Senate Ed. stops anti-Common Core bill

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Senate Ed. stops anti-Common Core bill

Senate Education committee members stopped a bill that called for the repeal of the Common Core Standards on Tuesday.


The committee voted 5-2 to kill Senate Bill 129. ASBSD opposed the bill.


“School boards are in support of Common Core,” ASBSD Executive Director Wade Pogany said. “We debated this (issue) throughout the summer. At the… (ASBSD) Delegate Assembly 100 percent of our members supported Common Core.”


ASBSD member districts adopted resolution A4 Common Core Academic Standards, which states the Association’s support of the standards, in November.


Testifiers supporting the repeal of Common Core argued there was no evidence that showed the standards were a success and students were being treated like test subjects.


“Common Core is just a social experiment,” Sen. David Omdahl said.


When asked about specific concern related to Common Core, Sen. Phil Jensen, the bill’s sponsor, acknowledged it was partly fueled by a perceived intrusion by the federal government on the state’s education system.


“This is more about local control than it is about a federal standard,” Sen. Bruce Rampelberg said. “I don’t think the Common Core standard is the issue. It will be tweaked and it will be improved as we move along.”


Secretary of Education Melody Schopp testified that the standards were thoroughly vetted by educators in the state prior to their adoption in 2010 and the evaluation continues as the standards and assessment evolve.


Secretary Schopp also said a change in standards would abruptly halt a process four-years in the making leaving “schools in limbo” and would prohibit “significant cost saving for the state of South Dakota.”


Assessment of the Common Core is $20 cheaper than the assessment previously used by the state and a change would cost the state “millions,” said Secretary Schopp.


SB 129 has a sister bill in the House of Representatives, House Bill 1243, and a hearing was held on Wednesday in House Education. No action was taken on the bill.


“I think we need a solution if we’re going to supplant (Common Core),” Sen. Chuck Jones said. “Logistically, it’s too heavy of a lift.”


For updates on legislation related to Common Core, check the ASBSD Blog and Bill Tracker page.

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