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A Timeline of One State’s Departure from the Common Core in 2015

A Timeline of One State’s Departure from the Common Core in 2015

In 2016, many states will be accessing or re-doing state standards to rely less on Common Core and aligned tests.

One state that followed this path in 2015 was Arkansas, a state that had been dealing with criticism of Common Core standards for years prior.

With implementation of the standards only beginning gradually in the 2011-12 school year, according to the Times Record, it wasn’t long before legislation to block Common Core funding was announced.

An implementation timeline:

2011-12 school year: Arkansas implemented CCSS for grades K-2.

2012-13 school year: the state ramped up implementation to include grades 3-8.

2013-14 school year: the state finished implementing the standards by extending them to high school grade levels, also marking the first year the state rolled out the first Common-Core aligned assessment designed with the Partnership for Assessment of Readiness for College and Careers, or PARCC, said Arkansas News.

From here, 2015 became the year that Arkansas decided to move away from the Common Core; in 2016, new state standards will have to be presented to the Board of Education before July 1.

Here is a timeline of how Arkansas arrived as its decision to replace the Common Core.

Early 2011: After adopting the Common Core State Standards, Arkansas created a CCSS Guiding Coalition to develop a strategic plan to ensure implementation progresses and the assessment is properly developed (PARCC), according to Arkansas ASCD.

November 2014: This is when opposition against Common Core reached a head, with legislators filing legislation in the state’s fiscal session to block funding for Common Core in 2014, though the efforts did not get out of the committee.

February 2015: New Arkansas Governor Asa Hutchinson did not take a position on Common Core and instead left the matter to a task force created to “study it and make recommendations,” the Times Record said. This panel included 16 members of "educators, parents, business leaders and students and named Lt. Gov. Tim Griffin to lead it.

June 2015: The appointed task force recommends the state withdraw from the PARCC and instead pursue "a contract for standardized tests with ACT and ACT Aspire. The panel said it was not yet ready to make a decision on Common Core.”

July 2015: Though the Board of Education initially voted to renew the contract with the PARCC, a secondary vote in July reversed the decision to do as the governor asked. The task force recommends the governor start orchestrating the review of the state’s Common Core Standards to revise and replace them.

September 2015: Arkansas signs a contract will ACT to begin administering its test in the spring. Education Commissioner Johnny Key announces that education experts will begin reviewing the standards to devise new state standards that will not be called the Common Core.

October/November 2015: Sessions are held to review and amend the state math and literacy standards. The videos of those sessions are available here. 


In 2016, Arkansas can expect to see new state standards presented to its Board of Education by July 1, marking the end of a brief stint with the Common Core Standards.

Read the full story.

Article by Nicole Gorman, Education World Contributor


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