Cracks in the national standards consensus

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Back in the fall, I mentioned that I thought that after the election we were going to see a lot of cracks in the façade of unity on national standards, and perhaps a separate group coalescing around Texas, as the point in opposing national standards.

Last month, I was in Texas as the Lone Star state’s commissioner of education Robert Scott advanced with State Representative Daniel Huberty a bill that would prohibit Texas from adopting the national standards or national assessments. That same day, they rolled out the most ambitious set of math standards in the country—standards that surpassed even the quality of the once-nation-leading Massachusetts and California math standards. Now Texas has the best academic K-12 standards in the country for math and English. Impressive stuff and proof that the Governor is taking the issue of international competitiveness seriously.

Then Catherine Gewertz, who writes, for EdWeek the Curriculum Matters blog catches up on some news close to our neck of the woods. She noted last week that

New Hampshire’s legislature is trying to unravel the state’s adoption of the common standards. A group of Republicans in the state’s House of Representatives sponsored the bill, HB164, and got it through the House. It’s currently before the state Senate’s education committee….

One day later Catherine was back on the same theme, this time noting that Minnesota and South Carolina were looking to pull out of the so-called Common Core national standards project.

A bill under consideration in Minnesota would ensure that the state doesn’t adopt the common core standards in math, and complicate any bid to retain the common English/language arts standards it did adopt.

South Carolina is considering a bill that forbids common core adoption and implementation. It seems that the bill’s authors were aware of the fact that the state has, um, already adopted the standards, so it goes on to specify that any steps taken to adopt or implement them would be nullified by passage of the bill.

Minnesota had pretty good standards, and Texas has wonderful math and English standards now. Massachusetts had the nation’s best set of standards once, and yet it sticks with a poorly made decision. You might even call it a crackpot idea…

Crossposted at’s Rock the Schoolhouse.