Even This Left-Wing State Has Issues With Common Core

Maryland Gov. Martin O’Malley, widely viewed as one of the nation’s most liberal governors in one of the nation’s most liberal states, will consider signing bills by a Democratic legislature curbing the reach of the Common Core education standards.

Maryland Gov. Martin O’Malley speaks during a general session at the California Democrats State Convention on Saturday, March 8, 2014, in Los Angeles. (AP/Jae C. Hong)

The state Senate this week gave final passage on three bills that address concerns over implementaiton of the standards. Two of the bills have already been passed by the state House, and O’Malley is expected to sign both, according to the Maryland Reporter.

In February, when O’Malley was at the White House for a National Governors Association gathering, he said the only dispute about Common Core is the implementation, not the standards themselves.

Common Core standards were developed by the NGA and the Council of Chief State School Officials. The standards have been adopted by 44 states, including the District of Columbia, though several states appear to have some buyer’s remorse: Indiana recently ditched the standards altogether, while numerous other states are engaged in a review. Some critics fear the standards will create a de facto national curriculum because the adoption is tied to federal grants for schools.

One of the Maryland bills delays the use of student test performance data in teacher evaluations and personnel decisions. Another requires legislative oversight of the Maryland Department of Education’s implementation of the standards and meeting the goals of standardized tests in order to get federal grans from the U.S. Department of Education.

These two billls passed the Senate unanimously and are being considered by O’Malley.

Another bill establishes an implementation working group to review Common Core and the standardized tests that are part of the standards. This bill, which passed the Senate with only one dissenting vote, will now be considered by the House.

O’Malley is considered a likely contender for the 2016 Democratic presidential nomination.

While many of the objections to Common Core are on the right, numerous other blue states are having issues. In New York, Gov. Andrew Cuomo established a task force to review the implementation of the standards. Recently, there was a large protest against the standards by teachers, students and parents in New York City.

(H/T: Maryland Reporter)