Mississippi FREE, an organization dedicated to improving Mississippi’s educational system and repealing the Common Core curriculum standards, celebrated Governor Phil Bryant’s recent veto of the controversial SB 2161. SB 2161 was listed as a bill to replace the failed Common Core initiative that Mississippi had adopted in an attempt to get a Race to the Top education grant through the American Recovery and Reinvestment act of 2009, commonly known as the “Stimulus Package.” However, SB 2161 did little more than rename the standards and create a new organization to make tests to implement the Common Core standards in Mississippi. All curriculum changes would have remained in place. Mississippi FREE argues that if this bill had gone into law, it would have been nearly impossible to actually repeal Common Core next year.
At the beginning of the 2015 legislative session, Governor Phil Bryant made it clear that he intended to repeal the Common Core standards. At a rally in front of the capital sponsored by MS FREE, Bryant told the people that he would repeal, not rename, the controversial curriculum changes. Tate Reeves, lieutenant governor, also said that he supported repealing Common Core. However, as the 2015 legislative session unfolded it became clear that Tate Reeves only intended to rename the standards while leaving all changes in place. SB 2161 was designed to do just that. While it was listed as “repealing Common Core,” it would have made no substantive changes. Governor Bryant’s veto of this bill paves the way for a full repeal next year.
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Back in December, Mississippi's Lt. Governor Tate Reeves (a Republican) spoke at a luncheon sponsored by Mississippi State University’s Stennis Institute of Government and the Capitol press corps. During his speech, Reeves announced that he believes that Mississippi should, at the least, review Common Core standards for the state.
Gov. Phil Bryant approved this statement by Reeves in a press release following Reeves’ announcement: "I thank Lt. Gov. Reeves for joining me in opposing Common Core in Mississippi, and I look forward to working with him and the Legislature to codify the points of my December 2013 Executive Order. That order, which still stands in effect, plainly states that Mississippi has the right to determine its own public school curricula and is under no obligation to comply with any future federal mandates for uniform academic standards. As I said this June, Common Core is a failed program. State-led policies like the Third Grade Gate will have a greater effect in our classrooms than one-size-fits-all bureaucratic standards controlled by Washington.”
“Mississippi children deserve standards developed by teachers and parents,” stated Reeves at the luncheon.
In the 2014 legislative session the Reeves-led Senate rejected efforts by some senators to abandon the math and English arts standards, though at the time Reeves said he was monitoring the progress of the curriculum, and how it was implemented across the state.
This press release started a fire in Mississippi. Leaders of the State as well as County Conservative Coalitions, the Tea Party, and other conservative grassroots groups in Mississippi began to plan for the upcoming Legislative session. Legislators, specifically senators that are members of the coalition started by Chris McDaniel began writing bills that would abolish common core in MS. No one really knew what to believe, with Lt. Gov. Reeve’s track record, it was all a test.
Two key women were in the fight and got to work planning events to inform parents and educators about the dangers of the standards. Brandie Correro and Marsha Babb planned workshops, meetings, and ultimately opening up the 2015 Legislative session by letting our MS legislators know that we will hold them accountable.
On January 6th, over 200 constituents from all over the state joined together for the MS FREE event and rallied against common core. This event was covered by local and national media, and included speeches from Gov. Phil Bryant, Sen. Michael Watson, Sen. Angela Hill, and Rev. C.L. Bryant. Lt. Gov. Reeves did not attend this event. The day was ended by Students releasing 82 red balloons in honor of the students in all 82 counties.
If you want your children and grandchildren to have a shot at educational freedom and a decent education, now is the time to act.
In an email to supporters, the Home School Legal Defense Association (HSLDA) sent out an urgent action item. We join them in urging you to call your senators and representatives and give them this message (or a paraphrased version):
“I strongly oppose the Common Core standards, and do not want the federal government using federal funds to support this controversial program. Please sign onto the Grassley letter [if you are calling your senators] or Steve King letter [if you are calling your U.S. Representative] to members of the Appropriations Committee which urges Congress to end federal funds in support of the Common Core. States, not the federal government, should decide what is best for their education system.”
The capitol switch board number is 202-224-3121.
Take action to defend educational freedom!
UPDATE: Thanks to the rapid response from homeschooling families across Ohio, Sen. Cafaro has requested that SB 248 be suspended and withdrawn. Click here to read her statement.
The Home School Legal Defense Association calls it the "worst-ever homeschool law proposed in Ohio."
Senate Bill 248, introduced by State Senator Capri Cafaro, would require all homeschooling parents to undergo a investigation that would determine if the family would be allowed to homeschool.
According to HSLDA's Michael Donnelly:
"Social workers would have to interview parents and children separately, conduct background checks and determine whether homeschooling is recommended or not. If it is not recommended, parents would have to submit to an “intervention” before further consideration of their request to homeschool."
Read HSLDA's summary of the bill, as well as important background information about the tragic circumstances that led to the bill's introduction, by clicking here.
To stay updated on SB 248, follow us on Twitter and Facebook.
Ohio has suddenly become a frontline in the battle over homeschooling freedom.
In 2006, Michigan voters approved a ban on affirmative action (preferential treatment to individuals because of race, ethnicity, etc.) in the public sector. The ban encompassed admission to public universities as well as the hiring of government employees. The ban reads as follows:
(1) The University of Michigan, Michigan State University, Wayne State University, and any other public college or university, community college, or school district shall not discriminate against, or grant preferential treatment to, any individual or group on the basis of race, sex, color, ethnicity, or national origin in the operation of public employment, public education, or public contracting.
Soon after the proposal was accepted by the people of the state of Michigan it was challenged in court. In 2012 the 6th Circuit Court of Appeals declared the law unconstitutional, and Michigan Attorney General Bill Schuette appealed the decision on behalf of the state. The appeal was granted and tomorrow oral arguments will be heard in Court.
Today Fox News is running an article about the Common Core Standards. The article is highly informative and we definately recommend the read. The article points out that the Common Core Standards may not only ignore major classics, but do away with the absolute truths in Math, such as the fact that 2+2=4 rather than 5.
For more information about the federal takeover of America's education system please see any of the following:
Eagle Forum on Common Core
Heritage Foundation on Common Core
We will continue to release more information as it becomes available.