Mississippi lawmakers are trying to create a new commission that will lead the state away from Common Core Education Standards. But lawmakers seem reluctant to do away with common core themselves.
Senate Bill 2161, approved by the Senate yesterday, would create a task force appointed by the Governor to examine Mississippi's education standards, and then make recommendations on how to improve them. The bill has widely been considered a way to kill the implementation of Common Core in the state. But some Senators were not satisfied with the roundabout nature of the bill. Senator Angela Hill of Picayune, authored an amendment that would force the task force to create completely new standards.
"It puts safeguards in so that we don't get a remake or a re-branding of the same standards from the commission," says Hill. "It also requires that the recommendations of the commission be implemented, and not just heard. We have to figure out if we're serious about this or not serious about it."
Hill received support from other Tea Party backed lawmakers, but Senate Education Committee Chair Gray Tollison of Oxford pushed lawmakers to vote against the amendment, and allow the task force to decide what's best Mississippi's schoolchildren.
"[The] Commission hears testimony, listens, makes recommendations, they submit it to the state board of education, state board of education determines what they have with it," says Tollison. "On January1, the legislature is in session. If we're not happy with it they can take their action, but give the system an opportunity to work under this circumstance.
The Senate rejected the amendment to repeal of Common Core. The remainder of the bill that created the task force will now head to the House for its approval.