The Colorado State Board of Education voted Friday to endorse a Republican-sponsored bill that would remove the state from the Common Core standards and their associated assessments.
As Chalkbeat Colorado reports, the measure would also reduce the number of state assessments, offer districts more testing flexibility, and require the state to periodically update its content standards.
The state board, which voted 5-2 to endorse the bill, is taking an active role in reducing testing. Republican board members Steve Durham, Marcia Neal, Pam Mazanec, and Debra Scheffel, and Democrat member Valentina Flores voted in favor of endorsing the measure. Democrats Jane Goff and Angelika Schroeder voted against the bill.
A sponsor of the measure, state Rep. Paul Lundeen (R), is the former chairman of the state board.
“We are very pleased to have bi-partisan support from the State Board of Education of our bill,” Lundeen said in a statement to Breitbart News. “We believe it shows broad concern with the top down, one-size-fits-all approach to public education that is causing so much consternation today.”
“The bill would return authority over standards to the Colorado state board and build-in a culture of continual improvement,” he added. “The bill would also provide flexibility and norm referenced accountability to local school districts by allowing the state board to offer a basket of tests from which districts may choose.”
Parent anti-Common Core activist Cheri Kiesecker told Breitbart News she was happy with the state board’s action.
“The state board is leading by example,” she said. “It is refreshing to see them set aside party politics and join together for the sake of children.”
Kiesecker explained that many parents are concerned about the federally funded Partnership for Assessment of Readiness for College and Careers (PARCC) tests, which are currently scheduled to be administered twice between now and May in Colorado.
“Some are refusing to take PARCC because it is an unproven, unvalidated test and they don’t think it is worthwhile,” she continued. “However, most are refusing PARCC because they are concerned about the data that the online test collects. It is my hope that the state board will honor the parent’s ‘right to refuse’ and vote to hold the students and schools harmless for any test refusals.”