Anti-Common Core Victories at the State Level

Governor-elect Chris Sununu (R-NH) said Common Core "needs to be scrapped."

Governor-elect Chris Sununu (R-NH) said Common Core “needs to be scrapped.”

Much has been made about what Donald Trump’s election may mean for federal involvement in education, and rightly so. President-Elect Trump has the ability to show real change is coming or if status quo will be maintained when he nominates his Secretary of Education.

That said, what has been under-reported, is the victories that anti-Common Core candidates had at the state level. The 74 points out these changes may represent a greater threat to Common Core than Donald Trump does.

Here is a list of the candidates they highlighted who won on Election Day.

  • Governor-elect Chris Sununu (R-NH) he said during a debate that “Common Core must be scrapped.”
  • Mark Johnson, a Republican who won the North Carolina Superintendent for Public Instruction race, ran on repealing Common Core.
  • North Carolina Lt. Governor Dan Forest, the state’s leading anti-Common Core voice, won reelection.
  • Governor-elect Eric Grietens (R-MO) said that he opposed Common Core.
  • Four anti-Common Core candidates were elected to the Utah State Board of Education.
  • Elsie Arntzen, a Common Core skeptic, won the Montana Superintendent of Public Instruction race.

This of course does not include any state legislative races. Kentucky’s House of Representatives just flipped Republican so I’m cautiously optimistic that a Common Core repeal can happen since Governor Matt Bevin (R-KY) campaigned on repealing Common Core. Republicans flipped the Iowa Senate and expanded their majority in the Iowa House, but I’m less optimistic that change can happen since Governor Terry Branstad (R-IA) line-item vetoed a bipartisan measure that would have delayed implementation of the Smarter Balanced Assessment. I believe the legislature possibly have the votes to override the Governor’s veto, but I’m not as convinced legislative leadership wants that battle. We’ll see.

North Carolina Legislative Committee Recommends Replacing Common Core

Thursday the North Carolina Legislative Research Commission Committee on Common Core State Standards approved a report recommending the creation of a Standards and Accountability Commission that would review the Common Core State Standards.  Included in the report is draft legislation that would replace the Common Core State Standards if approved.  This is the first step the state has taken to dump the Common Core State Standards.


Civitas Institute in March conducted a poll of 600 North Carolinians and asked if they favored or opposed the Common Core State Standards.  37% said they favored the standards with only 15% strongly favoring the Common Core  36% of North Carolinians opposed the standards.  25% indicated strong opposition.  26% of those polled said they were undecided.

Civitas also polled North Carolinians on their opinion of the creation of the Commission to review the Common Core State Standards.  58% of North Carolinians supported the idea.

The committee’s step was deemed good news by North Carolina Lt. Governor Dan Forest.  “Today is a great day for education in North Carolina. The General Assembly listened to the voices of thousands of parents, teachers, administrators and concerned citizens about the issues with Common Core. I would like to thank the Senators and Representatives who had the courage to do what is right for our children and our state in the face of opposition. This legislative action allows North Carolina to develop its own rigorous standards, created by its own teachers, school administrators, business leaders and parents,” Forest said in a released statement on Thursday.