An Unwelcome Compromise
Forest Thigpen, president of the Mississippi Center for Public Policy, says the review of Common Core may not leave opponents of the standards any better off than they were before.
“I don’t know that anyone is entirely happy with this compromise,” Thigpen said. “A lot of grassroots people, a lot of parents, and a lot of superintendents do not like Common Core, and they want it changed. There are other superintendents who are happy with Common Core.”
Thigpen says MEC was less vocal in its support of Common Core than in previous years.
Reducing Federal Control
Thigpen says there are some positive provisions in SB 2161.
“It certainly takes steps in that direction to mitigate our acquiescence to federal control,” Thigpen said. “The legislation has some student data provisions that would be good. The steps that it takes towards protecting us from a national curriculum are better than no steps being taken in that direction.
“However, the commission that would be created under this bill has the potential to simply endorse the current standards and not change anything, which would not be good,” Thigpen said. “It depends on who is appointed to the commission.”
Restoring Local Control
Hill says she is confident Common Core will not remain in Mississippi permanently. Repeal-and replace-legislation will pass or the standards will be dismantled one piece at a time, Hill says.
“The Constitution clearly gives [only] the enumerated powers to the federal government, and education is clearly a power reserved for the states,” said Hill. “The comingling of the powers that are deliberately separated in the U.S. Constitution usurps individual rights as well as state sovereignty.
“How long can a Republic last if the Constitution continues to be ignored?” Hill asked. “Redistribution of funds to states with federal mandates attached may be our demise.”
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Heather Kays (firstname.lastname@example.org) is a research fellow with The Heartland Institute and is managing editor of School Reform News.
Image by woodleywonderworks.