South Carolina Legislature Passes Common Core Replacement Bill

The South Carolina Legislature passed H.3893 that would review and replace the Common Core State Standards, to Governor Nikki Haley’s desk.  On May 1st the South Carolina Senate passed the bill on a 42-0 vote.  The South Carolina House voted on Monday in favor of the bill on an 80 to 26 vote.

The bill does not immediate repeal the Common Core however.

The bill requires that South Carolina’s standards be reviewed and revised by the 2015-2016 school year.  There is concern that South Carolina still could end up with little change and/or a Common Core rebrand since the new assessment that will replace Smarter Balanced has to be implemented for the 2014-2015 school year which will be aligned to the Common Core.

South Carolina could adopt the ACT Aspire assessment for the transition year which would allow them time to develop their own assessment aligned to the new standards.

School Reform News reported on the bill’s passage:

The South Carolina House Tuesday passed a bill that would create a committee to review and replace national Common Core standards in the state before the 2015-16 school year.

Gov. Nikki Haley’s spokesperson said the governor intends to sign the bill. State Sen. Wes Hayes (R-Rock Hill), chairman of the Senate Education Committee also said Haley is likely to sign the bill and may do so as soon as Friday.

Common Core sets forth what K-12 math and English curriculum and tests must cover, and was heavily promoted by the Obama administrations. Critics say its offers mediocre academics, while proponents say it’s better than what most states had previously.

The bill sparked a debate earlier this spring when the State Department of Education decided to withdraw from national Common Core tests in anticipation of legislative action. The State Board of Education voted down that proposal, but the current state superintendent, Mick Zais, reinstated the department’s decision to drop the tests.

The bill, once signed into law, should clear any confusion caused by the conflicting orders. The bill prohibits South Carolina from using the federally funded national tests.

“A special assessment panel will be convened immediately upon passage of the bill to provide input for a new assessments system, and must seek public input,” Hayes said.

South Carolina Bill Would Give School Districts Control of School Buses

I wasn’t aware that school districts were not in control of their own bus systems already.  Who thought of that nightmare to have the state in charge?  Now there is a bill introduced to turn that responsibility over to school districts or to private companies if the school district so chooses.

Kudos to State Representative Jim Merrill (R-Charleston) who recognized that it is asinine for the state to run all of the school buses.  I know this isn’t exactly education policy, but it is an example of overreach at the state level as it relates to the public school system.