The Tennessee House of Representatives this morning voted to delay any further implementation of the Common Core State Standards in Tennessee and to delay the use of the Pearson Assessment of Readiness for College and Career (PARCC) until July 1, 2016 — effectively a two-year delay in the process.
The vote in favor of the legislation was a resounding 82-11. The vote was a surprise, as two amendments offered by House Minority Leader Craig Fitzhugh were adopted. An amendment to delay further Common Core implementation, including the adoption of new standards in science and social studies was approved by an 80-6 vote.
On delaying the PARCC testing, the vote was 88-0.
If Tennessee goes forward with a delay in PARCC participation, it will join Florida and Kentucky, who have already decided to stop using PARCC to assess their students’ mastery of the Common Core State Standards.
Procedurally speaking, the bill has already passed the Senate in a different form. It will now be sent back to the Senate to ask that body to concur in House amendments. The Senate can choose to adopt the House amendments, in which case the bill would be sent to Governor Haslam for his action. If the Senate does not adopt the House amendments, the bill goes back to the House. The House can then either 1) remove the amendments or 2) refuse to remove the amendments. If the House refuses to back down from its original action (which passed with more than 80 votes), a conference committee will be appointed to sort out the issue.
The vote to delay Common Core and PARCC ended a particularly bad week for Governor Haslam’s education policy agenda.
First, the TEA announced a lawsuit challenging the constitutionality of TVAAS-based merit pay for teachers, a measure supported by the Haslam Administration.
Then, the House Finance Committee did not take up Haslam’s proposal for school vouchers, instead delaying consideration for one week. The bill barely eked out of House Finance Subcommittee with Speaker Harwell having to break a tie vote.
A TEA-backed bill prohibiting the use of TVAAS in teacher licensure decisions also passed key committees in the House and Senate this week.
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