BY: Governor Phil Bryant

In 2008, a new system of public education standards was discussed by the National Governors Association. The new standards, called Common Core, would emphasize problem solving and competitiveness and would ensure that students throughout the nation met certain achievement benchmarks. The concept sounded solid, and we were assured that this was a state-led initiative with no federal control or connection to federal funds.

Now in 2014, we know something went terribly wrong. State control over the standards turned out to be a myth, and adopting the standards has been required if a state wants to even apply for major federal education funding. So much for no federal control.

With good reason, states and parents have become increasingly concerned that Common Core is not what it first seemed and that it may not be right for our schools. I have attended several meetings with other governors where hard questions are being asked about this system.

Many of us had not been part of the original group of states that determined things like how schoolchildren would be tested under the Common Core program. In fact, it seems that the method used to choose the test intended to be used with Common Core — the PARCC assessment — was improper according to the Mississippi Personal Service Contract Review Board.

Yet, the Mississippi Department of Education (MDE) pushed it through anyway under claim of emergency, costing taxpayers $8.5 million. Of the 24 states that at one time decided to use the PARCC test, only 9 (including Mississippi thanks to MDE) remain on board. Clearly, many states have found reasons — legal and otherwise — they should not be participating in Common Core and the PARCC assessment.

Furthermore, Mississippi parents continue to voice their uneasiness about Common Core, and our state is among many that have taken action against the program. In December 2013, I issued an executive order that affirmed that Mississippi, not the federal government, has the right and responsibility to define public education standards and that Mississippi will not be required to participate in any bureaucratic federal education schemes.

In Mississippi, we need a public education system that works best for students. What we don’t need is a one-size-fits-all program with federal government strings attached. We should listen to parents’ concerns and research best practices to ensure what is taught in Mississippi classrooms meets the highest standards possible while maintaining state and local control.

MDE should ensure that all public schools in the state have the opportunity to implement Mississippi standards and curricula in a way that best supports students and teachers.

3 thoughts on “BRYANT: We should listen to parents concerns over #CommonCore

    1. Governor, thanks for hearing our cries of dismay over Common Core standards and the convoluted methods introduced to teach mathematics, the anti American reading assignments and the questionable literature selections used. Also the inordinate amount of time spent on standardized testing is problematic. We want and need to keep our standards high but controlled at the local level with coordination coming from the state..

  1. We are appealing to you to not implement any further, the common core in our MS schools. Parents everywhere are trying to figure ways to reorganize and remove their children from the public school system. This came into our schools based on a bribe of federal dollars to allow ALL in that suited the agenda of a group. Our children are not to be considered a marketable commodity that who-so-ever can gain access to, to fill with their agenda if lay out enough dollars. Meaning they can come in with “what ever”. Not to mention, the curriculum principles, themself, and what is putting the children and parents through, and it is not visible that this teaching offers an advantage – but rather, disadvantage. Child comes home, now, telling us we have to do this till 10th grade, then we’ll go back to the way it was before common core. What are ya’ll thinking. It has somewhat pitted government/school administrations against parents – and vice versa. Last I checked, where the best case scenario for all these children was served, was when parents, school teachers and administration, and state government were alligned and “working together” for the all around betterment of those children. They were tremendously better served and allowed utmost advancement for their individual overall education, verses how it is now where it feels like this was a Pelosi moment of having to pass it through before we knew what was in it. Now we know. And it is not an advantage to our children’s educational foundation. Because they are not bargaining chips or marketable goods for the advantage of “others”, we ask you to discontinue common core in the MS schools and let’s get back to working together for the overall betterment of our children. There is much work to be done and they (the children, the ones that matter in this), it is to be all about “their good” which is far better served if common core is removed. That parents and teachers/school administrators and state government regain a mutual respect for the active participation that can be given to these children and superior capabilities when parents and teacher/schools work together and have a mutual respect for one anothers roles (and recognize the worth of one anothers roles) and if this cannot be done, then we will have the mightiest rally ever seen to get these federal dollars to be on each child and for schools to “compete” for the childrens federal dollars and the family’s decide where the children will attend. We are asking you to please remove common core from our schools.

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