Ashton Marra Published

Lawmakers Skeptical of Superintendent's Common Core Repeal


House Speaker Tim Armstead said he was surprised to hear West Virginia Superintendent of Schools Dr. Michael Martirano had proposed repealing the state’s Common Core-based education standards, but is skeptical of the new set of standards backed by the schools chief. 

Martirano proposed a repeal during a West Virginia Board of Education meeting Friday, presenting board members with a new set of guidelines called the West Virginia College and Career Ready standards. 

Armstead, who said Sunday he has yet to review the proposed standards himself, so far is not happy with the feedback he’s receiving.

“The initial sort of feedback we’re getting is that this isn’t a huge change from what we already had,” he said.

The difference between the sets of standards, Armstead called that a “big concern.” 

“If we’re looking at just tweaking what we already have, I think that’s not going to work,” Armstead said. “I don’t think that’s going to get us where we need to go.”

Senate President Bill Cole has directed a side-by-side comparison of the Next Generation Content Standards, which were based on Common Core, but altered by West Virginia teacher workgroups before their adoption, and the College and Career Ready standards. 

“If they’re truly going to be college and career ready standards then I want to see evidence of that,” Cole said. 

Martirano’s proposed standards are a result of a six month review process that included a website for recommendations to change the standards and a set of statewide public forums where parents, teachers and community members could ask questions of educators about the standards.

West Virginia teachers and curriculum specialists at West Virginia University then compiled those recommendations, using them to help write the new College and Career Ready guidelines. 

“I listened to our experts who are trained in this arena and we’ve developed a tremendous product that all West Virginians should be very proud of right now,” Martirano said.

The West Virginia Board of Education will enter a final vote on repeal during their December board meeting.

Armstead predicted lawmakers will want to discuss the standards during the upcoming legislative session.