Common Core: A Serious Problem for Governors in 2016

Photo credit: Gage Skidmore (CC-By-SA 2.0)

Common Core has been a thorn in Jeb Bush’s presidential campapign
Photo credit: Gage Skidmore (CC-By-SA 2.0)

It has taken a while for the mainstream media to focus on the effect Common Core has had on Republican presidential campaigns. But Fred Barnes of The Weekly Standard, in discussing the unexpected weakness and in some cases collapse of candidates who were or are governors, has drawn the connection between a governor’s support of Common Core and his political fortunes.

As Barnes notes, governors can present themselves as more experienced and reliable since they’ve had to make decisions and run things, not just talk about what they would do if given an executive position. But when they act against the wishes of their states’ citizens on something as critical as education, those citizens sound the alarm about the true nature of this Man Who Would Be President. And with the pro-Constitution, anti-Common Core movement connected by such national networks as TAE, there’s nowhere for the offending governor to hide.

The worst miscreant on the Common Core front, of course, is former Gov. Jeb Bush. Anyone who has attended anti-Common Core rallies in critical electoral states such as Ohio knew from the outset that Bush had no chance with the base (he could have saved a lot of time and money if he had consulted us before launching his campaign). Bush has been Mr. Common Core from the beginning, and nothing he could do or say would change that.

And speaking of Ohio, Gov. John Kasich has achieved the distinction of alienating his constituents on Common Core more than any other candidate. Ohioans not only reject his support of Common Core, they quite properly resent his sneering disdain for their concerns. You may notice the absence of a groundswell for Kasich (even, or perhaps especially, in Ohio).

Then there are the governors such as Bobby Jindal and Chris Christie who initially embraced Common Core but tried to walk back their support. For years Jindal gave the impression that he wasn’t really focused on education issues, and he may truly have seen the light and tried to undo the damage (even with a federal lawsuit), but it was hard for him to erase the lingering distrust of Louisiana parents who tried so hard to get his attention earlier. Christie, on the other hand, has focused less on the unconstitutionality and philosophical deficiencies of Common Core and more on problematic “implementation.” Suggesting that an unconstitutional monstrosity would be fine if it were properly implemented has greatly diminished Christie’s appeal to the Republican base.

Scott Walker is in a category by himself. Having blown both hot and cold on the issue, Walker finally settled into an embrace of “state control” over standards and said the right things against Common Core.  But the anti-Common Core activists in Wisconsin recognized – and repeatedly warned the national networks – that Walker not only was not helping rid the state of Common Core, but he or his people were working behind the scenes to defeat attempts to replace the national standards with superior state standards. The implosion of the Walker campaign began – coincidentally? – about the time these warnings were circulated.

The only governor whose campaign crumbled despite his true anti-Common Core bona fides was Rick Perry. But a compelling argument can be made that Perry’s fall was precipitated more by lingering memories of his campaign stumbles from four years ago than by any of his current positions.

The lesson here is that candidates act at their peril when they ignore parents’ concerns about their children. Add those concerns to worries about threats to the rule of law and to our constitutional structure, and you have a potent force that can sink – and have sunk – political fortunes.

Ted Cruz, Rand Paul Receive an A – on Common Core Report Card

rand-paul-education-policy

U.S. Senator Rand Paul, along with Ted Cruz, received an A-.

ThePulse2016, American Principles in Action, and Cornerstone Policy Research released  a Common Core score card on all of the major Republican candidates minus former New York Governor George Pataki and former Virginia Governor Jim Gilmore.  Leaders are U.S. Senators Ted Cruz (R-TX) and Rand Paul (R-KY) received an A-, Louisiana Governor Bobby Jindal received a B+.  On the other end of the spectrum former Florida Governor Jeb Bush and Ohio Governor John Kasich received an F.  Wisconsin Governor Scott Walker and New Jersey Governor Chris Christie receive a D+.  Surprisingly, U.S. Senator Marco Rubio received a C.

Here are the candidates’ grades:

A- … Ted Cruz
A- … Rand Paul
B+… Bobby Jindal
B  … Lindsey Graham
B  … Rick Perry
B  … Rick Santorum
B- … Ben Carson
B- … Donald Trump
C+… Carly Fiorina
C  … Mike Huckabee
C  … Marco Rubio
D+… Chris Christie
D+… Scott Walker
F  … Jeb Bush
F  … John Kasich

Full disclosure: I was a contributor for the report that accompanies the report card, but I did not determine the final grade.

The criteria used was:

  1. Whether the candidate recognizes the full scope of the Common Core issue and has advocated for, or taken, action that would roll back the Common Core education standards.
  2. Whether the candidate has advocated for protecting, or taken steps to protect, state and local decision-making in the area of education, e.g., offered a plan to give states enforceable protection against USED overreach, to opt out of the USED, unwind USED as a whole, etc.
  3. Whether the candidate has advocated for protecting child and family privacy, for example by opposing improper gathering and use of data including student medical information and any information that would reflect a student’s psychological characteristics or behaviors.

They could have included more criteria and noted in the scorecard report, “Due to time constraints, we did not include categories that could rightly be included in a Common Core scorecard. Those include initiatives that expand government-funded early childcare and the alignment of education to a national workforce system. Those initiatives will require increased data collection. The latter one will also entail the continuation of federal efforts to shape state “workforce investment” efforts that are an affront to state sovereignty and capitalism and that treat children and adults as human capital–as a means to an end.”

They also explain the grading:

  • A  Champions the issue (e.g., offers legislation, makes it a centerpiece issue)
  • B  Professes support, but has not provided leadership or otherwise championed it
  • C  Has neither helped nor hurt the cause
  • D  Has an overall negative record on the issue
  • F  Robustly and consistently works against the issue

Below are excerpts of what was said about each candidate in the report:

Jeb Bush – F

Gov. Bush is perhaps the most outspoken supporter of the Common Core Standards in the 2016 field. He has publicly praised David Coleman, one of the two chief architects of the Common Core (who is now chairman of the College Board). He has propagated the false narrative that the Common Core standards are merely learning goals and are of high quality.91 He has turned a blind eye to the reasons underlying opposition to Common Core and instead used straw-man arguments to dismiss opponents as relying on “Alice-in- Wonderland logic.

Ben Carson – B-

As a non-office-holder, Carson is pretty much limited to speaking on the issues. He says the right things but has given no indication of a deep understanding of Common Core or the attendant problems.

Chris Christie – D+

We would look for Christie to lead the effort to replace the Common Core in New Jersey with good standards – not just a “review” leading to a rebrand – and to replace PARCC with an assessment aligned to the new standards. His statement, in a thinly veiled reference to Gov. Perry, that at least he tried Common Core is particularly troublesome.116 It indicates that he does not understand how the federal government interferes with state decision- making, does not appreciate the academic deficiencies of the Common Core, and does not understand why parents are upset.

Christie epitomizes “making a big issue into a small issue.” His website does not address Common Core and does not address his view as to the relationship between USED and the states on education. Does he think it is just fine? Does he think the states need structural protections? Does he want to eliminate USED? Perhaps make it bigger? These are campaign issues, and the people want to know.

Ted Cruz – A-

We encourage Sen. Cruz to spell out in greater detail his plans for reigning in the federal government, to talk about the nexus between Common Core’s quality and the perversion of our constitutional structure and to raise the issues with accurate specifics rather than to talk about “repealing” Common Core. Does Cruz have further proposals to safeguard state and local decision-making and protect parental rights? His website does not address the Common Core issues, does not say anything about student and family privacy, and does not address his views as to the relationship between the federal government and the states with regard to education.

Carly Fiorina – C+

Fiorina’s website states, “Government is rigged in favor of powerful interests. The only way to reimagine our government is to reimagine who is running it.” She would do well to address these issues more often and in more detail -especially given that the Common Core is being driven by the “powerful interests” that claim to serve the interests of the economy and business. Fiorina would do well to discuss the issue in more depth, to raise the qualitative problems, and to state whether she has any proposals to safeguard state decision-making.

Lindsey Graham – B

Graham seems to understand the issues with Common Core today, but it is unfortunate this opposition did not come sooner. He missed an early opportunity to strike at the Common Core in 2013 by not co-signing a letter penned by Senator Chuck Grassley to the chair and vice-chair of the Senate Appropriations Sub-Committee on Education that called for language to prohibit the use of federal funding to promote the Common Core, end the federal government’s involvement in the Common Core testing consortium, and prevent the United States Department of Education from rescinding a state’s No Child Left Behind waiver if it repealed Common Core.

Mike Huckabee – C

Gov. Mike Huckabee has a checkered past on the issue of the Common Core. Once an ardent supporter of the system, he now claims that the original “governor-controlled states’ initiative” eventually “morphed into a frankenstandard that nobody, including me, can support.” However, as recently as 2013, Mike Huckabee told the Council of Chief State School Officers to “[r]ebrand [Common Core], refocus it, but don’t retreat.”

As the campaign approached, Huckabee began to be more consistent in his opposition (although he was still giving a nod to the supposedly pure origins of the Common Core).

Bobby Jindal – B+

Jindal was an early supporter of Common Core. But in 2014 he come out swinging against it, although he occasionally lapses into a narrative that it was the federal involvement that made it bad. He supported legislation to rid his state of Common Core. He has also sued USED in federal court on the grounds that the Department’s Race to the Top programs was coercive, violates federal law, and is contrary to the Constitution. Jindal stumbled out of the gate on Common Core, but he has righted himself and has admirably pushed back against the federal overreach.

John Kasich – F

Like Bush, Kasich is an unapologetic cheerleader for the Common Core. His only response to the large and active anti-Common Core grassroots operation in Ohio is to make fun of them.

Rand Paul – A-

Sen. Rand Paul supported Senator Grassley’s effort to defund the Common Core in 2013 and 2014. He co-signed a letter penned by Senator Chuck Grassley to the chair and vice- chair of the Senate Appropriations Sub-Committee on Education that called for language to be included prohibiting the use of federal funding to promote the Common Core, ending the federal government’s involvement in the Common Core testing consortium and preventing USED from rescinding a state’s No Child Left Behind waiver if it repealed Common Core. Sens. Paul and Cruz are the only senatorial candidates for president who co-signed Grassley’s letter.

Paul has paid more attention to the Common Core issue than most other candidates and has spoken forcefully against it.

Rick Perry – B

Gov. Rick Perry is one of the few candidates, declared or prospective, who has opposed the Common Core from the outset. As Governor, Rick Perry signed HB 462, which effectively banned the Common Core from being adopted in Texas…

…With regard to privacy, in 2013 Perry signed HB 2103, which created a data-sharing agency for educational data governed by an appointed board rather than the state educational agency. It appears that the data can only be shared within the state- with the exception of inter-state sharing with other state departments of education. Among other problems, it allows unfettered data-sharing among agencies designated as “cooperating agencies” –the Texas Education Agency, the state higher-ed authority, and the Texas Workforce Commission. It allows any researcher (no parameters on who is a legitimate researcher) to get data if he uses “secure methods” and agrees to comply with the ineffective federal Family Educational Rights and Privacy Act (FERPA). It requires each participating state agency to make data available for the preceding 20 years, and allows data-sharing agreements with “local agencies or organizations” that provide education services if “useful to the conduct of research.”

Marco Rubio – C

Sen. Marco Rubio has spoken strongly against Common Core and wrote a letter to Secretary Duncan in 2011 questioning the legality of using federal No Child Left Behind waivers to drive policy changes, like the adoption of Common Core, in the states…

…Rubio’s official website does not specifically address the issue of Common Core. However, it does states that in order to prepare people to “seize their opportunities in the new economy,” high schools should graduate more students “ready to work.” It is hard to parse from this general statement what the education policies would look like under a Rubio Administration. What does Rubio believe would validate a student as “work ready”? Would it be the further alignment of our K-12 education system to the projected demands of specific sectors of the economy to train workers for favored big-businesses, which would mean more of the Chamber of Commerce-endorsed Common Core? Or, does it mean aligning education to the demands of parents and the local community as a whole, which would mean more local control? It would behoove Senator Rubio to answer these questions and to discuss the qualitative aspects of the Common Core and whether he believes the federal involvement helped, or hurt, the quality of the standards.

Rick Santorum – B

Santorum’s website addresses the problem of Common Core in terms of both federal overreach and the substance of the standards. While many other candidates do the former, few address the latter…

…Although Santorum voted for No Child Left Behind when it passed the Senate in 2001, he has since described that vote as “a mistake.” We give a candidate credit for truly admitting a mistake.

Donald Trump – B-

Trump has struck a chord with the Republican base, something many would have thought unlikely a year ago. Citizens view him as having the courage and will to stand and fight, something that many GOP candidates have seemed to lack in years past. As the primary cycle wears on, the base will want to hear more detail from Trump as well as other candidates. The candidate who does this will engender the gratitude of parents and other citizens. Trump would do well to blaze the trail on this.

Scott Walker – D+

Until recently, Governor Walker’s rhetoric on Common Core has been good. He admits that, when he ran in 2010, it wasn’t on his radar and that’s certainly understandable given how the standards were pushed into the states. He rightly gives credit to the state’s citizens for making it an issue, something that may not seem like a big deal, but it is to activists who have been ridiculed as irrational by elitists in both parties…

Sometimes legislation gets watered down despite the intrepid efforts of its proponents. At other times, a nominal proponent gives it lip service but fails to fight and, thereby, actually signals that he will not raise an objection if the legislation is defeated or watered down. On the Common Core, Walker is in the latter category…

You can read the entire report below.

Rick Perry Makes Common Core a Campaign Issue in North Carolina

Rick Perry in Altoona, IA.

Rick Perry in Altoona, IA.

Texas Governor Rick Perry was in North Carolina stumping for North Carolina House Speaker Thom Tillis the Republican running against U.S. Senator Kay Hagan (D-NC).

The News Observer reports:

Perry also had high praise for Tillis, the marquee candidate at the rally.

“He will go to Washington, D.C., and do everything he can to dismantle Obamacare,” Perry said. “He will say no to things like Common Core. He will say no to things like Race to the Top.”

What’s interesting is that North Carolina Gov. Pat McCrory was there and he’s been a supporter of Common Core, but reluctantly signed the Tarheel State’s repeal and replace bill and his appointments to the commission that is reviewing North Carolina’s standards is, ahem, suspect.  Indiana Governor Mike Pence must be his role model.

Common Core is not an issue that Rick Perry will shy away from.  Recently in Iowa he told me what he thought of the standards.

It’s a 10th Amendment issue.  If you want Washington, if you want to implement their standards, that’s your call.  In Texas we had higher standards.  We had higher standards than No Child Left Behind.  We certainly had higher standards than (Common Core) so it was a very easy decision for Texans, myself and the Legislature included, to basically say we still believe that Texans know how to best run Texas.  That the Texas Legislature, that the Texas School Boards, the Texas teachers, we collectively know best how to educate our children rather than some bureaucrat in Washington.

Anyway, I’m sure that was an awkweird moment for him… May he have even more in the future.

You may recall that Tillis last month had an awkward with Jeb Bush who joined him on the campaign trail.  Jonathan Martin reported at the New York Times.

On the Common Core, the educational standards first devised by a bipartisan group of governors, which have become deeply unpopular among conservative activists, Mr. Tillis also sounded far more conservative than Mr. Bush. The North Carolina House approved the standards in 2011, but, facing primary challengers from the right earlier this year, Mr. Tillis backed away from them.

“I’m not willing to settle just for a national standard if we think we can find things to set a new standard and a best practice,” Mr. Tillis said, pivoting to an attack on the federal Education Department as “a bureaucracy of 5,000 people in Washington” who make an average salary of a little more than $100,000.

While criticizing the Education Department is common among Republicans, Mr. Tillis was standing next to the younger brother of President George W. Bush, whose signature accomplishments include No Child Left Behind, the sweeping federal education law run by the department.

Mr. Bush sensed the need to play down any differences and returned to the microphone. “We can argue about what to call these things,” he said, but maintained that the focus ought to be on ensuring high standards.

Rick Perry Talks Common Core, Race to the Top

perry-altoona

I spoke with Texas Governor Rick Perry when he was at a business roundtable in Altoona, IA on Monday.  I asked him about Common Core and Race to the Top.  Perry was one of only two governors at the time to reject Race the Top funds (former Alaska Governor Sarah Palin was the other).

“It’s a 10th Amendment issue.  If you want Washington, if you want to implement their standards, that’s your call.  In Texas we had higher standards.  We had higher standards than No Child Left Behind.  We certainly had higher standards than (Common Core) so it was a very easy decision for Texans, myself and the Legislature included, to basically say we still believe that Texans know how to best run Texas.  That the Texas Legislature, that the Texas School Boards, the Texas teachers, we collectively know best how to educate our children rather than some bureaucrat in Washington,” Perry said.

Common Core at #CPAC2014

Senator Ted Cruz

Senator Ted Cruz (R-TX) speaking at CPAC

Common Core, as an issue, has been largely absent from CPAC – at least in the Potomac Ballroom.  Senator Ted Cruz (R-TX) discussed it during a bloggers briefing when I asked him about the silence at the conference yesterday.  Today, Governor Rick Perry (R-TX) came closest when he said the Constitution doesn’t give the right to “federalize the classroom.”  He called for the Federal government to roll back to what the Constitution actually allows.

There was a panel discussion yesterday on Common Core sponsored by the Hertiage Foundation.  Below is my recap from my liveblog yesterday at Caffeinated Thoughts (go to the bottom and read up).

4:25p: Session is wrapping up. My iPad keyboard needs charging and the blog able aspects of the conference is about over. Signing this off for the day. One last comment from Stergios: If the Common Core assessments die, the Common Core dies.

4:21p: Mike Huckabee was pointed out by a member of the audience. Stergios defended to a point saying that Governors Huckabee and Jindal are coming at this from a perspective of having poor state standards. Solution should have come from the state.

4:18p: Stergios: Voucher programs in Indiana, Ohio and Indiana have come with strings attached, Common Core aligned assessments.

4:17p: Stergios: Common Core ends with Algebra II-lite. Will not prepare student for STEM.

4:16p: Stergios: Experimental approach to geometry developed by Soviets, has never been successful, and is required by Common Core.

4:14p: Stergios: All of the reading research shows that focusing on great literature and poetry expands and deepens a kid’s vocabulary. Informational text doesn’t do that.

4:13p: Stergios: At least $16 Billion will be spent by states and localities to implement this. But the spending goes far beyond what Pioneer’s cost report indicates.

4:11p: Stergios: LBJ & Carter realized that national curriculum, standards, & assessments were a bridge too far, and yet there are friends among us who think this is conservative.

4:09p: Stergios: NGA/CCSSO process was far different than actual state-led process. Common Core did not have any public hearings, did not involve teachers like state education reforms had, and did not involve parents.

4:07p: Stergios: Reasons why people are coming out now. It’s costly. Federal power grab, Moms who see homework come home that shocks, Common Core back dooring into private options.

4:04p: Stergios: Common Core is a homogenized, top-down fad in education that forces compliance and will kill innovation.

4:03p: Enlow: True accountability comes from parents.

3:59p: Enlow says it says a lot about Obama that he defunded DC scholarship program, worked against Louisiana voucher program and then funded Race to the Top. Common Core is homogenized and doesn’t provide choice. Says Association of Christian Schools International and Catholics aligned because we need to strengthen our private sector.

3:57p: Enlow cites school voucher program in Indiana. Program has drained Indianapolis public schools that the district wanted a bill that allows them to take over schools and get rid of unions. Ft. Wayne public schools had to door knock.

3:54p: Enlow: Parents should be in charge of education. Parents should have choice. “I run the competing vision in the nation.”

3:53p: Schlafly: “Common Core gives liberal a backdoor for bringing in propaganda.” Via focus on informational text.

3:51p: Schlafly discusses ELA text which is “well aligned” with Common Core.

3:49p: Schlafly: Math using constructivist approach, ELA standards using new textual criticism, not the joy of reading.

3:48p: Schlafly: Discussing how standards are now tied to statewide longitudinal data gathering. Law was supposed to protect against this, but FERPA was gutted.

3:47p: Schlafly: “Aligned” is the new magic word.

3:44p: Schlafly: goes through failed education reforms. She states that the goal is to have national control of curriculum through common standards and assessments.

3:37p: Schlafly: Common Core is the hottest issue with the grassroots.

3:31p: At the Common Core workshop with Lindsey Burke of Heritage Foundation, Jim Stergios of the Pioneer Institute, Robert Enlow of the Friedman Foundation for Educational Choice, and Phyllis Schlafly of Eagle Forum.

Photo credit: Dave Davidson – Prezography.com

#CPAC2014 Tweetfest #StopCommonCore Addition

CPACVia American Principles in Action’s FightCommonCore.com:

Join us TODAY and in coming days to flood CPAC and the political leaders who will be presenting to join the fight against Common Core. CPAC is one of the largest gatherings of American conservatives, so this is an IMPORTANT opportunity for us to get the truth out to conservatives about Common Core.

Please join us tomorrow, specifically during Bobby Jindal’s speech beginning at 12:00PM EST. There are additional speeches that we would love to have you participate in, but his is one of the most important.

WHAT: #STOPCOMMONCORE TWEETFEST – #CPAC EDITION
WHO: You, and please pass on to anyone with a Twitter or Facebook
WHEN: THURSDAY MARCH 5th, 12PM and following

Times and draft tweets are below. Please use the draft tweets, but feel free to create your own. We want to make sure that there is alot of buzz going around regarding the Common Core during CPAC.

And be sure to use CPAC’s official hashtag — #CPAC2014 for ALL TWEETS.

Thank you for your help and participation.

Emmett McGroarty, Shane Vander Hart, Terry Schilling, and Kate Bryan
American Principles in Action

TAE Note – please also tweet for TODAY: Be sure to check out the #StopCommonCore forum at #CPAC2014 w/ @lindseymburke & @JimStergios 3:30p Potomac 3&4

——-

TWEET BOBBY JINDAL 12:00-12:40PM EST THURSDAY MARCH 6th
Bobby Jindal speaks at 12:00p on Thursday

@BobbyJindal Louisiana parents need you to act, please #StopCommonCore in your state! #CPAC2014
@BobbyJindal Be a voice for your citizens, please #StopCommonCore in your state! #CPAC2014

@BobbyJindal Protect America’s children. #StopCommonCore in Louisiana. #CPAC2014

Additional times and tweets for CPAC

Ted Cruz – speaking at 9:00a Thursday –
Thank you @tedcruz for joining @ChuckGrassley in working to #StopCommonCore Fed Funding. #CPAC2014

Gov. Chris Christie (R-NJ) speaking at 11:00a Thursday –
@ChrisChristie if you want to promote STEM you need #StopCommonCore Algebra II isn’t enough. #CPAC2014

Bobby Jindal speaks at 12:00p on Thursday –
@BobbyJindal Louisiana parents need you to act, please #StopCommonCore in your state! #CPAC2014

Sen. Marco Rubio is speaking at 12:16p on Thursday –
@marcorubio thank you for your support of #StopCommonCore #CPAC2014
Thank you @marcorubio for protecting America’s children and our future. #StopCommonCore #CPAC2014

Gov. Rick Perry speaks on Friday at 9:00am EST –
@GovernorPerry rejected Race to the Top and has worked to #EndFedEd, be sure to thank him. #StopCommonCore #CPAC2014

Former Gov. Mike Huckabee speaks on Friday at 10:21AM EST –
@GovMikeHuckabee has championed Common Core, tell him to #StopCommonCore not just the Fed’s involvement. #CPAC2014

Rick Santorum speaks on Friday at 2:26pm EST –
@RickSantorum please join the #StopCommonCore movement, our kids need your voice! #CPAC2014

Sen. Rand Paul speaks on Friday at 2:51pm EST –
@SenRandPaul thank you for lending your voice to #StopCommonCore! #CPAC2014

Ann Coulter – Saturday at 1:34pm EST –
@AnnCoulter please lend your voice to #StopCommonCore. #CPAC2014

State Senator Lee Zeldin – Saturday at 3:34pm EST –
State Sen. @leezeldin is speaking at #CPAC2014 Senator thanks for your #StopCommonCore bill (S 6604) in NY!

Sarah Palin – Saturday at 5:45pm EST –
@SarahPalinUSA rejected Race to the Top, Gov. Palin please join the #StopCommonCore movement! #CPAC2014

Texas Bans Common Core

Texas Governor Rick Perry signed HB 462 on Friday effectively banning the Common Core State Standards from the state.  You may remember this passed the Texas House overwhelmingly on a 140-2 vote.  It passed the Texas Senate on May 21.  An amended version was approved by the Texas House on May 23.  It was sent to Governor Perry on May 27th.

Here is the text of the bill:

AN ACT

relating to state control of teacher appraisal criteria, curriculum standards, and assessment instruments.

BE IT ENACTED BY THE LEGISLATURE OF THE STATE OF TEXAS:

SECTION 1.  Section 28.002, Education Code, is amended by adding Subsections (b-1), (b-2), (b-3), and (b-4) to read as follows:

(b-1)  In this section, “common core state standards” means the national curriculum standards developed by the Common Core State Standards Initiative.

(b-2)  The State Board of Education may not adopt common core state standards to comply with a duty imposed under this chapter.

(b-3)  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 under Subsection (c).

(b-4)  Notwithstanding any other provision of this code, a school district or open-enrollment charter school may not be required to offer any aspect of a common core state standards curriculum.

SECTION 2.  Section 39.023, Education Code, is amended by adding Subsection (a-3) to read as follows:

(a-3)  The agency may not adopt or develop a criterion-referenced assessment instrument under this section based on common core state standards as defined by Section 28.002(b-1). This subsection does not prohibit the use of college advanced placement tests or international baccalaureate examinations as those terms are defined by Section 28.051.

SECTION 3.  This Act takes effect immediately if it receives a vote of two-thirds of all the members elected to each house, as provided by Section 39, Article III, Texas Constitution. If this Act does not receive the vote necessary for immediate effect, this Act takes effect September 1, 2013.

Texas House Makes It Clear: NO Common Core HERE!

texas-state-capitolThe Texas House of Representatives voted 140-2 to pass language prohibiting Texas from participating in the Common Core State Standards.  Only two votes against it.  Incredible.  The bill, HB 462, was sponsored by State Representative Dan Huberty (R-Kingwood).

Here’s the relevant language in the bill:

(b-1) In this section, “common core state standards” means the national curriculum standards developed by the Common Core State Standards Initiative.

(b-2) The State Board of Education may not adopt common core state standards to comply with a duty imposed under this chapter.

(b-3) 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 under Subsection (c).

(b-4) Notwithstanding any other provision of this code, a school district or open-enrollment charter school may not be required to offer any aspect of a common core state standards curriculum.

       SECTION 3.  Section 39.023, Education Code, is amended by adding Subsection (a-3) to read as follows:

(a-3) The agency may not adopt or develop a criterion-referenced assessment instrument under this section based on common core state standards as defined by Section 28.002(b-1).

The only nay votes were by State Representatives Rafael Anchia (D-Dallas) and Mark Strama (D-Austin).  Further proof that opposition against the Common Core is bipartisan.  Texas via Governor Rick Perry already said no.  The Texas House just backed that decision.

Photo credit: Brandi Korte via Flickr (CC-By-NC-ND 2.0)

Let School Districts Decide

A Governor who believes local control is important – what a novel concept!

From The Texas Tribune:

Gov. Rick Perry is expressing his support for letting school districts themselves choose whether to implement a rule that requires new state assessments to count for 15 percent of high school students’ final grades.

In a written statement Thursday — the first time the governor has publicly weighed in on the issue —  Perry praised legislation filed by state Sen. Dan Patrick, R-Houston, that would leave the decision up to local school districts. He also asked Texas Education Commissioner Michael Williams to defer the state’s rollout of the rule until the next school year.

“While we must continue to adhere to our state’s accountability system, we must also recognize the importance of local control,” Perry said in the letter to Williams. “That is why I am asking you to defer until the 2013-14 school year the requirement that an end-of-course assessment count as 15 percent of a student’s final course grade.”