Two Republican governors, Mary Fallin of Oklahoma and Nikki Haley of South Carolina, have just signed laws pulling their states out of the Common Core State Standards initiative amid growing anti-Core sentiment around the country.
Fallin signed the law on Thursday, while Haley did it last week, joining Indiana in officially rejecting the Core. A few other states, including Florida, are considering whether to keep the standards or have already “rebranded” the standards by changing the name and deciding to create their own standardized tests for accountability purposes rather than use the Core tests now being designed by two multi-state consortia. Fallin, who had once supported the Core, said:
“We cannot ignore the widespread concern of citizens, parents, educators and legislators who have expressed fear that adopting Common Core gives up local control of Oklahoma’s public schools.”
What does this all mean for the future of the Core? The standards were adopted in 2010 and 2011, with the support of the Obama administration, by 45 states and the District of Columbia, and schools have been implementing them for a few years. Most of those states are keeping the standards, at least for now.
The issue of common assessments is a different story. One of the central reasons for the creation of the Core standards was for states not only to use common standards but common assessments that would allow comparisons of scores among the states. But states have been dropping out of both of the two consortia that are writing new Core-aligned exams with some $360 million in federal funds, and deciding to design their own exams.