No, West Virginia Did Not Repeal Common Core

West Virginia State Capitol Building - Charleston, WV Photo credit: O Palsson (CC-By-2.0)
West Virginia State Capitol Building – Charleston, WV
Photo credit: O Palsson (CC-By-2.0)

I’ve seen several headlines indicating that the West Virginia State Board of Education “repealed” Common Core. They did no such thing.

This was a shoddy review process that took place after the spineless leadership deep-sixed an actual repeal bill.  West Virginia friends be sure to remember those names and hold them accountable.

The Charleston Gazette-Mail reports what actually took place:

State Schools Superintendent Michael Martirano said alterations made since last month were largely “fine-tuning.” He said the larger changes came from the previous, special online “Academic Spotlight” review of the standards and eight town hall meetings on the issue across the state.

That review — launched after lawmakers failed in their attempt early this year to repeal the existing standards — allowed the public from early July until Sept. 30 to comment online on any of the more than 900 standards. It garnered more than 240,000 online comments from more than 5,000 individuals.

More than 90 percent of the comments supported the standards and, although the website accepted comments from anyone over 18, self-identified West Virginia K-12 teachers were responsible for 91 percent of the comments.

“Content review teams,” comprised of a total of 48 educators, reviewed the comments during two two-day sessions, focusing on the top five most-disagreed-with standards in each grade level or course, and recommended changes. Education department officials said they then used the feedback to draft the standards changes that the board placed on public comment last month, although the department didn’t include every revision the content review teams suggested and made some changes they didn’t propose.

Some of the changes that came out of the standards review include the requirement to teach cursive, and some higher-grade math standards moved to different courses.

But the proposed standards that emerged from that process do retain much of the same wording, down to the same examples and similar ordering, that are in Common Core. Martirano, however, said the new standards no longer are Common Core-based, and has responded to the similarities by arguing that what students need to learn can only be stated in limited ways.

“I think the biggest thing right now is we need to acknowledge the fact that Common Core in West Virginia has been repealed by the state Board of Education,” he told reporters Thursday, citing the more than 5,000 people who provided feedback as part of the state’s special review and the need to move onto other issues.

How Martirano can suggest this was a repeal, with a straight face, when the proposed standards keep much of the same is beyond me.  It is blatantly false. This is nothing but a rebrand. A repeal would entail starting from scratch, but that isn’t what they did. Instead Martirano is trying the dupe West Virginia parents.