Common sense for Common Core

An editorial from The Register-Herald

BECKLEY, W.Va. — We ask again that common sense be used when it comes to Common Core.

Somehow, the effort to repeal Common Core standards in our state school system without having any replacement for it was thwarted during the legislative session. Thankfully so, as it would have cost West Virginia $362 million in federal dollars to free itself from federal shackles of education accountability.

 But armed with results from the most recent Smarter Balance tests, where only the state’s fifth graders hit a proficiency score above 50 percent in either English/language arts and mathematics, Common Core’s fate seems sealed.

Senate President Bill Cole said last month that Common Core is a failure based on initial test scores and vowed to eliminate the standards in West Virginia “once and for all.”

Apparently, state lawmakers are happy to end federal funding for the underprivileged and special-needs students, as well as free and reduced lunches. And that’s exactly what could happen if Common Core standards are repealed. That and West Virginia could be placed on high-risk status by the U.S. Department of Education.

Instead of repealing it, state lawmakers gave Common Core a reprieve during the regular legislative session. But the reprieve was fleeting. Despite the fact that the year-long study of the educational standards was commissioned by the Legislature isn’t complete and the state Department of Education still has to sort through 220,000 comments already made by parents, teachers, administrators and stakeholders, the decision to end it looks to have already been made by the leadership.

There are two very important questions to ask these lawmakers: What will you replace these educational standards with…


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