In an article out yesterday by the Heartland Institute’s School Reform News both Sen. Angela Hill and Mississippi Center for Public Policy President Forest Thigpen discuss the role of the Mississippi Economic Council in pushing Common Core, and how the organization helped water down repeal efforts earlier this year. 

State Sen. Angela Hill (R-Picayune) says the Mississippi Economic Council (MEC), the state’s chamber of commerce, deserves much of the blame for the lack of strong (Common Core) repeal-and-replace legislation. 
“I believe the state chamber of commerce’s support of Common Core is the greatest hindrance to getting a strong bill out of the legislature,” Hill said. “[Its] corporate influence has helped shape education policy such as state-funded pre-K and putting more students under the jurisdiction of the Mississippi Department of Education, whose track record of immense support for Common Core down to the K–3 level is contrary to the will of the electorate.”

Thigpen refers to MEC’s move to quietly work behind the scenes that came after conservative state senators pushed back against Common Core and the Governor came out with an executive order stating his administrations opposition to federal encroachment into the states authority over education. Months later, Lt. Gov. Tate Reeves public ally flip-flopped his support of Common Core. 

Forest Thigpen, president of the Mississippi Center for Public Policy, says the review of Common Core (SB 2161) may not leave opponents of the standards any better off than they were before.
“I don’t know that anyone is entirely happy with this compromise,” Thigpen said. “A lot of grassroots people, a lot of parents, and a lot of superintendents do not like Common Core, and they want it changed. There are other superintendents who are happy with Common Core.”
Thigpen says MEC was less vocal in its support of Common Core than in previous years.


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