Mississippi's Common Core program is unlikely to change even after Governor Phil Bryant signed an executive order saying the state will set it's own academic standards. MPB's Paul Boger reports state education officials say full implementation of Common Core will continue as planned.
Common Core standards have come under attack from various conservative groups that maintain the federal government is meddling with the state's public schools.
That's why earlier this week, Governor Phil Bryant issued an executive order proclaiming that Mississippi alone will set its own academic standards. He says he's had concerns about Common Core's relationship with federal agencies.
"It was my concern, my heartfelt concern, that this was going toward a centralized-system of the federal government wanting to utilize funding -- for example 'Title-One' -- to take over the educational system in Mississippi." said Bryant. "Now, people say that's not the plan, but it has occurred before. So, my executive order said that won't happen as long as I am Governor."
While Bryant's order may ease the concerns of critics, officials at the Department of Education say the order will do little to actually change the implementation of the program.
Lynn House is with former interim superintendent at the Department of Ed.
" I think it was the intent of the Governor to make very clear that the state is in charge of it's own education endeavors." said House. "That's why were rolling out full implementation the way we wanted to roll it out. Why we are encouraging our districts to implement in ways that make sense to them. So, we didn't see any real changes. Just a reemphasis of education belongs to the states; which we certainly agree with."
The Governor's order has received praise from both sides of the political aisle. House Education Committee member Rep. Greg Holloway is a Democrat from Hazelhurst. He believes Bryant did the right thing.
"I actually agree." said Holloway. "We should not be subject to those federal mandates. We should be able to use our creativity here in the state and in conjunction with the state department of education to create our own curriculum."
Common Core Standards are a set of requirements for grades K through 12 that sets uniform benchmarks in both math and English, and have already been implemented in a vast majority of Mississippi's schools.
You can read the Governor's Executive Order here.