Maine Bill would Withdraw State from Common Core Standards

Dec 30, 2015 by

A bill prefiled in the Maine House for the 2016 legislative session would withdraw the state from Common Core standards, an important step toward nullifying nationalized education in the state.

Rep. Will Tuell (R- East Machias) along with a bipartisan group of nine cosponsors prefiled LD1492 on Dec. 23. The legislation would void Common Core standards at the end of the 2016-2017 school year and create a framework to establish state standards to replace them.

“By November 1, 2016, the Department of Education, with input from a stakeholder group established in accordance with this section, shall develop new statewide content standards for kindergarten to grade 12 in English language arts and mathematics for use beginning with the 2017-2018 school year that are distinct and independent from the standards previously adopted by the department pursuant to Public Law 2009, chapter 647.”

The new standards will require legislative approval before going into effect.

While a powerful step toward permanently ending Common Core in Maine, the process it not without its potential pitfalls. As Shane Vander Hart at Truth in American Education said about a similar bill passed in Tennessee last year, many Common Core replacement bills end up being little more than “rebranded” versions of the same program. Even if the new state standards completely reject Common Core, it doesn’t mean the state won’t continue to allow the federal government to influence its education system. It will require public and legislative vigilance to completely push the feds out of education in Maine.

Common Core was intended to create nationwide education standards. While touted as a state initiative through the National Governors Association (NGA) and the Council of Chief State School Officers (CCSSO), the U.S. Department of Education was heavily involved behind the scenes. Up until recently, the DoE tied the grant of waivers from the No Child Left Behind Act to adoption of Common Core, using the standards as powerful strings to influence state educational policy. The Every Student Succeeds Act passed by Congress this month now prohibits the DoE from attempting to “influence, incentivize, or coerce State adoption of the Common Core State Standards … or any other academic standards common to a significant number of States.”

Even with the federal strings cut from Common Core for the time being, it is still imperative for each state to adopt its own standards. The feds can once again use these national standards to meddle in state education at any time if they remain in place. Just as importantly, one-size-fits-all standard simply don’t benefit children. State and local governments should remain in full control of their own educational systems.

Rejecting nationalized education standards is the first step toward bringing true academic choice, and freedom. Passage of this legislation into law represents a positive step forward for the people of Maine and a path for other states to follow.

NEXT STEPS

LD1492 will be referred to the Committee on Cultural and Educational Affairs when the legislative session gets underway in January.

If you live in Maine: click HERE and follow the instructions to help get LD1492 passed.

If you live in another state: click HERE for information on Common Core initiatives in your state.

Source: Maine Bill would Withdraw State from Common Core Standards | Tenth Amendment Center Blog

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