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First Democratic Governor Signs Bill to Replace Common Core

In this photo taken on Tuesday, March 25, 2013, Common Core standards are posted on a bulletin board in a second grade classroom at George Buck Elementary School in Indianapolis. The national math and education standards outlined in the Common Core are everywhere at Buck Elementary. Stapled packets of the standards hang outside classroom doors, and individual guidelines are cut out and displayed in the hallways next to hand-drawn graphs scribbled in crayon. A bill signed last Monday by Gov. Mike Pence makes Indiana the first state to revoke those standards, but what will replace them is unclear in a state where teachers are still reeling from years of change. (AP Photo/AJ Mast) AP Photo/AJ Mast

Missouri Gov. Jay Nixon on Monday became the first Democrat to sign a bill to replace Common Core, making Missouri the fourth state to reject the controversial education standards.

Common Core standards are posted on a bulletin board in a second-grade classroom at George Buck Elementary School in Indianapolis. (AP Photo/AJ Mast)

Missouri joins Indiana, Oklahoma and South Carolina in having repealed Common Core, which was initially adopted by 44 states and the District of Columbia. Other states have debated altering the implementation of the standards or scrapping them entirely.

Missouri took a compromised approach, allowing the standards to remain in place until no later than 2016, by which time replacement standards are to be adopted. The delay avoids disrupting curriculums that have already been adopted in classrooms.

“Over the past several years, we have made significant strides to increase rigor, transparency and accountability in our classrooms and with my signature today, this progress will continue,” Nixon said. “By continuing to raise our expectations and implement more rigorous standards, we can ensure every Missouri student graduates with the skills needed to compete and win in the global economy.” 

The Missouri legislation had wide bipartisan support, clearing the Senate with a 23-6 vote and the House with a 135-10. Nixon waited until the final day possible before signing the bill.

The K-12 math and English standards, which have the support of the Obama administration, were developed by the National Governors Association and the Council of Chief State School Officers. Though not an official federal program, states' adoption of Common Core has been tied to the U.S. Department of Education's Race to the Top grants, which critics say makes it a de facto federal program. Glenn Beck is devoting an entire night to Common Core criticism in the nationwide live theater event, "We Will Not Conform" July 22.

The governor's office said “groups of educators and parents” will determine “recommendations for how Missouri’s academic performance standards might be improved.”

This will occur through advisory groups determining state standards for English, math, science and history by 2016. The state's board of education will hold public hearings on the proposed changes, determining what the benchmarks are for the different subjects, KMBC-TV reported.

Follow Fred Lucas (@FredVLucas3) on Twitter

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