Tags: tennessee | common core | education | standards

Tennessee Makes Push to Rid State of Common Core

By    |   Thursday, 20 Nov 2014 10:09 PM

A pair of Republican state senators in Tennessee have introduced legislation that would ultimately stop the state's schools from using the Common Core Educational Standards in the classroom.

After Gov. Bill Haslam ordered a public review of the English and math standards set by the government, Sens. Mike Bell and Dolores Gresham joined forces to begin the process of moving their state away from the controversial standards, according to a Fox News report. Three states have opted out of using them thus far.

"Like many other states, this is a key issue this year in Tennessee," said Bell, who chairs the government operations committee. "I believe we need control over our own state standards. This legislation will start the discussion about how we will accomplish that task, while ensuring we have the highest standards to give our students the career- and work-ready skills they need in a competitive 21st century workplace."

Common Core is a set of standards that outline minimums for what students should know in English and math when they finish each grade. Critics argue it is a way for the educational system to be controlled and managed by the federal government, rather than at the state and local level.

Forty-six states joined the program when the standards were released in 2010, but three have since abandoned it — Indiana, Oklahoma, and South Carolina. Missouri, North Carolina, and Louisiana are working to purge it from their education systems, while another group of states — Alaska, Nebraska, Texas, and Virginia — never joined the program at all.

"We need to be a leader and take the next logical step, which is to use the knowledge we have learned and tailor it to Tennessee students, exerting state responsibility over education," Gresham told Fox News.

Gresham added that Tennessee became the "fastest-improving state in the nation" education-wise under its state- and local standards.

Bell and Gresham's legislation would institute a nine-member panel that would hear all sides of the argument for and against Common Core.

Former Florida Gov. Jeb Bush, a potential candidate for president in 2016, challenged states who opt out of Common Core to come up with a better system.

"For those states choosing a path other than Common Core, I say this: Aim even higher, be bolder, raise standards and ask more of our students and the system," Bush said Thursday.

"I respect those who have weighed in on all sides of this issue. Nobody in this debate has a bad motive."

Louisiana Gob. Bobby Jindal, on the other hand, joined a lawsuit against his state's education officials that claims they violated the law when they implemented Common Core.

"There is growing dissatisfaction with Common Core and we will continue to support every effort to halt the federalization of curriculum in Louisiana schools. Education is best left to local control — which is why we will continue fighting to get Common Core out of Louisiana," said Jindal, who also might run for president in 2016.

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A pair of Republican state senators in Tennessee have introduced legislation that would ultimately stop the state's schools from using the Common Core Educational Standards in the classroom.
tennessee, common core, education, standards
493
2014-09-20
Thursday, 20 Nov 2014 10:09 PM
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