Efforts to roll back Common Core have begun to stall in the week since opponents scored a surprise victory in the state House of Representatives.
The Senate has declined to take up a measure that would delay the tests that go with Common Core for two years, and a House subcommittee has killed legislation that would repeal the national education standards in Tennessee. The Senate Education Committee also has quietly dropped another bill that would have repealed Common Core.
The developments this week suggest that Gov. Bill Haslam and other Republican leaders who support Common Core appear to have contained the fallout from the upset opponents scored on March 13, when they succeeded in attaching the two-year delay to Common Core to an unrelated education bill.
On Wednesday, Haslam enlisted the help of former Florida Gov. Jeb Bush, one of the GOP's biggest proponents of Common Core.
During an invitation-only discussion with Haslam and U.S. Sen. Lamar Alexander, Bush said Common Core represents what he wants to see teachers and students striving for: "higher, fewer, meaningful standards that are benchmarked to the best in the world." He said Common Core came out of the states before President Barack Obama was even elected, but it faces a misconception that it's being imposed by the federal government.
Asked if he was concerned about the House vote, Bush replied, "No, I'm not concerned about anything."
"I am," Haslam said with a laugh.
The House voted 82-11 to approve an amended version of House Bill 1129 last week. Originally a measure on teaching the U.S. Constitution, the bill was changed to include a freeze on the introduction of new Common Core standards until July 1, 2016, and a delay to Partnership for Assessment of Readiness for College and Career exams until the 2016-17 school year.
Other than putting off the computerized PARCC exam, the bill's impact largely would be symbolic.
Lt. Gov. Ron Ramsey says he objects to the manner in which Common Core foes forced their legislation to the floor, suggesting he will not rush to schedule a Senate vote on the bill.
Staff writer Michael Cass contributed to this article.
Reach Chas Sisk at 615-259-8283 and on Twitter @chassisk.