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Member's Press Release

Release Date: 08/04/2015
Contact: Jacque Bland 304-357-7999


President Cole Tim Armstead


Senate President Cole, Speaker Armstead Sign Letter to Revoke ‘Memorandum of Agreement’ Regarding Common Core Standards

CHARLESTON – Senate President Bill Cole, R-Mercer, and Speaker of the House Tim Armstead, R-Kanawha, today sent a letter to the National Governors Association Center for Best Practices and the Council of Chief State School Officers revoking a 2009 Memorandum of Agreement between the State of West Virginia and the NGA regarding the development of Common Core standards.

The agreement, which was signed by then-Senate President Earl Ray Tomblin, D-Logan, and then-Speaker of the House Rick Thompson, D-Wayne, as well as Gov. Joe Manchin and former West Virginia State Superintendent of Schools Steven Paine, committed West Virginia to a state-led process that would lead to the development and adoption of a “common core of state standards” in English and mathematics for Kindergarten through grade 12.

The West Virginia Board of Education approved the adoption of Common Core State Standards for English and math in May 2010, which would be called West Virginia Next Generation Content Standards. West Virginia schools began administering the Smarter Balanced Assessment this spring.

The repeal of West Virginia’s Next Generation/Common Core standards will be a one of the topics of discussion during September’s interim meetings.

“This letter represents a symbol of the commitment that we have in the Legislature to repeal these Common Core standards and to eliminate the Smarter Balanced testing for our students once and for all,” Senate President Cole said. “We must find a way to improve our student achievement and fix our education system, and the way to begin that progress is to eliminate Common Core in West Virginia.”

“It is vitally important that we maintain an educational system in West Virginia that is second to none. The common core standards are clearly not the answer to ensuring the high level of classroom instruction we need in our state,” Speaker Armstead said. “Our action today demonstrates our commitment to repealing these standards and replacing them with standards that reflect West Virginia's values and talents. Together, we must begin the process, working with teachers and parents throughout our state, to establish strong standards of student achievement that will provide our children with the knowledge, training and skills they need to succeed in the 21st century workforce.”

A copy of the letter can be viewed here: http://bit.ly/1OOlsiW.




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