NCPA - National Center for Policy Analysis

State Lawmakers Want Authority over Education Standards

July 14, 2014

State lawmakers are attempting to take some of the authority over academic standards from state boards of education, reports Education Week, by enacting laws restricting how state boards may implement, develop or review educational standards.

Many lawmakers resent the lack of public input in states' common-core adoptions and are seeking greater authority over standards.

  • In the last 18 months, 10 states have passed laws that restrict or specify how state boards can adopt new academic standards.
  • During that time period, 50 bills have been introduced in 22 states that would change the way that educational standards are developed.
  • Indiana recently barred the implementation of Common Core standards in the state until the conclusion of a legislative review. The state also ordered new standards and created a panel (which must include parents) to write them.
  • In South Carolina, Governor Nikki Haley signed a bill that requires the state's General Assembly to approve any new standards that are developed by organizations other than the state's department of education.
  • Utah has left authority over standards with the state's board of education, but in April it established new requirements that require extensive public participation and input on new standards.

States have also made efforts to ban common standards:

  • In March, South Dakota passed a law that forbade the state's board from adopting standards "drafted by a multistate consortium which are intended for adoption in two or more states."
  • Tennessee has barred the adoption of common standards in the state until the state legislature has conducted hearings on the proposals.
  • Texas passed a law in June 2013 prohibiting the adoption of Common Core.

In more than 40 states, state boards of education hold exclusive power over academic standards.

Source: Catherine Gewertz, "State Lawmakers Assert Influence Over Standards," Education Week, June 23, 2014.


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