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With Common Core as Backdrop, Legislators Seek Power Over Standards

With all the news about states dropping, or considering dropping, the Common Core State Standards, please read my colleague Catherine Gewertz's story published June 23 about state legislators who are interested in asserting greater control over content standards in the wake of political controversy surrounding the Common Core State Standards.

As Cathrine reports, 10 states have adopted laws in the last 18 months that place new restrictions or other requirements on state school boards as they consider adopting standards. Altogether, 50 pieces of legislation have been put forward in 22 states seeking some sort of change in the standards-adoption process. 

The revisions range from a Utah law signed earlier this year that requires much broader input before the state board's adoption of new standards, to the Oklahoma law signed by Gov. Mary Fallin (R) earlier this month that not only required the state to drop the common core, but states that any new standards adopted by the state board must be approved by the legislature through a joint resolution.

Naturally, advocates for state boards are anxious about what they view as an invasion of their policy turf. But what's the policy of lawmakers on the other side of the question? It's perhaps best summed up by Oklahoma Rep. Jason Nelson (R) who helped write the new law and told Catherine: "Anything that has the force and effect of law is a fair thing for the legislature to review and tweak." 

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