The Mississippi House of Representatives is pushing forward two bills intended to satisfy a group of vocal conservative critics of the state's common core education standards. However the bills will do little to change what is actually being taught in the classroom.
House Bills 156 and 392 passed the House easily Thursday.
One strips any reference to the name Common Core from state law and deletes the requirement that the state and federal governments use a unified grading system for schools and districts.
The other re-asserts that districts create curriculum, which is existing state policy.
Speaking from the floor of the House, Education Chair John Moore of Brandon says those two moves gives the state more latitude and puts distance between Mississippi and the federal government.
"We can change ours if those goes into law. If the Governor signs this and the Senate goes along with it, we can change our accountability standards without having to go through the minutiae of the federal government," Moore said.
When questioned about the standards by Hinds County representative Cecil Brown the chairman stressed that the bills will not change anything about the standards or what is being taught in Mississippi classrooms.
"This bill does not change the standards or whatever the state department has done at all?" Brown asked.
"It just makes the nomenclature the same. The names are the same. So we are not changing common core. And unless the board decides to remove common core or this legislature decides to remove common core, we are under common core standards," Brown said.
Both bills are moving to the Senate for more debate.