Mississippi Gov. Phil Bryant (R) on Thursday vetoed Senate Bill 2161, which would have created a study committee to consider replacing the Common Core State Standards. A majority of Republicans in the state legislature voted for the legislation. An earlier version of the bill included language clearly requiring the state Board of Education to withdraw from Common Core or develop new state standards.
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“Mississippi parents seem to have learned from their compatriots in other states who have found that assigning a rewrite or review to state bureaucrats just returns Common Core to classrooms with a new façade. The choices so far have been to do nothing and get Common Core or to pound state officials into passing do-nothing-promise-everything bills and still get Common Core.
“It remains to be seen whether Gov. Bryant truly intends to make Mississippi the first state in the nation to repeal and replace Common Core with genuinely high-quality academic standards, but we’ll know if he’s serious when he puts out some offense on the matter instead of just defense.”
“The governor’s veto keeps the pressure on the state legislature to pass a full repeal-and-replace plan. The issue is important enough to justify calling a special legislative session to resolve it. The governor should do so.”
“To casual observers, it may seem odd that the Republican Governor of Mississippi vetoed a bill ‒ favored by more than 90 percent of GOP legislators ‒ purporting to start a process to end the state’s use of Common Core while reiterating his own strong desire to divorce the state from the nationalized education standards. The deal is that Gov. Bryant and many parent-activists saw the bill setting up a circular process with a commission merely making suggestions to an education establishment already deeply invested in Common Core and sure to perpetuate it.
“The need now is for a repeal-and-replace process that will ensure the people and their elected representatives have the final say on curricular standards and related testing, after taking into account the full range of views of subject matter and testing specialists. That process would have the transparency and public participation the Common Core juggernaut has sorely lacked from its creation to its slick promotion.”
“It’s important for those who have worked so hard in Mississippi to rid the state of Common Core not to feel discouraged by Gov. Bryant’s veto of this bill. Legislators, grassroots activists, parents and teachers must remain vigilant and continue building momentum if true repeal-and-replace legislation is ever to pass. Some Common Core opponents say changing the standards piece by piece will be effective, but they’re missing the larger point education has always been a state and local issue. Bryant’s veto is really a rejection of the U.S. Department of Education’s carrot-and-stick approach to policymaking.”
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