Education, From The Capitol To The Classroom

Oklahoma, South Carolina Join Indiana In Exiting Common Core

Oklahoma became the third state to repeal the Common Core State Standards Thursday.

Gov. Nikki Haley of South Carolina recently signed a bill to replace Common Core in her state.

USC Upstate (flickr)

Gov. Nikki Haley of South Carolina recently signed a bill to replace Common Core in her state.

Governor Mary Fallin signed legislation to replace the Common Core with new guidelines to be designed by the State Board of Education by August 2016. This comes on the heels of a similar move in South Carolina, where Governor Nikki Haley signed a bill last week requiring her state to implement new standards for the 2015-16 school year.

Indiana became the first state to exit the national initiative when Governor Mike Pence signed legislation dropping the standards in March.

Other states are trying to back out, too. A bill to withdraw currently waits for approval on the governor’s desk in Missouri. State legislatures across the country have already introduced about 100 bills this year to slow, stop or reverse Common Core requirements, according to the National Conference of State Legislatures.

But a big question for all of these states, one Indiana has been grappling with since its exit is how are they supposed to make sure their standards are nothing like the Common Core?

Despite Pence’s promise for standards “by Hoosiers, for Hoosiers” during his State of the State address, opponents of Indiana’s decision have said the state-crafted criteria are too similar to the ones they replaced.

The laws in both Oklahoma and South Carolina include language to ensure their newly written standards don’t resemble the Common Core in any way. In a statement announcing Oklahoma’s repeal, Fallin acknowledged that the state’s new standards must be rigorous and “raise the bar beyond what Common Core offers.”

Kathleen Porter-Magee, a fellow at the Thomas B. Fordham Institute, says implementation won’t happen overnight and will be frustrating for many involved.

“If I were a teacher in one of the states where these were being pulled out from underneath me and replaced with something different, I would be nervous and probably a little bit frustrated,” Porter-Magee said. “In states that are pulling out like Indiana, they’re still going to add assessments to the even newer standards. As a teacher I think that’s got to be pretty unsettling.”

Indiana is facing a quick turnaround on its new academic standards, which could be further complicated by a new assessment that must be implemented by spring.


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