The anti-Common Core group Mississippi Families Restoring Excellence in Education is claiming Lt. Gov. Tate Reeves and the Legislature deceived it in pledging to eliminate the education initiative.
The bill sent to Gov. Phil Bryant last week does not kill Common Core and Bryant should veto it, the group said in an email Monday morning.
Bryant has signaled he may do just that. The governor said last week the bill falls short of ending Mississippi’s participation in Common Core, a voluntary set of educational standards many states, including Mississippi, have adopted. He said he will need to review the bill further before deciding whether to sign it.
Mississippi Families Restoring Excellence in Education said in a statement Monday:
“The final version of this bill does nothing to “end Common Core in Mississippi” nor does it prohibit the use of the Partnership for Assessment of Readiness for College and Career, or PARCC, as claimed by Reeves.
PARCC is one of two state consortia that are developing a common set of K-12 assessments aligned with Common Core State Standards, also known as Mississippi College- and Career-Ready Standards.
Families Restoring Excellence in Education noted its members stood with Bryant and several state senators on south steps of the Capitol. “On that day, the governor expressed his desire to ‘wipe the chalkboard’ and create a new set of standards for Mississippi children. That is not what has happened,” Families Restoring Excellence in Education charged in its weekend email.
Referring to Lt. Gov. Tate Reeves’s official statement at the start of the session that SB 2161 “will end Common Core,” the group said it “challenges that statement and declares it a deception.”
Mississippi Families Restoring Excellence in Education was founded in 2014 with the goal of stopping the Common Core Initiative in the state.
Supporters of Common Core have struggled to eliminate the perception that the federal government developed the national education standards. The standards were developed through a state-led initiative spearheaded by governors and state school chiefs.
The standards are not federally mandated. Mississippi, along with 45 other states and the District of Columbia, voluntarily adopted the standards. “The federal government didn’t write them, didn’t approve them, and doesn’t mandate them,” the Mississippi Department of Education says on its website.
The state Education Department also emphasizes in a list of “myths” about Common Core that local school boards retain their same level of authority as they had before adoption of the standards.