South Carolina Gov. Nikki Haley (R) has signed a bill that requires her state to drop the Common Core standards and replace them with new content standards for school year 2015-2016.
Haley’s signature on the bill, H3893, on May 30 makes South Carolina the second state to officially abandon the nationalized standards, though Common Core will remain in place in the state until the 2015-2016 school year, reports Education Week.
Under the current law, new standards developed by the South Carolina Department of Education must be approved by the state school board and the non-legislative Education Oversight Committee. The new law, however, requires any new standards not developed by the state education department also to be approved by a joint resolution of the state legislature. This provision protects against mere “rebranding” or readopting Common Core with a different name, as is what occurred in Indiana where Gov. Mike Pence declared his state the first to repeal Common Core when standards writers and grassroots parent groups observed that Indiana’s new standards were strikingly similar to Common Core and, in some cases, even inferior.
South Carolina’s new law also bars the state from adopting or administering the Smarter Balanced Assessment Consortium (SBAC) test, which the state abandoned earlier this year.
The acrimonious battle in South Carolina between state Superintendent Mick Zais, who has opposed Common Core and the SBAC tests, with the state school board over authority to make decisions regarding state assessments highlights one of the significant areas of contention that the Common Core standards have brought to the area of education in the United States.