AUSTIN, Texas, (Jan. 25, 2017) – A bill introduced in the Texas House would create a process to ensure school districts do not adopt Common Core standards. Passage of the legislation would take another important step toward nullifying the nationalized education program in the state.

Rep. Jeff Leach (R-Plano) introduced House Bill 1069 (HB1069) on Jan. 17. The legislation would require the State Board of Education to adopt procedures by rule to monitor school districts to ensure they comply with the state prohibition on using Common Core standards.

A Texas law signed by Gov. Rick Perry in 2013 stipulates, “A school district may not use common core state standards to comply with the requirement to provide instruction in the essential knowledge and skills at appropriate grade levels.” But despite the law, and an official policy prohibiting implementation of Common Core, state math standards in Texas look a lot like Common Core standards.

An article published in Slate last spring highlights the similarities.

“The Texas standards aren’t the same as the Common Core State Standards Initiative, adopted by more than 40 states. It’s actually illegal to teach Common Core in Texas. But even in a state that said an emphatic ‘No!’ to Common Core, the new math standards here are pretty similar to the standards the state rejected, experts say.”

According to Texas Insider, a similar process may be taking place with English/Language Arts/Reading curriculum standards. Review groups formed by the Texas Education Agency (TEA) to review and simplify the current standards reportedly went on a rewriting spree.

“The rogue teams changed the centuries-old successful classical teaching philosophy of the current standards to Common Core-compliant standards which will force teachers in every classroom in Texas to teach Common Core. And this change in direction will not stop with ELAR. This is just the nose of the camel in the proverbial tent of curriculum standards as others come up for review.”

This underscores a problem Shane Vander Hart at Truth in American Education highlighted after a bill scrapping Common Core passed in Tennessee. State education departments and sometimes local districts, often do little more than create “rebranded” versions of the same program. This appears to be the case in Texas. Even if the new state standards completely reject Common Core, it doesn’t mean the state won’t continue to allow the federal government to influence its education system. It requires public and legislative vigilance to completely push the feds out of education.

Passage of HB1069 would help ensure Common Core standards don’t sneak into Texas’ education system.


Common Core was intended to create nationwide education standards. While touted as a state initiative through the National Governors Association (NGA) and the Council of Chief State School Officers (CCSSO), the U.S. Department of Education was heavily involved behind the scenes. Up until recently, the DoE tied the grant of waivers from the No Child Left Behind Act to adoption of Common Core, using the standards as powerful strings to influence state educational policy. The Every Student Succeeds Act passed by Congress in 2015 now prohibits the DoE from attempting to “influence, incentivize, or coerce State adoption of the Common Core State Standards … or any other academic standards common to a significant number of States.” But under the new federal law, states still must comply with College and Career Ready Standards, based on Common Core, as a condition for receiving some federal dollars. It also requires the federal education secretary to approve each state’s plans for standards and assessments.

Even with the federal strings partially cut from Common Core for the time being, it is still imperative for each state to adopt its own standards. The feds can once again use these national standards to meddle in state education at any time if they remain in place. Just as importantly, one-size-fits-all standard simply don’t benefit children. State and local governments should remain in full control of their own educational systems.

Rejecting nationalized education standards is the first step toward bringing true academic choice, and freedom. Passage of this legislation into law represents a positive step forward for the people of Texas and a path for other states to follow.


HB1069 had not been referred to a committee at the time if publication. Once it is assigned, it will need to pass by a majority vote before moving forward in the legislative process.

Mike Maharrey

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