Lansing— The state House gave final legislative approval to previously controversial Common Core educational standards Tuesday by voice vote without discussion — ending a delay of their adoption into classrooms.
House acceptance of Senate changes made last week to a concurrent resolution allows the Michigan Department of Education to go ahead with implementation of the national guidelines for assessing student achievement in public schools.
The state Education Department’s work on the standards had been on hold as lawmakers took time to consider opponents’ concerns. Critics charged adoption of Common Core essentially would subject Michigan schools to a federal takeover of what students are taught.
“We brought it up, there was no opposition (and) it’s done,” said Ari Adler, press secretary to House Speaker Jase Bolger, R-Marshall.
Education Trust-Midwest, which strongly backs Common Core, hailed the House action.
“The standards, with aligned assessments, are one of the most critically important foundations for raising student achievement for states today,” said Amber Arellano, executive director for the non-partisan research, information and advocacy center.
The foundation, based in Royal Oak, says its mission is to raise learning for Michigan students, especially African-American, Hispanic and low-income children.
Bill DiSessa, spokesman for the Michigan Department of Education, said the department resumed helping local districts implement Common Core last week when the Senate approved its measure allowing funds to be spent on the standards.
"The most immediate impact for local districts is our resumption of approving their federal Title I consolidated applications, allowing them to qualify and draw down those federal dollars," DiSessa said. "Prior to the actions by the Senate and House of Representatives, MDE staff has not been able to do any work involving even the closest tie to Michigan’s content standards, which are the Common Core State Standards."