Outgoing South Carolina School Chief: I Will Kill Common Core

Mick-Zais-speaks
Photo credit: Milken Family Foundation

I have a healthy skepticism about how the review and replacement of the Common Core will go down in South Carolina.  I’m still inclined to believe there are political games being played right now.

Outgoing State Superintendent of Public Schools Mick Zais’ interview with The State makes me want to rethink that a little.

Zais vows those standards will be S.C.-written and very different from Common Core.

“We’re not going to repackage (Common Core). We’re not going to rebrand. We’re not going to tweak the Common Core … and we’re not even going to have a copy of Common Core state standards in the room for the writing panels,” Zais told The State earlier this week.

Instead, Zais says he will instruct the teams writing the math and English standards to start with South Carolina’s homegrown 2007 standards. That is the best way to have “new” standards by the fall of 2015, as required by the state law passed in May, Zais said.

Ok, that sounds good.  We’ll see… I’d say trust, but verify.  I’d rather just verify.

And here’s why we still need to be skeptical:

Zais’ critics say the law clearly directs the review to begin with Common Core’s English and math standards, which were not written by the state.

State law “doesn’t say they (Common Core standards) will be scrapped and thrown away,” said State Board of Education chairman Barry Bolen of West Columbia. “Our goal is to get the best.

“If that means blending the existing standards, which are Common Core, with other standards that are more rigorous,” that’s what the state should do, he said.

“The (Education Oversight Committee) is following the law, and it’s going to start with Common Core,” said David Whittemore, chairman of the state’s education improvement and accountability agency which, along with the state Education Board, must approve changes to the education standards. That committee has a survey online inviting the public to give comments and recommend changes to Common Core.

But Education Department spokesman Teppara said that agency’s interpretation of the law is that it must create “new” standards.

“The cyclical review references the process to follow, not a starting point,” Teppara said. “If we start with Common Core, we end up with Common Core. It is simply not possible to interpret the General Assembly’s intent in such fashion.”

I see a legal battle brewing here do you?

HT: EAG News