Governors Race to the Drop (of Common Core)

I have to admit.  I didn’t coin that title; credit goes to Heather Crossin who coined it in an email.  We have had a couple of Governors make some statements about the Common Core as state legislatures go into session.

mike-penceRepublican Governor Mike Pence of Indiana in his state of the state address last week said: “Hoosiers have high expectations when it comes to Indiana schools. That’s why Indiana decided to take a time-out on national education standards,” Pence said.  “When it comes to setting standards for schools, I can assure you, Indiana’s will be uncommonly high. They will be written by Hoosiers, for Hoosiers and will be among the best in the nation.”

After the address Indiana Superintendent of Public Instruction Glenda Ritz said “We always adopt our own standards. It just so happens that in 2010 the State Board of Education adopted the Common Core as its standards. We are reviewing those standards. I’m pretty confident there are going to be changes to those standards. And Indiana will be adopting a new set of standards.”

Heather Crossin (who again gets credit for the title) cautioned Hoosiers:

However, we must also add the cautionary words of “not so fast.”  Hoosiers want real change when it comes to the content of future standards – minor revisions and a simple name change won’t cut it.  On this point, we turn your attention to Breitbart’s coverage of Pence’s remarks, in which Common Core supporters Derek Redelman, of the Indiana Chamber of Commerce, and State Board of Education member Tony Walker (D), both predict that the changes made will be minimal and a mere tweaking of the Common Core.  Of most concern is Walker’s statement that he thinks “all of the anchor standards have to be Common Core.”  Obviously, this will NOT be acceptable.

nikki_haleyNow shift to South Carolina.  Republican Governor Nikki Haley says we’re going to ditch the Common Core.

In a speech to the Greenville County Republican Women’s Club on Jan. 16, according to the Anderson Independent Mail, Haley, a Republican who’s up for re-election this year, said, "We are telling the legislature: Roll back common core. Let’s take it back to South Carolina standards." She added that if Senate Bill 300 (introduced last year for the state’s 2013-14 legislative session) reaches her desk, she "absolutely will sign it." In that bill, there’s no pause, no mandated review period—just a straightforward move to remove the standards from the state.

There have been different bills looked at by the South Carolina State Legislature, but none have made it out of the Senate education committee.  Haley is in a reelection year and she understands where her base is.  She has however been consistent in her opposition to the Common Core State Standards.  We just haven’t seen it amount to anything yet.

Back to the Midwest now Republican Wisconsin Governor Scott Walker faces the loss of his base if he doesn’t take a strong stand against the Common Core State Standards.

scott-walker-wisconsin-governorFrom the Wisconsin Daily Independent:

While Scott Walker has gained ground around the country for a possible presidential bid, there are increasingly loud rumblings from his Wisconsin base.  The source of the friction is the controversial Common Core State Standards.

The governor’s office has been inundated with calls from across Wisconsin for the past several days.  Callers are insisting that Walker make a plain statement in his upcoming State of the State address this week, rejecting the Common Core and laying out a clear plan for immediate cessation and reversal of the standards.  One reason for the mounting pressure on the governor is the scheduled deployment of Common Core-related Smarter Balanced assessments later this year, a process that has resulted in major blowback in states such as New York and Kentucky.

Walker has remained largely silent regarding the ongoing implementation of Common Core in his state.  The few vague statements he has made so far have been viewed as at least a passive embrace of the standards.  There is additional reason to suspect that the governor is pro-Common Core.  For example, the governor notably failed to provide support to a fellow Republican who last year attempted to unseat Tony Evers, the current Democratic secretary of Wisconsin’s Department of Public Instruction.  Evers had gained notoriety for making Wisconsin the first state in the nation to adopt Common Core and has essentially seen no pushback from Walker on the initiative.

With Governor Walker’s star currently rising on the national horizon, it’s not just his Wisconsin base paying attention to his position on Common Core.  Less than 48 hours from his State of the State, eyes across the nation are watching Walker to see whether or not he will join the vanguard of governors now repudiating Common Core in their states.

I’ll be watching from Iowa.

Which state will drop the Common Core first?

Comments

  1. Washington76 says

    I will simply call for the separation of government and schools! ‘NO MORE INDOCTRINATION’ centers!