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Lawmaker: Replacing Common Core More Important Than Keeping It?

Lawmaker: Is Replacing Common Core More Important Than Keeping It?

A Tennessee lawmaker recently changed his mind on a proposal to replace the Common Core State Standards, for the cost of implementing new standards could exceed $4 million.

"The state already expects to spend $108 million on Common Core implementation," according to an article on Chalkbeat.org. "On Wednesday, Rep. John Forgety announced he was foregoing a bill to replace the Common Core State Standards in Tennessee, in part because of a predicted $4 million price tag for the state. In reality, a repeal of the standards could cost much more."

According to the article, "of the 48 states that originally adopted Common Core – which sets academic benchmarks for each grade level – Tennessee is not the first to entertain the idea of scrapping them. Indiana and Oklahoma have begun the process of implementing their own standards, and Common Core hangs in the balance in legislatures in 16 other states. But new standards — even when they closely resemble the Common Core — can come with a hefty price tag."

"Besides Forgety’s, at least three other Tennessee bills ask for repeal of the Common Core. However, none of the other three bills have been scheduled for debate yet, or have been assigned a fiscal note, which estimates how much the new legislation would cost the state," the article said. "The cost to write new standards is actually fairly modest, experts say. It’s everything else that goes with it – professional development, textbooks and classroom materials – that gets expensive."

“The implementation of new standards is quite complex,” said Kelly Henderson, who oversees K-12 curriculum for Metropolitan Nashville Public Schools, in the article. “It actually starts a year, or actually two years, before the actual implementation [of the standards].”

According to the article, "the fiscal note for Forgety’s bill, which would create 'Volunteer State Standards,' estimates that the state would spend almost $4.2 million on new standards over the next four years."

"The note takes into account that the State Board of Education would hire new personnel to create the standards, as well as provide professional development to orient educators to the new standards," the article said. "It allots $200,000 to update of TNReady, the Common Core-aligned test that is under development and already is costing the state about $108 million. The fiscal note does not mention the cost that local districts would incur, such as textbooks and more professional development for educators."

Read the full story and comment below.

Article by Kassondra Granata, Education World Contributor

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