State actions to re-brand, limit, delay or revoke implementation of Common Core or Common Core-aligned assessments
Some media outlets report that Maine and Tennessee also have official reviews of the Common Core State Standards underway. While reviews are underway in these states, they are not included in the map with Missouri and South Carolina owing to a subtle but important demarcation: executive versus legislative action.
The reviews underway in Maine and Tennessee (see updated status below) were initiated by executive branch actors (the education commissioner and governor respectively) with directives to develop “recommendations” to their states’ current iteration of the Common Core State Standards; there is no legal guarantee that those recommendations will be adopted or that the standards will be replaced in whole or in part. The recommendations must go through existing legal channels by which academic standards are normally considered and adopted in Maine and Tennessee, as described below:
- Maine – The Maine Department of Education, in consultation with the Maine State Board of Education, is responsible for formulating state education standards. State standards are promulgated by rule of the Maine Department of Education. The Maine State Legislature then has approval authority over rules that are provisionally-adopted by the Department that constitute a “major substantive” rule, i.e., not a “routine technical” rule.
- Tennessee – The State Board of Education (appointed by the governor) reviews academic content standards on a six year cycle. Tennessee Governor Haslam, in partnership with the State Board of Education, has requested an early review, two years shy of the six year marker. An October 22, 2014 press release from Governor Haslam’s office describes the review process this way:
In the coming weeks, a website will be available to every Tennessean to go online, review each current state standard and comment on what that person likes, doesn’t like, or would suggest should be changed about that particular standard.
The Southern Regional Education Board, as a third party, independent resource, will collect the data in the Spring and then turn that information over to be reviewed and analyzed by professional Tennessee educators. The governor has asked the State Board of Education to appoint two committees, an English Language Arts Standards Review & Development Committee and Math Standards Review & Development Committee, as well as three advisory teams for each of those committees.
The advisory teams will review Tennessee’s current standards and gather input to make recommendations to the two committees, which will then propose possible changes to the State Board of Education…. Recommendations are expected to be made to the State Board of Education by the end of 2015.
UPDATE: On May 11, 2015, Governor Haslam signed House Bill 1035, a bill that establishes a legislatively mandated process whereby two committees—one for English language arts standards and another for math standards—will review and develop replacements standards for the Common Core State Standards. The bill further requires that the replacement standards be "adopted and fully implemented in Tennessee public schools in the 2017-2018 school year."