Senate Republicans will introduce a resolution Wednesday that calls on the federal government to stop coercing states to adopt the Common Core educational standards.
The resolution is sponsored by South Carolina Republican Sen. Lindsey Graham, and is co-sponsored by South Carolina Sen. Tim Scott, Utah Sen. Mike Lee, Texas Sen. Ted Cruz, Oklahoma Sen. James Inhofe, Iowa Sen. Chuck Grassley, Mississippi Sens. Thad Cochran and Roger Wicker, and Wyoming Sen. Mike Enzi.
The resolution asks the federal government not to use economic or regulatory incentives to persuade states to adopt Common Core. Compliance with the controversial standards should be determined by state and local officials, according to Graham.
“States and local educational agencies should maintain the right and responsibility of determining educational curricula, programs of instruction, and assessments for elementary and secondary education,” the resolution states. “The Federal Government should not incentivize the adoption of common education standards or the creation of a national assessment to align with such standards; and no application process for any Federal grant funds, or for waivers issued by the Secretary under the authority of section 9401 of the Elementary and Secondary Education Act of 1965 (20 U.S.C. 7861), that occurs after the date of adoption of this resolution should award any additional points, or provide any preference, for the adoption of the Common Core State Standards or any other national common education standards.”
The Common Core education standards were first designed by the National Governors Association, but the Obama administration soon seized on them as a paramount federal policy goal. Through their Race to the Top initiative, President Barack Obama and Education Secretary Arne Duncan have made federal grants available to those states that implement provisions of Common Core, the resolution notes.
“The federal government has essentially bribed states into adopting Common Core,” said Graham in a statement to The Daily Caller. “Our resolution affirms that education belongs in the hands of our parents, local officials and states.”
Common Core implementation is currently underway in most states, though backlash from parents, teachers and conservative activists has led several state legislatures to halt the process. In some states, including New York, it appears that Common Core and its required standardized testing regimen will be delayed for years.
Other states are simply renaming their standards to something other than Common Core in order to avoid scrutiny.