South Carolina Superintendent of Schools Mick Zais has spoken plainly about it from the beginning: He doesn't want Common Core standards to be used in the state.
He lobbied for legislation that bans it from use here. And he promised to deliver new standards that would be written specifically for South Carolina, not one-size-fits-all nationwide standards.
But he shouldn't let his distaste for Common Core standards interfere with the people writing new standards.
Mr. Zais' office says it was simply a miscommunication that led those people to believe they shouldn't even consider Common Core standards, along with others, in the process of developing new ones. He was trying to say that South Carolina's standards will not be Common Core's with a different name.
Clearly withholding that tool from the new standards development teams would deprive them of important information, just as it would if other state standards were made off-limits.
Mr. Zais has said South Carolina will not sacrifice rigor in its state-written standards. Given the state's disappointing PASS test results released last week, studying Common Core standards is even more important. Some experts say the drop in scores relates to changes in the test because of Common Core. Other states, too, have had scores slide because Common Core standards are more rigorous.
Besides, if parts of Common Core's standards are worthy, they shouldn't be dismissed just because they are Common Core.
Planners are already under significant pressure because of Mr. Zais' assertion that the new standards will be complete and ready for use in the 2015-2016 school year. He disputes the contention that there's not enough time to finish the job.
The task at hand is very important if South Carolina schools are going to produce graduates who are ready for college. Those who are working on the standards should be given all the support and latitude they need to come up with meaningful and rigorous standards.
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