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House Passes 8 Amendments to Common Core Bill

del._mike_folk.jpg
Perry Bennett
/
West Virginia Legislative Photography
Del. Michael Folk, R-Berkeley County.

Members of the House debated amendments to a bill Thursday that would repeal the state’s Common Core based education standards and require new assessments for the public education system. Common Core was repealed by the West Virginia Board of Education in December, but some Delegates believe the state board still hasn’t gone far enough.

When the West Virginia Board of Education repealed the state’s Common Core based education standards in December, they replaced them with the West Virginia College and Career Ready Standards. Those were the result of an 8 month review process led by state Superintendent of Schools Dr. Michael Martirano. Still, some members of the House believe Martirano’s standards are too similar to Common Core and they want them removed.

That’s what House Bill 4014 would do. As approved by the House Education Committee, the bill would repeal any education standards based on Common Core and also prohibit the state from allowing students to take standardized tests aligned with those standards.

Del. Mike Folk of Berkeley County, has been an outspoken opponent of Common Core. He was not satisfied with the committee’s version of the bill and attempted to amend it on the floor.

It failed on a vote of 35 to 62, but would've done three things. It would've replaced the state’s Math standards with those established by California in 1997. It would have replaced the West Virginia English Language Arts standards with standards written pre-Common Core in Massachusetts, and also created a board of teachers from all 55 counties to write the assessments for these standards.

But it was just one of 12 the body considered Thursday. Here are a few that passed:

  • One amendment calls on the Senate President and House Speaker to appoint a panel of Math and English curriculum experts to review the current standards and make any necessary changes by October 2016. Those experts do not have to be from West Virginia.
  • Changes were made to the standardized testing requirements, including requiring only one assessment in high school. All of the assessments in West Virginia would have to measure Science as well as Math and English.
  • Another amendment prohibits the state Board of Education from implementing the Common Core based Science standards that would have taken effect July 1, 2016.
  • Protections were added to the bill for students and parents who opt-out or refuse to take a standardized test. The amended version of the bill says those students cannot be punished or have their grades reduced, but they also cannot be precluded from receiving the Promise Scholarship or being accepted to a West Virginian higher education institution.

House Bill 4014 will be up for a final vote in the House Friday. If approved, the bill will be sent to the state Senate.


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