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Reports from Policy Analysts

Common Core Debated Anew in Michigan House

Submitted On: Tuesday, February 28, 2017

Analyst: Roberts, Leslie/Oakland Community College

With the appointment of the new U.S. Secretary of Education Betsy DeVos, some Michigan lawmakers are wasting no time drafting legislation to end participation in Common Core.  Michigan higher education faculty in English education, developmental English, and freshman composition are following the recently introduced House Bill 4192, promoting the termination of Michigan’s ongoing implementation of Common Core (adopted in 2010), with the expressed goal of “giving districts and parents more control.”  The bill promises to “respect and support the ultimate right a parent to opt his or her child out of any (my emphasis) public school activity that the parent finds unacceptable with no negative repercussions or interference from the state.”  Supporters of HB 4192 want to adopt the standards Massachusetts had adopted before Massachusetts adopted the Common Core. 

The Detroit Free Press reported Feb. 15 and 16  that opposing lawmakers in the Michigan House point out that Massachusetts adopted Common Core in part because many of the state’s students were taking developmental courses in college under the older standards that promoters of this bill now want to see replace Common Core in Michigan.  The Michigan Education Association teachers union, and, according to the Detroit Free Press, the Michigan Department of Education, oppose the bill, that latter stating that Common Core is an important part of the state’s ongoing commitment to making Michigan a top 10 state in academic performance.  The other interesting aspect of this development is that the Michigan Competitiveness Committee -- and not the House Education Reform Committee --  heard the first round of testimony in mid-February, 2017.   

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