Is Common Core Dead in Tennessee?

That seems to be the message Tennessee leaders are sending about the controversial Common Core State Standards.

After a legislative session which saw the House of Representatives strongly denounce Common Core and ultimately the entire General Assembly vote to delay the PARCC tests, Governor Haslam convened an Education Summit to “reset the conversation” around education policy in the state.

In Williamson County, Americans for Prosperity spent tens of thousands of dollars on School Board races to elect new members who oppose the Common Core State Standards.

Just this weekend, Scott Stroud of the Tennessean wrote:

If Common Core education standards come crashing to earth next year when the legislature reconvenes — and it looks as though they might — Gov. Bill Haslam will need to look no further than his campaign for re-election to figure out when he lost that fight.

Haslam appears now to be shifting to a conversation of why higher standards matter rather than advocating in favor of the Common Core.

And, Speaker Beth Harwell is joining him. In an interview with Chalkbeat, Harwell said:

I really think Tennessee is going to get to the point where they’ll just develop their own standards and try to make them some of the best standards in the nation.

So, it seems likely that Tennessee will shift away from Common Core. But will Tennessee policymakers use the Common Core as a guideline for new standards? And how will development of Tennessee’s own standards impact the already-issued RFP for tests aligned to the Common Core in math and reading? Will there be yet another delay in the use of assessments aligned to Tennessee standards? Will teachers be sent yet another set of standards to teach students? And how will these new standards be developed?

The shift away from the CCSS may be politically expedient, but it leaves many questions unanswered. It also presents an opportunity: To reset the conversation by involving teachers, parents, and communities in a discussion about what’s best for Tennessee.  That conversation was missing in the initial build-up to Common Core in Tennessee and it is likely among the reasons why the standards are facing challenging times now.

For more on education politics and policy in Tennessee, follow @TNEdReport

7 thoughts on “Is Common Core Dead in Tennessee?

  1. I suspect they will be simply renamed Tennessee Standards. Hopefully we may yet involve actual Tennessee teachers, parents, and stakeholders in future discussions about our state. We should consider a permanent standards commission made up of these stakeholders. Great article Andy.

  2. TN adopted new standards several years ago. They are already some of the most rigorous in the nation. New standards are not needed.

  3. Make no mistake they will move a couple of commas and change the name but the end result will be Common Core. Why you ask?? Because if we stray away Mr. Duncan will with hold some of our money. The ONLY state that has truly repealed CC list $29 million because they dared disobey. The other states lost nothing because they never truly repealed CC. The states that say they never adopted CC are not being honest. If they got a NCLB waiver they adopted CC but with a different name. Be very very leary of these politicians. If they deceive us there will be ramifications and I have no doubt they will test our resolve.

  4. Pingback: Tennessee Education Report | What’s Going on in Williamson County?

  5. What about all the time (years) and money (millions) invested so far in implementing the Common Core Standards in Reading in Math in TN? If this scenario plays out, this time and money will be wasted, and for what? To score some political points? As someone said, leave the standards alone and see how they work.

  6. Pingback: Tennessee Education Report | Toward Tennessee Standards

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