Mississippi State House Approves Common Core ‘Rebrand’

AP Photo/Rogelio V. Solis
AP Photo/Rogelio V. Solis

The Mississippi State House has approved a bill that would remove the name “Common Core” from the state’s academic standards, but not replace the actual standards themselves.

According to the Daily Journal, the measure passed by a vote of 95-21 on Thursday. The bill would cause the Common Core standards to be known as the Mississippi College and Career-Ready Standards, a “rebrand” of the controversial education reform initiative.

Gov. Phil Bryant (R) and Lt. Gov. Tate Reeves (R) have both urged the replacement of the Common Core standards.

No Republican in the state House, however, voted against the legislation, says the Journal.

Additionally, the Mississippi House passed a measure that would allow local school districts to develop their own curriculum to teach the renamed Common Core standards.

House Education Committee chairman John Moore (R) said that the bill rebranding the Common Core would “detach” the state from the federal assessments but would not block the state Board of Education from using those assessments.

Hattiesburg American reported that Moore said he expects no changes in what schools teach as a result of the bill and that the state Board of Education would continue to require any changes in standards to be approved by the federal government if the state wished to keep its waiver from No Child Left Behind, as has been directed by the Obama administration.

Rep. Cecil Brown (D) said the bill “absolutely” did not mandate any changes in the Common Core standards.

“The standards are the standards, no matter what you call them,” said Mississippi Department of Education spokeswoman Patrice Guilfoyle.

The state House did not vote on a bill that would restrict vendors for the state’s standardized tests. Though Moore said the federally funded PARCC assessment would only be administered this spring, Mississippi education officials said the assessment’s vendor—Pearson—would be able to seek a new contract.

State Sens. Chris McDaniel (R), Angela Hill (R), and Michael Watson (R) have said they would not approve of a mere “rebranding” of the Common Core standards, sentiments that indicate the legislation will face much more intense debate in the state Senate.

“The informed parents in the state of Mississippi will not be satisfied with a rebrand of common core,” Hill told Breitbart News. “It’s simply an insult to the electorate. Jonathan Gruber comes to mind here. These stunts are why people no longer trust government, and many stay home on Election Day. They get the same insults from both sides of the aisle.”

The idea of “rebranding” or “renaming” the Common Core standards became more widely known when former Arkansas Gov. Mike Huckabee (R) urged the Council of Chief State School Officers (CCSSO), one of the owners of the Common Core standards, to get rid of the “Common Core” name because it had become “toxic.”

“Rebrand it, refocus it, but don’t retreat,” Huckabee said.

However, governors, state lawmakers, and state education officials who have merely “rebranded” the Common Core have been met with fierce opposition from anti-Common Core activists in their states.