Lansing— State Sen. Howard Walker introduced a resolution Wednesday that would revive funding for and continue implementation of Michigan’s Common Core State Standards.
The Senate concurrent resolution by Howard, R-Traverse City, is similar to one passed by the Michigan House last month, but includes some language that aims to clarify some misconceptions about the standards, which are stricter benchmarks in reading and math for K-12 students.
“There has been a lot of confusion and concern that the federal government developed these standards. They did not. They were developed by the National Governors Association” and the Council of Chief State School Officers, Walker’s chief of staff, Eric Dean, said.
After being introduced, the bill was refereed to the government operations committee.
In July, Republican lawmakers blocked state funding for the standards for the 2013-14 school year amid concerns that they intrude on local school control.
Some lawmakers oppose not only the standards but also the assessment aligned with them known as Smarter Balanced, a computer adaptive testaligned to the Common Core standards, which is supposed to replace the Michigan Educational Assessment Program.
The Senate resolution also states that lawmakers believe any state assessment tool should be a computer adaptive that measures individual student growth.
The legislation before the Senate has several restrictions for state spending on implementation of Common Core, including barring the state Education Department from collecting and sharing personal information about students and families with the federal government.
Michigan’s State Board of Education adopted the standards in 2010, and that year school districts began implementing them in their curriculum.
On Oct. 1, when funding in the new fiscal year began and Common Core became an unfunded standard, the Michigan Department of Education claimed to have had to shut down its website due to references to Common Core.
Their website remained operational after the Michigan Department of Technology, Management and Budget, determined there was no extra cost to leave the site operating “as is.”