Several Miss. senators work on changing Common Core standards

Published 7:00 am Wednesday, January 28, 2015


MATH EDUCATION: Seventh graders at Picayune Junior High School work on math problems. Photo by Ashley Collins

The Mississippi State House approved a bill on Thursday in efforts to rebrand the Common Core educational standards.

According to the Northeast Mississippi Daily Journal, bill HB156 renamed the standards to be known as Mississippi College and Career-Ready Standards. It also removed the requirement for the state and federal government to use a unified grading system for schools.

Ever since the standards were adopted into Mississippi’s educational framework in 2010, Common Core opponents like District 40 state Sen. Angela Burks Hill, R, believes an outright appeal of the standards is necessary.

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Currently 46 states, including the District of Columbia, have adopted Common Core State Standards, according to

However, Hill said the Common Core standards have huge gaps in them.

“The argument for the Common Core standards has always been if we move away from Common Core it would take years to find new standards and cost too much money, but that’s not true,” she said.

She added that the Common Core standards are illogical for students.

“The standards emphasize writing before reading, they don’t emphasize classical literature, and they aren’t developmentally appropriate for younger students,” she said.

The Mississippi Common Core is a state-led effort that establishes a set of criteria for instruction in kindergarten thru 12th grade in English language arts and math, according to the Mississippi Department of Education.

Proponents of the standards believe that Common Core will help students prepare for college and catch up educationally with other countries, according to U.S. News and World Report.

The website for the Center on International Education lists the top performing educational systems in the world, which include Japan and Finland, but not the U.S.

Hill believes the Common Core standards won’t accomplish a better education system for the U.S, so she wrote bill SB2690 that calls to repeal Common Core. Additional authors of the bill include District 47 state Sen. Tony Smith, R- Poplarville, and District 43 state Sen. Phillip A. Gandy, R-Waynesboro, among others.

“Basically what my bill does is repeal Common Core and call to adopt new standards,” she said.

Hill’s bill calls for the Mississippi State Board of Education and Mississippi State Department of Education to stop implementing any further Common Core standards, directs the State Superintendent of Education to withdraw from using Partnership for Assessment of Readiness for College and Careers assessments, calls to authorize the state Governor to review the educational standards in effect in the state, and prohibits the state board and state department of education from expending certain federal funds to track students beyond their K-12 education, according to bill SB2690.

State Senate Education Committee Chairman Gray Tollison, R-Oxford, also introduced a bill, which doesn’t call for a repeal of the Common Core standards, but recommends changes to the existing standards.

Hill said her and Tollison’s bill are waiting on a decision from the Mississippi State Senate, and she predicts one of the bills will pass in the next week or so.