Two More States Dump Common Core

Elementary school pupil asking questionThe governors or South Carolina and Oklahoma have signed bills that will drop Common Core standards from their schools and authorize their state departments of education to develop new curriculums by 2016.

Breitbart is reporting that Gov. Nikki Haley (R) signed H3893 on May 30, making her state the second to officially abandon the troubled nationalized standards known as Common Core.

Unlike what occurred in Indiana earlier this year, when Gov. Mike Pence declared his state the first to repeal Common Core even though the new standards are very similar to Common Core, South Carolina’s Department of Education is charged with developing a new curriculum that will need approval from the state school board and Education Oversight Committee. To protect against any attempt to keep Common Core standards but under a different name, the new law also requires any standards not developed by their education department to be approved by a joint resolution of the state legislature.

Oklahoma Governor Mary Fallin followed in Gov. Haley’s footsteps yesterday, making her state the third to repeal the standards when she signed a law Wednesday that tosses out Common Core and orders the state’s education department to come up with new standards by 2016. Until then, pre-Core standards will be put back in place.

“It has become very apparent to me that the word Common Core has become a word that is tainted, that is divisive, that has caused widespread concern throughout our state,” Fallin said in an afternoon news conference.

The move was politically gutsy for the governor who heads the National Governor’s Association, the same group that developed the Common Core curriculum. However,  ensuring that the children in her state received the best possible education mattered more than keeping a “politically correct” curriculum in schools.

“We cannot ignore the widespread concern of citizens, parents, educators and legislators who have expressed fear that adopting Common Core gives up local control of Oklahoma’s public schools,” Fallin said.

During her remarks, Fallin also criticized the president and Washington bureaucrats for usurping the independently crafted Common Core by providing financial incentive to states for adopting it, which many see as an attempt to influence state education standards.

“Many people have seen that as taking away states’ rights, local control over education, and trying to impede upon our state’s ability to develop standards that we think are best for our children,” Fallin said.

Proponents of the curriculum decried her decision and said the state will lose millions as a result; however, the state’s education secretary, Robert Sommers, later told The Oklahoman  that Oklahoma gets no federal incentive money for having Common Core standards and won’t lose any money for tossing out the program. At the very worst, Fallin’s decision could cost the case some “flexibility” in how it uses some of that money.

Similar laws to repeal or at least slow down implementation of Common Core are under consideration in more than a dozen states.

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