West Virginia Legislature Considers Common Core Repeal

West Virginia State Capitol Building – Charleston, WV
Photo credit: O Palsson (CC-By-2.0)

Another bill has been added to our growing list. HB 2443 was introduced last Tuesday in the West Virginia House of Delegates which would repeal the Common Core State Standards and replace them with proven standards. The bill that is sponsored by State Delegates Michael Folk (R-Martinsburg), Pat McGeehan (R-Chester), Jim Butler (R-Henderson), Jill Upson (R-Charles Town), Danny Hamrick (R-Clarksburg), S. Marshall Wilson (R-Gerrardstown), Tony Paynter (R-Hanover), Joshua Higginbotham (R-Poca), Saira Blair (R-Martinsburg) and Patrick Martin (R-Charleston).

Here is what the bill does:

  • The bill asserts the Legislature’s constitutional authority in determining standards: “The Constitution of the State of West Virginia, section one, article twelve thereof, states: “The Legislature shall provide, by general law, for a thorough and efficient system of free schools.” Furthermore, section two, article twelve of said Constitution states: “The general supervision of the free schools of the state shall be vested in the West Virginia Board of Education which shall perform such duties as may be prescribed by law.” (Emphasis added). Therefore, because the Legislature is empowered to identify “such duties as may be prescribed by law” to the West Virginia Board of Education, it is clearly within the Legislature’s purview to specify appropriate academic standards that will provide for a thorough education.
  • Effective July 1, 2017 the West Virginia State Board of Education is prohibited from implementing the Common Core State Standards.
  • The bill then directs the Board to adopt and implement the Mathematics Content Standards for California Public Schools, adopted by the California State Board of Education in December, 1997, and the Mathematics Framework for California Public Schools, adopted by the California State Board of Education in March, 2005, to replace their previous math standards.
  • They also direct the Board to adopt and implement the Massachusetts Curriculum Frameworks, implemented by the Massachusetts Department of Elementary and Secondary Education as the mandatory curriculum frameworks for English Language Arts in the year 2001, and any associated educational frameworks or supplementation.
  • They also add that any English Language Arts standard related to authors or literary works from the state of Massachusetts may be substituted with appropriate authors or literary works from the State of West Virginia.
  • These standards will remain in place for five years.
  • Then the Board is directed to withdraw from the Memorandum of Agreement it entered with the National Governors Association and Council of Chief State School Officers due to their adoption of the Common Core State Standards.
  • The bill also directs the Board to withdraw from the Smarter Balanced Assessment Consortium (which is already being done).
  • The bill then states that Smarter Balanced or any other assessment based on Common Core is prohibited after July 1, 2017.
  • It creates an assessment development committee to develop a replacement assessment.

You can read the entire bill here.

I am surprised it didn’t address the Next Generation Science Standards that the board adopted. I didn’t see any other bill in West Virginia that addressed it.

I really like this bill. It appears straightforward, let’s hope it moves forward and isn’t amended to death as that has been done before in West Virginia. They need a real repeal and to replace Common Core with quality standards. If there  is an amendment I hope it is intended to address the Next Generation Science Standards.

Right now this bill has been referred to the House Education and Finance committees.

Video: West Virginia Legislative Hearing on Common Core

Members of the West Virginia Legislature’s Joint Standing Committee on Education held a public hearing on Common Core standards and West Virginia’s Next Generation standards on December 16th. It included testimony from those who support and those who oppose Common Core.  Speakers opposed to the Common Core included Sandra Stotsky and Ted Rebarber.

You can watch the entire hearing below.

West Virginia Ripe for Common Core Repeal

West Virginia State Capitol Building - Charleston, WV Photo credit: O Palsson (CC-By-2.0)

West Virginia State Capitol Building – Charleston, WV
Photo credit: O Palsson (CC-By-2.0)

The Charleston Daily Mail reported last week that there will be a significant push in West Virginia to repeal the Common Core led by Republicans who will control the state legislature when it gavels into session at least in the House of Delegates.

A Republican state lawmaker said there could be enough votes in the House of Delegates to repeal the Common Core standards in the upcoming legislative session.

Although efforts to repeal the standards never advanced beyond a committee this year, Delegate Larry Faircloth told the Daily Mail he thinks that will change in 2015.

The first test could come next month when the advocates against Common Core will have an opportunity to air their grievances for the first time in a committee hearing.

Common Core standards will be the central topic of discussion during a two-hour education committee meeting, Sen. Donna Boley, R-Pleasants, told the Daily Mail Tuesday.

Boley said she recently received news from Sen. Robert Plymale, D-Wayne, who serves as chairman of the education committee, that the topic will finally be discussed during an interim meeting.

“Our interim committees study everything under the sun,” she said. “But we haven’t been allowed to discuss Common Core. We’re hoping to more or less educate our legislators.”

Faircloth blamed politics for the fact repeal efforts died in committee.

“I felt like that happened because leaders of both parties thought that would’ve impacted the election,” he said.

Faircloth said he believes there are enough people in the House who would support a repeal of Common Core.

The future chair of the West Virginia Senate Education Committee was open to discussing it in committee..

State Sen. Dave Sypolt, R-Preston, who is expected to be the next chair of the Senate education committee, agreed with Butler’s call to discuss Common Core in the state Legislature.

“I think Common Core legislatively has not been visited the first time,” he said. “It was an administrative decision.”

Sypolt said although he is uncertain whether lawmakers have the legal authority to outright repeal Common Core, he expects the subject to be discussed in future meetings.

We’ll need to keep an eye on the Mountaineer State.