By Ben Velderman
JACKSON, Miss. – Add Mississippi to the list of states that are getting cold feet about the new Common Core learning standards.
The Associated Press reports a group of conservative lawmakers has been “marshaling their arguments (against Common Core) in recent weeks, apparently girding for a legislative challenge next year.”
State Sen. Angela Hill, a Republican, is a member of that group. Hill tells the AP she’d like Mississippi to follow Indiana’s lead and pause implementation of Common Core in schools until lawmakers have a chance to study the new learning standards in math and English – and to determine if they represent a step up (or down) in terms of academic quality.
Hill also wants the Magnolia State to drop out of a multi-state effort to create Common Core-based standardized tests, the AP reports.
Hill and her conservative cohorts face an uphill battle. Mississippi students will be taught with Common Core-aligned lessons when schools start up in just a few weeks.
While the federal government is not technically leading the Common Core charge, it has spent a lot of time and effort coordinating this so-called state-led effort to revolutionize public education.
These same federal bureaucrats get a little panicky when they hear about lawmakers, such as Hill, who want to halt the process until taxpayers and parents can get their questions answered.
Daren Briscoe, a spokesman for the U.S. Education Department, predicted that anti-Common Core efforts in Mississippi and other states won’t succeed in derailing the initiative, but admitted they’re “making life more difficult.”