CHARLESTON, W.V. (Jan. 15, 2018) – Three bills introduced in the West Virginia House of Delegates would end Common Core in schools throughout the state.
Dels. Pat McGeehan (R-Hancock) and Michael Folk (R-Berkeley) introduced House Bill 2214 (HB2214) on Jan. 10. The legislation would void Common Core standards and create a framework to establish proven state standards that are considered by national experts to be the best in the nation to replace them. It reads as follows:
(a) Effective July 1, 2017, the State Board of Education is prohibited from implementing Common Core academic content standards.
(b) Effective July 1, 2017, the State Board of Education shall adopt and implement the following academic standards for public schools:
(1) For academic content standards for mathematics, in grades K-12, the board shall adopt and implement the Mathematics Content Standards for California Public Schools…
(2) For academic content standards in English Language Arts, the board shall adopt and implement the Massachusetts Curriculum Frameworks.
HB2214 contains provisions that would protect the personally-identifiable information of students from being harvested by both government and private entities:
(a) The State Board of Education, and any public school in this state, is prohibited from allowing access, releasing, or sharing any student’s personally identifiable information, student level data, or student directory information without prior written affirmative consent of the student’s parent or guardian.
(b) The State Board of Education, and any public school in this state, is prohibited from accepting federal funding if such funding is conditioned upon release of any student’s personally identifiable information, student level data, or student directory information without prior written affirmative consent of the student’s parent or guardian.
There are two other bills that have been introduced in the West Virginia House of Delegates to nullify Common Core as well. Del. McGeehan introduced House Bill 2334 (HB2334) and House Bill 2309 (HB2309) as two less comprehensive bills that would also help terminate the Common Core standards in the Mountain State.
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 standards 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 West Virginia and a path for other states to follow.
The bills must pass the House Education Committee by a majority vote before they can move forward in the legislative process.