimately adopted.
“While I won’t say bills like these are not a positive step in the right direction considering the alternative I do have concerns that perhaps the Tennessee Senate can address,” said Vander Hart.
Rejecting nationalized education standards is the first steps toward bringing true academic choice, and freedom. Passage of this legislation would represent a positive step forward for the people of Tennessee and a path for other states to follow.
The future of HB1035 now rests in the hands of Gov. Haslam’s who can decide either to sign or veto the legislation. He can be reached at (615) 741-2001.
Additional reporting by Michael Boldin