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The Foundry reported this week that the Massachusetts Board of Education voted to slow the transition to Common Core.

The board decided to delay implementation for two years while it compares the Common Core aligned Partnership for Assessment of Readiness for College and Careers (PARCC) tests to their existing—and widely praised—Massachusetts Comprehensive Assessment System (MCAS) exam.

Commissioner Mitchell Chester, who also chairs the governing board for the PARCC consortium, says that adopting the Common Core by the 2014–2015 deadline would cause Massachusetts “too precipitous a transition.”

Everyone had recognized Massachussets’ high quality and standards and has for three years scratched their heads over that state’s adoption of the admittedly lower quality common core standards.  Unless you looked into the tremendous political pressure applied to that state to take the lead, knowing that many looked to Massachusetts as an education leader, their decision seemed to make no sense. They did have immediate buyers remorse and did, once before, try to back out of the adoption but were offered tremendous funds from Race To The Top to stay in.

But they say money can’t buy happiness and it appears that MA isn’t happy with common core. They joins the ranks of 15 states now pushing back against the standards. Several states have backed out of the testing consortia and more are considering a similar move.

Missouri leaders can move forward with their plans to get our state out of Common Core knowing we will not be the only ones out there.

Anne Gassel

Anne has been writing on MEW since 2012 and has been a citizen lobbyist on Common Core since 2013. Some day she would like to see a national Hippocratic oath for educators “I will remember that there is an art to teaching as well as science, and that warmth, sympathy and understanding are sometimes more important than policy or what the data say. My first priority is to do no harm to the children entrusted to my temporary care.”

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