Anti-Common Core Efforts Are Failing…Badly

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Blake Neff Reporter
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Supporters of Common Core won another victory on Tuesday, as South Dakota lawmakers shot down an effort to repeal Common Core in the state. The defeat is the fourth for Common Core foes in the last month, following earlier failures in Mississippi, North Dakota and Arizona.

The failures are disheartening for conservative activists who were fired up after Republican victories in last year’s midterms. Four defeats in Republican-controlled legislatures, however, indicate that the standards still enjoy substantial support from the party, and that the “toxic” standards remain robust despite the repeated attacks on them. (RELATED: Midterms Great For Choice, Bad For Common Core)

The South Dakota bill had appeared to be dead last week when a state House committee narrowly rejected the proposal, which would give the state until 2017 to craft a new set of replacement standards. However, the law’s backers managed to take it directly to the floor by using a “smoke-out” rule that allows a bill to be raised directly on the floor if at least one-third of representatives agree.

It was all for naught, though. A procedural vote that would have put the measure onto the Wednesday legislative calendar was rejected, 31-39, putting the matter to rest for the remainder of the legislative session.

The defeat in South Dakota is particularly painful for Common Core foes. While in several states the standards have survived thanks to a large Democratic minority cooperating with a minority of Republicans, in South Dakota Republicans totally dominate. The state House has 58 Republicans and only 12 Democrats, meaning the standards only survived because a large number of Republicans have been willing to hold the line.

The law was also more moderate than many other Common Core-related proposals, by giving the state’s schools several years to transition out.

The vote is the second defeat in two days for the movement to kill Common Core, as Arizona’s Senate rejected a similar bill on Monday, likely ending any hope of a repeal there for 2015. Measures to fully repeal the Core also failed in Mississippi and North Dakota’s legislature a few weeks ago.

Another failure will likely occur in the near future in Montana. There, the Republican-controlled House passed a repeal bill last week, but is expected to hit a wall in the form of Gov. Steve Bullock, a Democrat who supports the Core.

All is not lost however. Several more Republican-controlled states are likely to see a repeal push in the near future, including Kansas, Wisconsin and Tennessee. Just one victory may be enough to restore momentum to the flagging movement. (RELATED: Tennessee School Leaders Beg For Common Core To Stay)

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