Momentum Builds Against Common Core in Mississippi

ms-state-buildingMississippi Governor Phil Bryant attended a stop Common Core rally earlier this week.

From the Jackson Free Press:

“I don’t take a political position on this. I take a personal position on this,” Gov. Phil Bryant said, echoing other lawmakers at the ‘Stop Common Core’ rally today at the Capitol that Common Core hurts Mississippi schoolchildren.

Bryant spoke about the national governors meeting he attended in which “they” said that Common Core was designed by national governors. “Well I wasn’t in the room when it happened,” Bryant joked.

It is the idea that these standards are a government overreach that drives the anti-Common Core movement. “We’re not here today to say take away those academic challenges. We’re here to say make them better but take them away from the control of the federal government,” Bryant said.

The speakers also repeated one point so firmly you might think they were trying to convince themselves: they’re “not attacking anyone.”

During his speech, Bryant recalled a conversation he had with another governor whom he described as “on the other end of the political spectrum,” but who also does not like Common Core. The governor told Bryant, “This is something I agree on,” Bryant said.

“He said, ‘My teachers union don’t like it,’ and I said, ‘Well bless your heart for that,’” Bryant said smugly while the crowd erupted in laughter.

The rally saw over 100 attend and was meant to apply political pressure on the Mississippi Legislature that failed to act last year.

The Mississippi State Department of Education was also called out by a State Senator who attended the rally.

The state Department of Education said on its website that it adopted the standards “because they provide a consistent, clear understanding of what students are expected to learn so that teachers and parents know what they need to do to help them.”

But state Sen. Michael Watson, R-Pascagoula, disagreed and cited the state Board of Education’s own minutes showing it adopted the standards “based on finding of imminent peril to public welfare in the loss of substantial federal funds from the Race to the Top Grant … .”

Watson, among at least 11 lawmakers who publicly oppose Common Core, spoke at the rally.

“The fight is here. The fight is now,” he told the crowd. “Let’s not stop until we completely rid Mississippi of PARCC and the Common Core State Standards.”

Some definite momentum with a growing number of lawmakers, and the state’s Governor and Lt. Governor calling for a change.  I’d be surprised to not see something happen.

Let’s just hope that “something” is something substantial and not a rebrand.