Yesterday, the Mississippi House (88 to 29) and Senate (46 to 6) voted to adopt the conference report on SB 2161 that would end the state’s participation in the Common Core State Standards and prohibit the Mississippi State Department of Education from using the PARCC assessment starting with the 2015-2016 school year. The bill heads to Mississippi Governor Phil Bryant’s desk who called Common Core a failed program last summer.
WLOX-TV 13 (ABC) quoted Lt. Governor Tate Reeves who said, “This legislation will end Common Core and allow Mississippians to create strong academic standards that are among the highest in the nation.”
A 24-member Mississippi Commission for College and Career Readiness made up of parents, educators, and content specialists will be formed to develop new standards by July 1, 2015. The State Board of Education will hear recommendations from the commission on new standards before July 1, 2016.
As with any such review handled by a State Board of Education there is always a danger of rebranding, but congratulations are in order for Mississippians.
Update: Governor Bryant tells The Clarion Ledger that he may not sign because he’s not sure the bill will accomplish anything.
“It appears to me to just be another committee, that the Department of Education could look at what they recommend and just reject,” Bryant said. He said he’s been pushing to have fewer boards and commissions in state government, not more. He said he plans to parse the bill closely before making a decision.
Senate Bill 2161 passed the Senate 87-29 and passed the House with only six no votes on Tuesday.
Some tea party conservative lawmakers who oppose Common Core, such as Sen. Chris McDaniel, said the bill was milquetoast and would not do anything to prevent the Department of Education from using Common Core national standards. McDaniel called it “smoke and mirrors.”
These are valid points, but no bill would mean Common Core will be used. Let’s not let perfection become a roadblock for good. Sign this bill into law and then work on passing a clarifying bill if they feel this doesn’t go far enough. Watch the State Board and Commission like a hawk.
2nd Update: Somebody reminded me that Mississippi was already leaving PARCC after this year. That takes the shine off of this bill somewhat. Got to love it when you forget about a bill you blogged about. So that makes a veto more palatable to me. Honestly folks… I don’t live in Mississippi. I don’t know all of the players. So if anti-Common Core activists want a veto who am I to argue with them? I don’t believe that your fight has ended either way. I do see opportunity with a review, but I agree it is not a repeal. Again, Mississippians you know better than I do what the likely outcome will be. If this does become law hopefully that won’t be the case. Eyes open… eternal vigilance is the price of liberty.
Here is the bill below: