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Two More States Eye Repeal of Common Core

Kelsey Harkness
for The Daily Signal

Posted 11/12/2014

On the heels of Republican victories last week, attempts to replace Common Core with homegrown standards are resurfacing in states across the nation.

Most prominently, elected officials in Wisconsin and Ohio are spearheading efforts to reclaim more control of education.

On Nov. 5, the day after the midterm elections, an Ohio House committee passed a bill to repeal the Common Core standards.

Although officials on both sides doubt the bill will garner enough support to pass by the end of the year, they are hopeful the legislature will take up the issue in 2015.

But to be safe, Common Core supporters like state Rep. Gerry Stebelton, R-Lancaster, say they will double down on efforts to defeat the House committee’s repeal bill.

“It deserved to die,” said Stebelton of the bill. “It has no merit.”

In Wisconsin, state Senate Majority Leader Scott Fitzgerald said on Thursday changes to Common Core are definitely on next year’s agenda, according to the Associated Press.

Even though Fitzgerald wouldn’t offer specifics, his plan to reexamine Common Core aligns with that of Gov. Scott Walker, who won his re-election bid campaigning on a platform of expanding school choice, among other issues.

Walker, who is considering a 2016 presidential bid, made it clear this July he wants to repeal the Common Core standards.

“Today, I call on the members of the state Legislature to pass a bill in early January to repeal Common Core and replace it with standards set by people in Wisconsin,” he said in a statement.

>>> Commentary: School Choice Wins, Common Core Loses in Election 2014

Wisconsin voted in 2011 to adopt the educational standards in math and English, but now, support is dwindling.

“Fitzgerald’s remarks show that education policy is a priority for Wisconsin, and that Common Core will continue to drive the debate in the coming months,” said Lindsey M. Burke, a Heritage Foundation expert on Common Core standards.

Developed in 2009 by the National Governors Association and the Council of Chief State School Officers,the Obama administration incentivized Common Core with $4.35 billion in Race to the Top grants and waivers for states that signed on.

Already this year, four states—Indiana, Oklahoma, South Carolina and Louisiana—withdrew from the national standards and tests, and more than a dozen others either have exited or downgraded their involvement with the assessment component.

“More and more states are now seriously considering the next steps on Common Core, and the best way forward for them to reclaim control of education content,” said Burke, Heritage’s Will Skillman fellow, adding:

States like Oklahoma and South Carolina have demonstrated that it is possible to withdraw from these national standards and tests, and to take the opportunity to craft quality standards that are homegrown and reflective of state and local priorities.

Kelsey Harkness is a news producer at The Daily Signal.

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