JACKSON, Miss. (Jan. 10, 2018) – A bill introduced in the Mississippi Senate would end Common Core in schools throughout the state.
Sens. Angela Burks Hill (R-Picayune) and Michael Watson (R-Pascagoula) introduced Senate Bill 2053 (SB2053) on Jan. 3. The legislation would void Common Core standards and create a framework to establish state standards to replace them. It reads as follows:
The Mississippi College and Career-Ready Standards, formerly known as Common Core State Standards, shall be replaced beginning with the 2018-2019 school year. The State Board of Education shall adopt for Mississippi public schools the ELA Standards in place in 2010 (prior to Common Core adoption) from any of the following states which were labeled as clearly superior to the Common Core Standards in the Thomas B. Fordham Publication entitled The State of the State Standards and the Common Core in 2010
SB2053 contains important provisions to prevent Common Core from being re-branded under a new name, something that has happened in several other states.
No curriculum standards developed outside the State of Mississippi, including, but not limited to, the Next Generation Science Standards, the National Curriculum Standards for Social Studies, the National Health Education Standards, and the National Sexuality Education Standards, and no standards that use the same model frameworks as such standards developed primarily by entities outside the State of Mississippi…
Neither the State Board of Education nor any other state education entity, nor any state official, may join any consortium or any other organization when participation in that consortium or organization would cede any measure of control over any aspect of Mississippi public education to entities outside the state, nor may any such person or entity enter into any agreement, Memorandum of Understanding (MOU) or contract with any federal agency or private entity which in any way cedes or limits state discretion of control
Although there is no provision in the legislation preventing the sharing or selling of the personally-identifiable of information of students, SB2053 is a step in the right direction toward eschewing federal education mandates.
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 the 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.”
Even with the federal strings 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 Alabama and a path for other states to follow.
SB2053 will have to be approved by the Senate Education Committee before it can be considered for a full Senate vote.