A bill to completely dismantle Common Core in the state died in the House Education Subcommittee Tuesday.
HB 2332/ SB 2405 wanted to discontinue the use of the more rigorous standards adopted voluntarily by 45 states. Seven representatives voted against it, two in favor.
Loudon County Superintendent Jason Vance said he thinks some legislators are confusing the Common Core standards, which he finds beneficial, with the associated tests and implementation issues.
He agrees the test, or PARCC, still needs some time. That's why he supports a period he calls the "hold harmless timezone." It means they would move forward with the PARCC test, scheduled to begin next year, but not hold teachers accountable for those test scores at first.
"We've always seen dips in scores when we change standardized tests. It's not going to be any different this time. Teachers don't need to be penalized for that, rather we need to take a strong look at it and try to make adjustments along the way," Vance said.
Vance said he feels like the legislature is taking education in the wrong direction. Last Thursday, the House passed a bill 82-11 to delay some Common Core standards and the PARCC test for two years.
"I think to back up would be detrimental to students," Vance said. "I do think we need to continue moving forward."
Vance said his teachers have gone through two years of professional development preparing for Common Core standards and he said they are ready.
Dr. Cassie Watson, an 11th grade English teacher, said she cannot go back now that she's learned to teach with these standards.
"I think we're finally getting there and they just want to put it on pause," she said.
Whatever happens, both Vance and Dr. Watson say they want to see the common core standards stay the same.