The West Virginia Senate has made serious changes to a bill that would repeal the state’s Common Core State Standards.
House Bill 2934, designed to replace Common Core with state-specific standards, passed the House in February. The Senate then rewrote the bill to postpone a repeal decision for two years.
An education subcommittee in the Senate determined a comprehensive review committee, made up of parents, school administrators, and legislators, would complete a thorough review of the content of the Common Core standards and report back to the legislature by the beginning of 2017.
West Virginia Gov. Earl Tomblin (D) says he does not support a full repeal of Common Core, according to West Virginia Public Broadcasting.
Ignoring Anti-Common Core Movement
Citing her experiences in Oklahoma, Jenni White, president of a pro-reform group called Restore Oklahoma Public Education, says she has dealt with similar efforts to rebrand or simply disregard the anti-Common Core movement in her state. White says state senates have often been an obstacle in efforts to repeal the Common Core standards.
“The Senate has been a ‘problem’ in every state I can think of when it comes to Common Core repeal,” said White. “There’s probably some root historical significance of the snobbery and statism found in so many state senates, but historical significance or not, this trend is becoming obnoxious.
“Though Oklahoma’s House of Representatives originated and even championed our Common Core repeal bill, our Senate refused to hear the bill in committee, forcing a few brave senators to tackle the issue on the floor via amendment to another bill,” White said. “The public has got to start understanding the legislative process and not only calling their legislators on the carpet for stymieing the will of the people, but actively opposing, directly in their capitols, the kinds of actions seen in Oklahoma and West Virginia.
“For the West Virginia Senate to so blatantly thwart the will of the people is a sad state of affairs, which citizens should not allow to stand,” said White. “Parents should be creating lists of senators to actively oppose for reelection based on their vote on HB 2934.”
Lindsey Burke, an education policy analyst at The Heritage Foundation’s Institute for Family, Community, and Opportunity, says fully repealing Common Core is a state’s best option.
“States that want to reclaim their education decision-making authority need to fully [abandon] the Common Core standards and tests,” Burke said. “The water is warm: four states never adopted and four more worked to exit the standards and tests in 2014.
“West Virginia can be a leader in reclaiming control of the content taught in local schools, to ensure that it reflects the education priorities of West Virginia’s teachers and families,” Burke said. “Ultimately, if West Virginia wants to improve its education system, all roads lead to school choice, which is sorely missing in the state to date.”
Chris Neal ([email protected]) writes from New York, New York.
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