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story.lead_photo.caption Gov. Asa Hutchinson, along with Lt. Gov. Tim Griffin, announced the creation of the Governor's Council on Common Core Review on Wednesday. ( Danielle Kloap)

Gov. Asa Hutchinson announced Wednesday the creation of a task force to review Common Core that will be helmed by Lt. Gov. Tim Griffin.

The governor said the creation of the Governor's Council on Common Core Review fulfills one of his campaign promises to address growing concerns about Common Core, a set of common math and English standards adopted by most of the 50 states.

"This is one of the topics in the last several years that has created controversy not just in Arkansas, but nationally," Hutchinson said at a news conference. "I said during the campaign that as governor, I would be open minded on topic but there does need to be review on Common Core standards."

Several legislators have been working on bills that would address growing dissatisfaction over Common Core, including repealing the standards or altering them significantly, the Arkansas Democrat-Gazette previously reported.

"There have been a lot of questions raised, and there's a lack of confidence in [Common Core standards] and concern about the testing side, but we're not here to prejudge what's been done," Hutchinson said. "The council will review where we are, where we need to go. This is not preordained; this is a listening opportunity."

One of the bills, sponsored by Rep. Mark Lowery, R-Maumelle, would discontinue use of the Partnership for Assessment of Readiness for College and Careers exams that are administered in grades three through 11.

Hutchinson said this council would not provide feedback quick enough to affect the outcome of the testing for this school year.

The council will be composed of 16 members, including educators, parents, business leaders and students appointed by the governor.

Hutchinson said he expects the council to make recommendations on education standards, implementation of those standards, local flexibility and student assessments and student data privacy.

The council will make recommendations to the governor in early summer and fall. Griffin said Hutchinson will be the "decision-maker" once the council makes the recommendations.

Online applications for the committee will be accepted through next Friday at Hutchinson will announce the members early next month.

Read Thursday’s Arkansas Democrat-Gazette for full details.


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Archived Comments

  • mohog65
    February 11, 2015 at 4:36 p.m.

    Arkansas has lagged in education for decades. I remember the expression "Thank goodness for Mississippi" that was cited as having the worst schools in the nation with Arkansas being next to last.

    It appears that many are trying to scuttle attempts to improve the quality of education, especially in the critical areas of critical thinking, science and math.

    Let us hope what Arkansas develops will be to improve education and not be a race to the bottom.

  • wolfman
    February 11, 2015 at 7:35 p.m.

    get back to the basics. get away from this fancy crap that doesnt teach kids anything.

  • mitchstoner
    February 11, 2015 at 10:10 p.m.

    Mohog, you are, like me, concerned about the poor ranking of Arkansas education. But I've got to say, Common Core definitely needs some in-depth scrutiny, and possibly needs to be ditched.

    My exposure to CC is limited, and I can't reveal who I learned this from, but at least in math, 1st grade teachers are required to follow some extremely complex fad methods that I believe are far beyond the reasoning ability of most if not all 6 year olds. I was given some detailed examples by a life-long professional educator. I would guess the majority of children entering 2nd grade, who were taught by the CC methods in 1st grade, will have little or no math skills.

    I urge people to investigate this for themselves. Ask parents of young kids or someone you know who has taught in public schools a few years how the CC methods are working out.