Two more states are deserting the Common Core, as opposition grows to the Obama-backed education standards.
Oklahoma and South Carolina both passed laws removing their states from the Common Core initiative this week and last. They join Indiana to be the first three states to officially back out of the program, though a dozen states have considered legislation that would change or reject the Common Core. Still others have rebranded the standards, renaming them and opting to create their own standardized tests.
In South Carolina, they’ll keep much of the Core in place for the next year while they write new standards; Oklahoma will revert to their previous standards.
Common Core "was intended to develop a set of high standards in classrooms across the nation that would ensure children graduated from high school prepared for college and a career in an increasingly competitive workforce. It was originally designed as a state-lead – not federal – initiative that each state could choose to voluntarily adopt," Oklahoma Gov. Mary Fallin said after signing the bill. She's in a tricky spot, as both an early supporter of the Core and a member of the Republican Governor's Association that has pushed for the standards to be written. “Unfortunately, federal overreach has tainted Common Core."
After being conceived by a bipartisan group of state-level representatives and backed by the Obama administration, 45 states and the District of Columbia adopted the educational standards—a process that was helped along by hefty funding offers for states that jumped aboard. A diverse group of educators, politicians, conservatives and Democrats all got behind the effort, with high hopes of leveling the playing field for students nationwide, improving students’ performance and producing more analytical, solution-oriented and communicative students.
But since states began implementing the Common Core, conservatives have balked at what they see as government overreach and a pricey implementation of new educational standards and computer testing. Teachers and unions are increasingly criticizing the roll-out, too, with some teachers questioning how the tests are written and whether the Core is developmentally appropriate for young children. Many have abandoned the idea of standardized, national assessments altogether, The Washington Post reports.
The Tea Party group FreedomWorks released a statement celebrating the death of Common Core in Oklahoma. "This is a victory for the students, parents, and teachers of Oklahoma as well as anyone concerned with the future of public education," Whitney Neal, director of grassroots, said.