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ERIC Number: EJ987196
Record Type: Journal
Publication Date: 2012-Aug
Pages: 2
Abstractor: ERIC
Reference Count: N/A
ISSN: ISSN-1540-8000
The Voices of Non-Adopters: Members of the Virginia and Nebraska State Boards of Education on Why Their States Did Not Adopt the Common Core Standards
State Education Standard, v12 n2 p45-46 Aug 2012
On June 24, 2010, the Virginia Board of Education unanimously adopted a statement expressing its continuing commitment to Virginia's Standards of Learning (SOL) and opposition to making participation in federal grant and entitlement programs contingent on word-for-word adoption of the newly developed Common Core State Standards in reading and mathematics. Prior to this action, then-Board of Education President Eleanor Saslaw released a statement regarding the board's support for the SOL over adopting the Common Core. The Standards of Learning are clear, rigorous, and understood and trusted by Virginia teachers. Whatever adjustments that might be needed to ensure alignment of the SOL with the Common Core can be made without disrupting instruction and accountability, and within the existing process through which the board exercises its constitutional authority to establish standards for the commonwealth's public schools. When the idea of Common Core Standards was first brought forward, the Nebraska State Board of Education was strongly supportive. The idea that the development of the Common Core Standards would be a voluntary, collaborative effort across the states held great promise. At the conclusion of the process, states could adopt the standards, align with them, use them as a resource or benchmark for the development of their own standards, or reject them altogether. But suddenly, this brilliantly conceived process was hijacked. Despite previous protestations by the U.S. Department of Education (USDE) that the agency would leave alone the process of Common Core Standards development, USDE suddenly announced that anyone who expected federal money had better adopt them. Yet after the USDE's announcement, many states immediately announced their adoption of the then-nonexistent Common Core Standards. The ham-handedness of the federal government immediately and irrevocably changed the process from the pursuit of excellence to the pursuit of money. Consequently, in Nebraska, the State Board of Education members separated their selves from this effort. They already were in the midst of redeveloping and increasing the rigor of their language arts standards. In the unanimous view of the board--Republicans and Democrats alike--they rejected the federal government's "top-down cram down" approach. They have been criticized for their refusal to knuckle under to the Common Core, most notably by the Fordham Foundation, for which they otherwise have great respect. But they believe there is something dangerous and disconcerting about a federally mandated one-size-fits-all approach to educational standards.
National Association of State Boards of Education. 2121 Crystal Drive Suite 350, Arlington, VA 22202. Tel: 800-368-5023; Tel: 703-684-4000; Fax: 703-836-2313; e-mail:; Web site:
Publication Type: Journal Articles; Reports - Descriptive
Education Level: Elementary Secondary Education
Audience: N/A
Language: English
Sponsor: N/A
Authoring Institution: N/A
Identifiers - Location: Nebraska; United States; Virginia