A state legislator in New Hampshire is taking a different approach this legislative session in dealing with Common Core. He wants to codify language that makes it clear that local school districts can opt-out of Common Core.
The Concord Monitor reports:
In past legislative sessions, lawmakers have attempted to limit the Common Core education standards in New Hampshire, ranging from delaying their implementation to canceling the state’s participation.
This year, lawmakers will propose a bill allowing schools to opt out of implementing Common Core.
State Rep. Rick Ladd, a Republican from Haverhill and chairman of the House Education Committee, sponsored the bill.
“This one is just trying to clarify and establish and codify that it’s a local decision to participate or not,” said. “We haven’t had any bills similar to this that I can recall.”
Common Core was adopted by the state Board of Education in 2010, but this academic year is the first in which tests associated with the standards – the Smarter Balanced Assessment Consortium – have been in place.
Common Core is not a curriculum, but a program of academic standards. The state Department of Education does not require school boards to implement the standards, but there is currently no law saying that schools can opt out. Even if a school opts out, the Department of Education still requires that the associated assessments be administered.
There may be bipartisan support for this bill, but a problem remains with this bill as it does with any other Common Core opt-out bill. If a school district can not opt-out of the associated assessment, how many will actually opt-out of the standards?
Update: Ann Marie Banfield, a education activist in New Hampshire, informed me that there is pending legislation that will address assessments.