238 Education Data Bills Hit State Capitols in 2018 So Far

Photo credit: Nick Youngson (CC BY-SA 3.0)

Data Quality Campaign (not our ally in the fight against data mining) provided a snapshot of the number of education data bills hitting state capitol buildings near you.

They report there are 238 bills related to education data this year so far, and less than a third (70) have anything to do with protecting student data privacy.

They highlight bills before state legislators this year where they are trying to “make data work for students.”

Addressing inequities and underserved students’ needs

Echoing national conversations about disciplinary disparities and the unique needs of traditionally underserved students, numerous state bills this year target the reporting of data to address education inequities. For example:

  • Tennessee is considering a bill (HB 2651) to establish a commission on the school-to-prison pipeline. The commission would submit a report to the legislature including school discipline data and policy recommendations to implement restorative justice practices.
  • Indiana has a new law (HB 1314) requiring a report on how the state’s homeless students and students in foster care fare in school and how these students could be better supported.

Informing policy decisions and meeting state goals

Nearly 100 bills considered so far in 2018 have focused on how state policymakers themselves can use aggregate data to make policy decisions or meet their state’s education goals. For example:

  • California has introduced a bill (SB 1224) to create a state longitudinal data system (SLDS) with student data from kindergarten enrollment to workforce entry—a system that could help inform education policies across the state.
  • Mississippi considered a bill (HB 405) to use the state’s education data system to better understand the state’s workforce needs.

Empowering the public with more information

Over 60 bills this year would require states to publicly report more, or more useful and accessible, information about their schools. For example:

  • New Jersey is considering a bill (A 2192) to include data on chronic absence and disciplinary suspensions on school report cards.
  • Arizona is considering a bill (SB 1411) to create a new dashboard as part of the state’s school achievement profiles with new data on academic progress and school quality.

Empowering educators and families with student data

In years past, legislators have not frequently used legislation to give educators and parents secure access to their own student’s data. This year is seeing some more legislative activity on this important priority. For example:

  • Louisiana is considering a bill (SB 107) to ensure that teachers receive student-level assessment results in a format that is easy to understand and includes longitudinal student data if possible.
  • Massachusetts is considering a bill (S 40) that would create an electronic data “backpack” program for foster youth. The backpack would contain a student’s education record and would be available to the adults authorized to make decisions for that student.

The best way to “make data work for students” is to not collect it without parental knowledge and consent and to keep it at the local school level with the teachers where it could possibly do some good. The problem is, evidenced by the Louisiana bill, when data gets collected it heads to the state (and the feds and who knows what other third parties) who don’t teach the kids and have no business having that data.

Add This To The ‘This Is Not Common Core’ File

I read a piece this week from PJ Media that contributes to muddying our opposition to Common Core. The article by Megan Fox was titled “Common Core Rape-Themed Assignment for Biology Confuses Parents.”

Here’s an excerpt:

A 9th-grade assignment at a Mississippi high school is causing concern and disgust among parents. A mother recently posted her student’s assignment to Facebook in a special group that was created for the growing discontent parents feel toward public school education — “Inappropriate Common Core Lessons.” This particular assignment asked 14-year-old students to determine the identity of a fictional rapist based on sperm DNA….

Not surprisingly, parents were not amused. The mother who posted the assignment reported that the teacher did not require the students to complete it — and parents were grateful for that — but she was still disturbed by the content in the “teaching” material. Common Core has long been hated by parents and teachers alike, not only for its inappropriate content but for the convoluted math techniques that serve only to frustrate students and parents.

Here is a picture of the assignment:

I really, really, really hate to defend Common Core. There is nothing about this assignment that screams “Common Core.”

  1. It is biology lesson – The Common Core State Standards are standards for math and ELA. There are literacy standards for science, but those would not impact lessons like these.
  2. You can’t even blame this on the Next Generation Science Standards since Mississippi has not adopted them.
  3. Neither set of standards mandate an assignment like this.

Stories like this make for good click-bait, but they promote misinformation. It is vitally important that we communicate the truth. We call out Common Core advocates all of the time for false information and disingenuous talking points. We need to call out misinformation on our side as well. Stories like these will stir up anger, but they end up being used as ammunition against us when we seek change from policymakers. These stories are used to paint Common Core opponents as ignorant.

It needs to stop. Be forceful in your opposition, but speak the truth. This story is utterly false and irresponsible.

(2nd Update) 2017 Legislation on Standards, Assessments, and Data Privacy

States with relevant legislation.

Updated on 2/21/17 – see Kentucky and West Virginia.

A couple years ago I published a list of active bills in various statehouses related to Common Core and its aligned assessments. Over the two years I just included a tag for a particular year’s bills so people could click on that to check on the bills that we had written on. Needless to say we didn’t keep up very well so I’m bringing this back.

This is a list that I will update of filed legislation in state houses across the United States dealing with academic standards, local control, assessments and data privacy. My intention is just to give a bill number, a link to the bill, and a brief description of the bill and the last action on the bill. Inclusion on this list does not mean we support the particular bill, but only that our readers in each state should be aware of it, read it, and decide whether they should support or oppose it.  I plan to keep this list as updated as possible. Individual write-ups on different bills can be found at “2017 Bills.” If I missed a bill just shoot me an email with the bill number at info@truthinamericaneducation.com.

Arizona

SB1314 – A bill that seeks to tighten student data privacy. Last action: Passed out of Senate Education Committee.

Connecticut

HB06839 – An Act Concerning A Review And Report On The Implementation Of The Student Data Privacy Act. Last action: Referred to the Joint Committee on Education.

HB06769 – To amend the student data privacy act of 2016. Last action: Referred to Joint Committee on Education.

There are several identical bills related to allowing a one year delay in the implementation of the Student Data Privacy Act of 2016. Here is one example.

Florida

S 0584 – Authorizing certain students to be eligible for an alternative pathway to a standard high school diploma; requiring a school district to establish an Alternative Pathway to Graduation Review Committee for certain students; requiring each district school board to ensure certain instruction, to waive certain assessment results, and to administer a hard copy of the grade 10 ELA assessment or the statewide, standardized Algebra I EOC assessment for certain students, etc. Last action: Filed.

Indiana

SB 0536 – Replaces the ISTEP test program with an assessment program using the Iowa Tests of Basic Skills or the Iowa Tests of Educational Development, as appropriate for the grade level being tested. Repeals a statute establishing the ISTEP program citizens’ review committee. Repeals a provision defining the ISTEP program. Repeals an expiration provision. Makes conforming amendments. Last action: Assigned to Senate Rules and Legislative Procedures Committee.

HB1003 – Replaces the ISTEP test program after June 30, 2018, with a new statewide assessment program to be known as Indiana’s Learning Evaluation Assessment Readiness Network (ILEARN). Repeals a provision defining the ISTEP program. Makes conforming amendments. Last action: Referred to the House Committee on Education.

Illinois

HB0332 – Amends the School Code to add provisions concerning student data privacy. Amends the Illinois School Student Records Act. Makes changes to the definition provisions. Sets forth provisions allowing disclosure of student records to researchers at an accredited post-secondary educational institution or an organization conducting research if specified requirements are met. Amends the Children’s Privacy Protection and Parental Empowerment Act to change the definition of “child” to mean a person under the age of 18 (instead of 16). Last action: Referred to the House Judiciary-Civil Committee.

Iowa

HJR 3 – A constitutional amendment that proposes “to provide home rule powers and authority for school districts.” Last action: Introduced into the House Education Committee (My write-up)

HF 26 – The bill authorizes a school board to exercise any broad or implied power, not inconsistent with the laws of the general assembly, related to the operation, control, and supervision of the public schools located within its district boundaries. Last action: Assigned a subcommittee. (My write-up)

SF 30 – This bill eliminates references and requirements to the Iowa Common Core or core curriculum or core content standards in the Iowa Code, but continues to direct the state board of education to adopt high school graduation requirements and assessment standards. It also creates a new task force for the development of a new assessment. Last action: assigned to subcommittee. (My write-up)

HF 139 – Requires any statewide assessment to be developed by the Iowa Testing Programs (ITP) at the University of Iowa. It would prohibit the use of Smarter Balanced or PARCC as a statewide, mandatory assessment. Last action: assigned to subcommittee. (My write-up)

HF 140 – Makes the Common Core math and English language arts (ELA) standards that have been adopted into the Iowa Core voluntary for Iowa’s public and state accredited non-public schools. Repeals Next Generation Science Standards. Last action: introduced into the House Education Committee. (My write-up)

SSB 1001 – Repeals the requirement for the State Board of Education to adopt rules requiring a statewide assessment starting in July 1, 2017 that is aligned to the Iowa Common Core Standards. Last action: Before Senate Education Committee.

Kentucky

SB 1 – This bill would establish new learning standards and evaluation procedures for schools and teachers. Last action: Passed Kentucky Senate 35-0 (see write-up).

Maine

LD412 – An Act To Require the Completion of Courses of Study in Home Economics and Industrial Arts Education Prior to Graduation from High School. Last action: N/A

LD 322 – An Act To Reintroduce Civics to High School Graduation Requirements. Last action: Passed House, referred to Senate Committee on Education and Cultural Affairs.

LD49 – Requires the adoption and implementation of the Next Generation Science Standards. Last action: Passed by the House, being considered by the Senate.

Maryland

HB 705 – Authorizing a parent or guardian of a child with a disability who is nonverbal to refuse to allow the child to participate in a Partnership for Assessment of Readiness for College and Careers (PARCC) assessment or its equivalent in a public school; and requiring that the refusal be documented in the Individualized Education Program of the child. Last action: Assigned to the House Ways and Means Committee.

HB 461 – Requiring the State Board of Education to adopt regulations limiting the amount of time in the aggregate that may be devoted to federal, State, and locally mandated assessments for each grade to 2% of the specified minimum required annual instructional hours; prohibiting time devoted to teacher-selected classroom quizzes and exams, portfolio reviews, or performance assessments from being counted toward the specified testing time limits; etc. Last action: Assigned to House Ways and Means Committee.

Michigan

HB 4192 – Education; curriculum; implementation of certain curriculum standards and assessments in place of common core curriculum standards and assessments in this state; require. Amends 1976 PA 451 (MCL 380.1 – 380.1852) by adding secs. 1278e & 1278f. Last action: Referred to the House Michigan Competitiveness Committee and will have a hearing on 2/15/17.

SB 0081 – Education; curriculum; implementation of certain curriculum standards and assessments in place of common core curriculum standards and assessments in this state; require. Amends sec. 1278 of 1976 PA 451 (MCL 380.1278) & adds secs. 1278e, 1278f & 1278. Last action: Before Senate Government Operations Committee.

Mississippi 

HB502 – An Act To Prohibit The State Board Of Education From Making Application To The United States Department Of Education Seeking A Waiver Or Request For Funding That Would Require A Revision Of The State Subject Matter Curriculum Aligned With The K-12 Common Core State Standards Developed By The Common Core State Standards Initiative; To Authorize The Board To Request Authority From The United States Department Of Education To Revise Curriculum Requirements That Condition Receipt Of Funding Or Waivers Upon The Board’s Action To Revise The Curriculum To Align With The K-12 Common Core State Standards; And For Related Purposes. Last action: Died in committee

SB2035 – An Act To Provide That Beginning With The 2017-2018 School Year The State Board Of Education Shall Replace The Common Core State Standards With The Ela Standards In Place In Several States; To Provide That The State Of Mississippi Shall Retain Sole Control Over The Development, Establishment And Revision Of Curriculum Standards; And For Related Purposes. Last action: Died in committee.

SB2593 – An Act To Provide That Beginning With The 2017-2018 School Year The State Board Of Education Shall Replace The Common Core State Standards With The Ela Standards In Place In Several States; To Provide That The State Of Mississippi Shall Retain Sole Control Over The Development, Establishment And Revision Of Curriculum Standards; And For Related Purposes. Last action: Died in committee.

HB357 – An Act To Provide For The Repeal Of The Common Core State Standards Curriculum Adopted By The State Board Of Education And To Prohibit Any Further Implementation Or Use Of Such Standards; To Restrict The Use Of The Partnership For Assessment Of Readiness For College And Careers (parcc), Or Any Other Assessment Related To Or Based On The Common Core State Standards, As The Required Assessment Required Under The Statewide Testing Program; To Require The State Superintendent Of Public Education And The State Board Of Education To Initiate Procedures To Withdraw From The Parcc Consortium; To Provide That The State Of Mississippi Shall Retain Sole Control Over The Development, Establishment And Revision Of Curriculum And Academic Content Standards; To Provide That No Curriculum Standards Developed Outside The State Of Mississippi May Be Adopted Or Implemented Without Public Hearings Held In Each Congressional District, A One-year Open Comment Period And Open Hearings Before A Joint Committee Composed Of The House And Senate Education Committees, Followed By An Act Of The Legislature; To Impose Restrictions Upon The State Department Of Education With Regards To The Expenditure Of Certain Funds And Disclosing Personally Identifiable Information Pertaining To Students And Teachers; To Amend Section 37-1-3, Mississippi Code Of 1972, In Conformity Thereto; And For Related Purposes. Last action: Died in committee.

SB2581 – An Act To Authorize And Direct Public School Districts To Allow Parents And Legal Guardians Of Enrolled Students To Opt Out Of Common Core Aligned Curricula, Certain Student Data And The Release Of Information Concerning Their Children’s Personal Beliefs; To Prescribe A Form For The Student Privacy Protection Opt-out Request By The Parent Or Legal Guardian; To Direct The State Board Of Education To Issue Regulations Consistent With The Student Data Confidentiality Provisions Of This Act; And For Related Purposes. Last action: Died in committee.

HB279 – An Act To Prohibit The State Board Of Education And The State Department Of Education From Taking Any Further Action To Implement The Common Core And Mississippi College And Career Readiness Standards; To Require The State Board Of Education To Adhere To Pre-existing Procedures Under Its Apa To Review And Revise Our Curriculum Standards As Applicable Within Our Board Policies Beginning With Mathematics And English In 2017; To Prohibit The State Board And State Department Of Education From Expending Certain Federal Funds To Track Students Beyond Their K-12 Education And To Distribute Certain Student Identifiable Information; To Amend Section 37-17-6, Mississippi Code Of 1972, To Delete References To Common Core And To Delete The Requirement That The State Department Of Education Form A Single Accountability System By Combining The State System With The Federal System; To Bring Forward Section 37-177-5, Mississippi Code Of 1972, For The Purpose Of Possible Amendments; And For Related Purposes. Last action: Died in committee.

HB601 – An Act To Create New Section 37-16-2, Mississippi Code Of 1972, To Require The State Board Of Education To Contract With A Single Entity For The Development And Administration Of The Act Aspire Assessment Components As The Comprehensive Statewide Assessment Program For Public School Students In Grades 3-10 As Well As Algebra I And English Ii, Which Is Aligned To The Mississippi College And Career-ready Standards; To Require The State Department Of Education To Provide A Job Skills Assessment System That Allows Students To Earn A Nationally Recognized Career Readiness Certificate Credentialing Workplace Employability Skills; To Require The Act Aspire As The Statewide Assessment Program To Be Fully Implemented In All Public Schools In The 2017-2018 School Year; To Amend Sections 37-16-1, 37-16-3, 37-16-4, 37-16-5, 37-16-7, 37-16-9 And 37-16-17, Mississippi Code Of 1972, Which Relate To The Statewide Testing Program, And Sections 37-3-49, 37-15-38, 37-17-6, 37-18-1, 37-18-3, 37-20-5, 37-20-7 And 37-28-45, Mississippi Code Of 1972, In Conformity To The Preceding Provisions Of This Act; To Prohibit The State Board Of Education From Contracting With Any Entity For The Development Of A Statewide Assessment Whose Alignment Of Curriculum And Testing Standards Are In Compliance With The Partnership For Assessment Of Readiness For College And Careers (parcc) Without Express Legislative Authority; To Amend Section 37-16-11, Mississippi Code Of 1972, To Provide For The Issuance Of A Standard Diploma To Certain Exceptional Children With Intellectual Impairments Who Have Ieps Upon Meeting The Educational Requirements Of Their Iep And Those Established By The State Board Of Education; And For Related Purposes. Last action: Died in committee.

There are additional bills, some are repetitive, they have all been killed in committee.

New Hampshire

SB 44 – Prohibiting the state from requiring implementation of common core standards. Last action: Before Senate Education Committee.

HB 207 – Prohibiting the implementation of common core in public elementary and secondary schools. Last action: Hearing scheduled for 2/14/17.

New Jersey

A2650 – Requires high school students to be assessed using college placement cut scores to determine readiness for college-level course work, and Commissioner of Education to develop plan to improve college and career counseling for students. Last action: To Assembly Higher Education Committee.

A10121 – Requires school districts and charter schools to annually provide to parents or guardians of enrolled students information on certain tests to be administered during the school year. Last action: Referred to Assembly Education Committee.

New Mexico

HB211 – Requires the adoption and implementation of the Next Generation Science Standards. Last Action: Referred to House Education Committee.

New York

A03702/S03912 – Requires disclosure of testing items in Common Core tests given in New York (50% after the first year the test is given, full disclosure after the second year.) Last action: Assigned to the Assembly Education Committee.

A01098 – Establishes the common core state standards evaluation task force for the purpose of studying the implementation of the common core state standards; requires such task force report to the Governor and Legislature. Last action: Referred to the Assembly Education Committee.

A01719 – Relates to teacher evaluations and implementation of the common core learning standards. Last action: Assigned to Assembly Education Committee.

S02091 – Enacts the common core parental refusal act. Last action: Assigned to Senate Education Committee.

A03644 – Relates to creating the commission on exceptional standards for New York state. Last action: Assigned to Assembly Education Committee.

A03623 – Relates to the common core state standards initiative. Last action: Referred to Assembly Education Committee.

S01942 – Allows parents, legal guardians or school districts to opt children with an individualized education program out of the “common core standards” and certain testing. Last action: Referred to Senate Education Committee.

A02312 – Relates to establishing the standardized testing transparency act; makes an appropriation therefor. Last action: Referred to the Assembly Education Committee.

North Dakota

HB 1432 – Repeals Common Core. Last action: Reported back, do not pass, placed on calendar (My write-up on the bill is here)

Oregon

HB2368 – Prohibits Department of Education from requiring school districts to align instruction or assessments with common core state standards and from penalizing school districts for failure to align instruction or assessments with common core state standards. Declares emergency, effective July 1, 2017. Last action: Referred to the House Education Committee.

HB2587 – Modifies state educational goals to take into consideration students’ aspirations, to provide students with well-rounded education and to provide students with sufficient instructional time to meet students’ educational goals. Expands state’s mission of education beyond high school. Last action: Referred to the House Education Committee.

HB 2229 – Requires school districts to offer instruction in financial literacy. Directs school districts and public charter schools to offer sufficient instruction in financial literacy to ensure that every student who elects to receive instruction in financial literacy is able to receive instruction. Takes effect July 1, 2018. Last action: Referred to the House Education Committee.

South Dakota

SB 126 – This bill requires the South Dakota Department of Education to use a competitive bidding process when acquiring academic assessments.

Texas

SB 605 – Allows public review and removal of Common Core-aligned curriculum. Last action: Filed.

HB 1069 – Relating to compliance with prohibitions regarding the use of common core state standards in public schools. Last action: Filed.

Washington

HB1012 – Eliminating the use of the high school science assessment as a graduation prerequisite. Last action: Referred to the House Education Committee.

HB 1046 – Eliminates requirement to pass state assessments to graduate. Allows multiple options. Last action: Referred to the House Appropriations Committee.

HB 1415 – To simplify existing state assessment requirements and administer the ACT test as the statewide high school assessment for reading or language arts, mathematics, and science; and (2) For the administration of the ACT test to be for federal accountability purposes and does not intend for the ACT test to be used in determining whether a student is eligible to graduate from high school. Last action: Referred to the House Education Committee.

HB1793 – Increasing academic rigor and streamlining assessment requirements for high school students. (This bill entrenches Smarter Balanced in Washington.) Last action: Referred to the House Education Committee.

SB 5202/HB 1572 – Directs OSPI to seek approval of using SAT or ACT in place of the SBAC assessments. If approved by the feds, the ELA/Math and Science portions of the national tests can be used in place for graduation purposes. SBE sets the cutoff score for passing. Last action: Referred to each chamber’s education committee.

SB5673/HB1886 – Moves the responsiblity for setting standards and assessments from the Washington State Board of Education to the Superintendent of Public Instruction. Last action: Referred to each chamber’s education committee.

West Virginia

HB 2144 – A BILL to amend the Code of West Virginia, 1931, as amended, by adding thereto a new article, designated §18-1A-1, §18-1A-2, §18-1A-3, §18-1A-4 and §18-1A-5, all relating to academic content standards in public schools; discontinuing and prohibiting the use of Common Core academic content standards; adopting alternative academic content standards; discontinuing the use of Common Core based assessments; establishing a committee and process for developing alternate statewide assessments of student progress; prohibiting the state board or any public school from sharing student data without parental consent; and prohibiting acceptance of federal funding if such funding is conditioned upon sharing student data without parental consent. Last action: Referred to the House of Delegate’s Education and Finance Committees.

SB 18 – This would change West Virginia’s assessment from Smarter Balanced to ACT (for 11th graders) and ACT Aspire (for 3rd-8th graders). Last action: Referred to the Senate Education and Finance committees.

HB 2443 – This bill repeals Common Core and replaces it with the 2001 Massachusetts ELA Standards and the 2005 California math standards. Last action: Referred to the House Education and Finance Committees

Wyoming

HB0008 – AN ACT relating to education; amending requirements of state data security plan to ensure privacy of student data collected; requiring policies for the collection, access, privacy, security and use of student data by school districts; accordingly requiring school districts to adopt and enforce policies for the collection, access, privacy, security and use of student data; and providing for an effective date. Last action: Passed House, referred to Senate Education Committee

Mississippi Hits Snag With Common Core Practice Tests

mississippi-state-flag

Mississippi left PARCC after last school year when the Mississippi State Board of Education voted the state out. The Common Core bill that passed out of the legislature activists believed would just lead to a rebrand was vetoed by Governor Phil Bryant so the state was in the position to have to develop a new assessment that was aligned to the Common Core.

It hasn’t gone very well.

WMC Action News 5  reports:

This is the first year schools are supposed to use the tests that were produced by Questar Assessment Inc. after Mississippi PARCC consortium last year….

This year, a teacher noticed the graph on the first question of the Algebra I test she provided to the students did not match the equation. This ruled out all the answer choices. The teacher alerted the Mississippi Department of Education regarding her concerns about problems with the tests. She was provided with another version of the tests, but there were still problems with the new version.

This is also the first year students’ scores will count towards the districts’ accountability grades.

The MDE removed all practice tests from the department’s website on Wednesday.

Oops. With the practice tests pulled gone is the opportunity parents have to have an idea what the assessments will look like.

Mississippi Governor Bryant Vetos Weak Common Core Bill

Mississippi Gov. Phil Bryant

Mississippi Gov. Phil Bryant

Mississippi Governor Phil Bryant vetoed SB 2161 on Friday last week.  The bill passed through the Mississippi Legislature in late March.   Bryant said then that he wasn’t sure the bill would accomplish anything.  Activists from Mississippi told Truth in American Education that they believed the bill would just set up a rebrand and give politicians cover.

Bryant felt the same calling the bill weak.

Bryant said Thursday that he’s “firmly committed to ending Common Core in Mississippi,” but he believes Senate Bill 2161 wouldn’t accomplish that goal.

Ok, the ball is in the Governor’s court to act, we’ll be watching to see what he does.  Activists were urging him to veto the bill so it’s encouraging to see he was responsive to that.  I’m curious what the next step may be as I was leery of vetoing the only bill on the table that could have made some positive changes.  Then again the state could have just ended up with a rebrand they are stuck with for years.  Like I said in my previous piece on this bill, activists on the ground know best about the players and the process.

Mississippi Legislature Votes to End Common Core, Prohibit PARCC

mississippi-state-flagYesterday, the Mississippi House (88 to 29) and Senate (46 to 6) voted to adopt the conference report on SB 2161 that would end the state’s participation in the Common Core State Standards and prohibit the Mississippi State Department of Education from using the PARCC assessment starting with the 2015-2016 school year.  The bill heads to Mississippi Governor Phil Bryant’s desk who called Common Core a failed program last summer.

WLOX-TV 13 (ABC) quoted Lt. Governor Tate Reeves who said, “This legislation will end Common Core and allow Mississippians to create strong academic standards that are among the highest in the nation.”

A 24-member Mississippi Commission for College and Career Readiness made up of parents, educators, and content specialists will be formed to develop new standards by July 1, 2015.  The State Board of Education will hear recommendations from the commission on new standards before July 1, 2016.

As with any such review handled by a State Board of Education there is always a danger of rebranding, but congratulations are in order for Mississippians.

Update: Governor Bryant tells The Clarion Ledger that he may not sign because he’s not sure the bill will accomplish anything.

“It appears to me to just be another committee, that the Department of Education could look at what they recommend and just reject,” Bryant said. He said he’s been pushing to have fewer boards and commissions in state government, not more. He said he plans to parse the bill closely before making a decision.

Senate Bill 2161 passed the Senate 87-29 and passed the House with only six no votes on Tuesday.

Some tea party conservative lawmakers who oppose Common Core, such as Sen. Chris McDaniel, said the bill was milquetoast and would not do anything to prevent the Department of Education from using Common Core national standards. McDaniel called it “smoke and mirrors.”

These are valid points, but no bill would mean Common Core will be used.  Let’s not let perfection become a roadblock for good.  Sign this bill into law and then work on passing a clarifying bill if they feel this doesn’t go far enough.  Watch the State Board and Commission like a hawk.

2nd Update:  Somebody reminded me that Mississippi was already leaving PARCC after this year.  That takes the shine off of this bill somewhat.  Got to love it when you forget about a bill you blogged about.  So that makes a veto more palatable to me.  Honestly folks… I don’t live in Mississippi.  I don’t know all of the players.  So if anti-Common Core activists want a veto who am I to argue with them?  I don’t believe that your fight has ended either way.  I do see opportunity with a review, but I agree it is not a repeal.  Again, Mississippians you know better than I do what the likely outcome will be.  If this does become law hopefully that won’t be the case.  Eyes open… eternal vigilance is the price of liberty.

Here is the bill below:

Mississippi to Pull Out of PARCC

ms-state-buildingNew news out of Mississippi.  They will be the latest state to pull out of the fledgling Common Core-aligned assessment consortium PARCC.

The Clarion Ledger reports:

The education board voted earlier that morning to withdraw from the Partnership for the Assessment of Readiness for College and Careers consortium amid anti-Common Core and anti-PARCC sentiments by some of the state’s top political leaders.

Both Gov. Phil Bryant and Lt. Gov. Tate Reeves have called for a repeal of Common Core and the Common Core-aligned assessments developed by PARCC and given to students at the end of the school year.

Two bills introduced this week by Speaker of the House Philip Gunn also propose to do away with PARCC and Common Core.

State Superintendent of Education Carey Wright serves on the PARCC board, along with the education leaders of other member states. It’s unclear if she will resign from that position due to the move.

Education leaders said in the press release they will issue a request for proposals inviting other entities to provide assessments starting in the 2015-2016 school year.

This is a good sign out of Mississippi.  They also need to move toward a repeal of the Common Core or else finding another company to put together another Common Core-aligned test won’t mean that much.  Especially if it is a vendor with ties to PARCC or Smarter Balanced.  With another state gone PARCC’s days have got to be numbered.

Momentum Builds Against Common Core in Mississippi

ms-state-buildingMississippi Governor Phil Bryant attended a stop Common Core rally earlier this week.

From the Jackson Free Press:

“I don’t take a political position on this. I take a personal position on this,” Gov. Phil Bryant said, echoing other lawmakers at the ‘Stop Common Core’ rally today at the Capitol that Common Core hurts Mississippi schoolchildren.

Bryant spoke about the national governors meeting he attended in which “they” said that Common Core was designed by national governors. “Well I wasn’t in the room when it happened,” Bryant joked.

It is the idea that these standards are a government overreach that drives the anti-Common Core movement. “We’re not here today to say take away those academic challenges. We’re here to say make them better but take them away from the control of the federal government,” Bryant said.

The speakers also repeated one point so firmly you might think they were trying to convince themselves: they’re “not attacking anyone.”

During his speech, Bryant recalled a conversation he had with another governor whom he described as “on the other end of the political spectrum,” but who also does not like Common Core. The governor told Bryant, “This is something I agree on,” Bryant said.

“He said, ‘My teachers union don’t like it,’ and I said, ‘Well bless your heart for that,’” Bryant said smugly while the crowd erupted in laughter.

The rally saw over 100 attend and was meant to apply political pressure on the Mississippi Legislature that failed to act last year.

The Mississippi State Department of Education was also called out by a State Senator who attended the rally.

The state Department of Education said on its website that it adopted the standards “because they provide a consistent, clear understanding of what students are expected to learn so that teachers and parents know what they need to do to help them.”

But state Sen. Michael Watson, R-Pascagoula, disagreed and cited the state Board of Education’s own minutes showing it adopted the standards “based on finding of imminent peril to public welfare in the loss of substantial federal funds from the Race to the Top Grant … .”

Watson, among at least 11 lawmakers who publicly oppose Common Core, spoke at the rally.

“The fight is here. The fight is now,” he told the crowd. “Let’s not stop until we completely rid Mississippi of PARCC and the Common Core State Standards.”

Some definite momentum with a growing number of lawmakers, and the state’s Governor and Lt. Governor calling for a change.  I’d be surprised to not see something happen.

Let’s just hope that “something” is something substantial and not a rebrand.

Mississippi Gov. Bryant: The Public Is In Charge of Public Education

Mississippi Gov. Phil Bryant

Mississippi Gov. Phil Bryant

Mississippi Governor Phil Bryant points out a simple fact that is often lost on many Common Core advocates, especially those within the educrat ranks.

The Associated Press reports:

Republican Gov. Phil Bryant says state Superintendent of Education Carey Wright needs to understand “she’s not in charge of public education in Mississippi. The public is.”

Bryant’s comments came Tuesday after he was asked about Wright’s strong support for Common Core State Standards, which outline what children should learn in English and math.

Thank you.  This is common sense which unfortunately is not as common as we’d like to see.  This is one of the primary reasons (of many) why I am against the Common Core – it cut “we the people” out of the process.  Now educrats like Carey Wright thumb their noses at, in the words of Wright’s colleague in Arizona who was kicked to the curb, “barbarians at the gate.”

In other related Mississippi news, Lt. Governor Tate Reeves wants to scrap Common Core and appoint another group other than the Mississippi State Board of Education write the new standards.

Sadly that may be the only way for some of these states to end up with anything other than a rebrand.

The Clarion Ledger reports:

Reeves on Monday, speaking at the Stennis Institute of Government’s Capitol press corps luncheon, said he believes the Legislature should create a task force and come up with its own education standards.

Common Core may have started as a states’ initiative, Reeves said. But he’s become convinced the Obama Administration is using Common Core standards to “hijack” education autonomy from states.

Reeves said the “straw that broke the camel’s back” was the federal Department of Education revoking a waiver for Oklahoma after it repealed Common Core standards. This could have cost Oklahoma nearly $30 million in public school funding. However, the federal department has reinstated Oklahoma’s waiver after it appealed.

Mississippi Gov. Phil Bryant: Common Core Is a Failed Program

Louisiana Gov. Bobby Jindal may have got the ball rolling with Republican governors.

According to The Clarion Ledger, Mississippi Governor Phil Bryant is expressing dissatisfaction with the Common Core State Standards in his state.  Watch their interview with Governor Bryant below.

http://c.brightcove.com/services/viewer/federated_f9?isSlim=1