We’ve been hearing a great deal about how several states are pulling out of the Common Core State Standards (CCSS). I am frequently asked what I know about it, so I’ve done some research to find there’s a misnomer: only one of 45 states to adopt CCSS has actually pulled out.
Indiana, one of the first states to adopt the CCSS, is the ONLY state to have opted out of CCSS. There was such a “conservative backlash” against Common Core in the state’s legislature, that Governor Pence proclaimed that new standards would be written, “by Hoosiers, for Hoosiers…” to replace CCSS. On April 28, 2014, the Indiana Department of Education adopted their new standards . According to the state’s English and Language Arts review, however, 73% of the new standards are directly quoted from the CCSS and 20% are an edited version of the CCSS (leaving approximately 7% as new material). The new Math standards have been analyzed by different groups. I looked at two: Truth in American Education and Achieve. The majority of the standards remain the same as the CCSS, including the math practice standards. Some of the standards moved up or down grade levels. The few new standards added clarity.
A second state, Oklahoma, is close to repealing the CCSS. At this point, if they do, they will need to have a new set of standards developed and adopted by the state Board of Education by August 1, 2015. Many think that the standards will remain the same, and only the name will change. The biggest issue it seems for Oklahoma is not wanting to “relinquish [their] authority over those standards and assessments.”
But, several states, including Florida, Alabama, Georgia, Oklahoma, Tennessee, and Utah, have dropped out of either the Partnership for Assessment of Readiness for College and Careers (PARCC) or the Smarter Balanced Assessment (SBA). These are the two consortia federally funded through Race to the Top Grants to develop assessment systems to assess College and Career Ready standards, including CCSS. Instead, these states will be creating their own assessment, or looking for a different option (perhaps another assessment agency, like ACT) to assess their students on their knowledge of the CCSS. None of these states have repealed the CCSS.
Finally, you can access the Legislation Tracker to monitor the debate happening in each state around education policy and the CCSS. Many of the CCSS bills are not getting very far, but it is interesting to see the concerns people are having.
Oregon is moving forward with the Common Core and Smarter Balanced Assessment. In fact, according to the Legislation Tracker, of all of the Western states, only Arizona, Colorado, and Wyoming have had any legislation regarding the CCSS (all of which failed).
We’ll keep our ears open and let you know what we hear. In the meantime, the Common Core and SBA remain our current reality.