Legislation to Repeal West Virginia’s Common Core Standards Risks ‘Continuous, Relentless Disruption’

This week West Virginia lawmakers introduced legislation that seeks to replace the state’s Common Core Standards and associated assessments by the 2017-18 school year, the Charleston Gazette-Mail reports.

“The fact that essentially, in our estimation, what you have is Common Core Standards rebranded—to think that’s going to resolve the concerns that are out there, I just don’t think it’s realistic,” Paul Espinosa, chairman of the House Education Committee and co-sponsor of the bill, argued last month.

As state educators and administrators point out, the ongoing crusade to replace the state’s education standards creates uncertainty for teachers and students. Late last year, the State Board of Education voted to replace the state’s previous academic standards with the West Virginia College and Career Readiness Standards. But some lawmakers argue the changes do not go far enough.

Mike Green, president of the State Board of Education, disagrees. “It’s an insult and an affront to the hardworking, under-paid, under-appreciated teachers in our state who are intimately involved in the creation of these standards,” he said Thursday. “Our teachers and our students don’t deserve this continuous, relentless disruption.”

A white paper by the Collaborative for Student Success emphasizes that Oklahoma—which moved to replace its Common Core State Standards with distinctly different academic expectations—should serve as a cautionary lesson for policymakers like those in West Virginia.

“Oklahoma has taken a step backwards, reverting to an old set of demonstrably inferior education standards and setting schools on a rocky path of disruption, uncertainty and internal turmoil,” the report notes. “For leaders still considering the future of high, consistent academic standards and related assessments in their states, Oklahoma should serve as a cautionary tale. While other states are working to provide parents and teachers with better tools to measure student development toward college- and career-readiness, the future for Oklahoma’s academic standards—and its students—is less certain.”