Opinion

GOP leaders’ Common Core evaluation premature

An editorial from The Herald-Dispatch

HUNTINGTON, W.Va. — Logic would suggest that it’s premature to give a failing or passing mark until the school work has been completed and graded.

But that logic apparently isn’t a requirement for some of West Virginia’s Republican leaders when it comes to the Common Core educational standards adopted by the state a few years ago. It’s clear that they plan an all-out assault on Common Core during next year’s legislative session.

On July 31, Delegate Mike Folk, R-Berkeley, filed a petition asking the state’s Supreme Court of Appeals to rule on whether West Virginia can legally participate in Common Core. He contended that the standards violate state law and the U.S. Constitution, which he says requires congressional approval of agreements between states.

Then Republican legislative leaders chimed in this week. Senate President Bill Cole and House Speaker Tim Armstead sent a joint letter to the National Governors Association and the Council of Chief State School Officers rescinding an agreement committing West Virginia to a “state-led process to develop Common Core standards,” according to a report by the Charleston Gazette-Mail. The original agreement was signed by then-Gov. Joe Manchin and then-Senate President Earl Ray Tomblin. The request won’t really change anything, though.

To top it off, Cole told the Gazette-Mail that Common Core has proven to be a failure in West Virginia. “I don’t want to get down in the weeds,” Cole said. “But Common Core has had its opportunity. It’s had its chance, and we’re still at the bottom.”

Cole is correct on one point. Student achievement in West Virginia is near the bottom of all states and has been for many years, long before Common Core standards were ever developed. But he missed the mark on a couple of others…

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