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Maryland Legislators Work To Ease Common Core

Maryland Legislators Work To Ease Common Core

Maryland's Legislature is doing its homework on Common Core, with action on three bills recently to ease the transition.

Maryland State Education Association president Betty Weller said it's encouraging to see that concerns about Common Core are being addressed - from ensuring that misaligned state standardized test scores aren't used punitively for at least a couple of years to establishing a workgroup that includes parents to provide feedback on how to improve Common Core implementation.

"I think Maryland legislators are recognizing that educators and students need time and the resources and the flexibility to get these very major changes right," she said.

Weller said several pieces of legislation that have passed in the Senate or House faced very little opposition and have strong support from parents, superintendents and school boards.

Common Core itself isn't what's being debated in these bills, and Weller said educators support the new standards - it's just that there's a need for other types of support, to help make the change to Common Core and new evaluation systems happen smoothly.

"I don't think in my career, anyway, we've ever tried to do quite so much in terms of change all at one time," Weller said. "And it's massive, so it takes time."

Another bill that passed the House last weekend with no opposition would set up an oversight process for any federal waivers the state files as part of the transition - to make sure those waivers don't run afoul of state law.

The Common Core Legislation is SB 676, HB 1001, and HB 1164.


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