Massachusetts Groups Move to Put Common Core on the Ballot

Sep 16, 2015 by


William A. Estrada –

The Commonwealth of Massachusetts is taking steps against Common Core as grassroots opposition to the standards grows. The Massachusetts group Common Core Forum is now leading an effort to repeal the Common Core State Standards and replace them with state-based standards, which were developed with more teacher input and expertise.

This is an effort to revert to earlier, more rigorous standards, which once gave Massachusetts the highest-achieving students in the country. After the state implemented Common Core in 2010, however, its students’ test scores fell dramatically. Moreover, the state has seen a rise in the number of students who have to take remedial math and English courses in college. This is a far cry from preparing students “for college and career” as the new standards originally promised.

Change of Course

Forty-four states have adopted Common Core—but like Massachusetts, many are dissatisfied with the results.

Oklahoma’s governor repealed the standards, as did Wisconsin Governor Scott Walker. Indiana has stopped all participation in Common Core. The state legislatures in Missouri and North Carolina recently passed laws allowing parents and teachers to develop new standards to replace Common Core. Opponents in Nevada have formed Stop Common Core Nevada and are working with legislators to repeal the standards.

New York allowed parents to opt their kids out of Common Core-related exams. The Texas Legislature passed a law in 2013 expressly prohibiting use of Common Core by teachers. Legislative efforts to block the standards have been attempted unsuccessfully in Alabama, Arkansas, Colorado, Delaware, Idaho, Mississippi, South Dakota, and Tennessee.

Arizona and Florida have attempted to disguise the standards by saying that they have adapted them, with Arizona renaming them “Arizona’s College and Career Ready Standards.” Louisiana Governor Bobby Jindal blocked Common Core funding with executive orders, but was overridden in a state district court—he is now suing the Department of Education for overstepping its bounds by bribing states into adopting Common Core.

Growing Movement

As momentum rises against the Common Core in Massachusetts, efforts are being made to create a ballot initiative that would withdraw the state from the standards. This has been spurred on by Attorney General Maura Healy, who confirmed that such a ballot initiative would be constitutional.

Although it is important to encourage student achievement, the Common Core has proven to have the opposite effect. A wiser option is to leave control over curriculum in the hands of those who are more familiar with the needs of their students—namely, parents and teachers. Unfortunately, the Common Core standards could harm homeschooling by undermining the academic flexibility that has been a hallmark of the movement throughout the years.

Activists need 60,000 signatures to put the initiative on the ballot. For more information about the petition, visit

HSLDA is opposed to Common Core. From the beginning, we have worked to help stop the implementation of Common Core across the nation. To learn more about HSLDA’s efforts against Common Core or to watch our documentary, Building the Machine, visit our Common Core webpages. You can also view our e-lert on this referendum.

Source: Massachusetts Groups Move to Put Common Core on the Ballot

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