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House of Representatives
Session of 2021 - 2022 Regular Session


Posted: June 18, 2013 12:35 PM
From: Representative John A. Lawrence and Rep. Will Tallman, Rep. Stephen Bloom, Rep. Rob W. Kauffman
To: All House members
Subject: Common Core Educational Standards in the Commonwealth
Dear Colleagues –

In the near future, we intend to introduce a package of legislation to address several concerns with the impending implementation of Common Core educational standards in the Commonwealth.

We would appreciate your support of these initiatives. If there are any questions or concerns, please contact Karen Updegraff at Kupdegra@pahousegop.com or 717-260-6117 or Carol Hoffman at Choffman@pahousegop.com or717 -783-8875. Thank you.

Document #1

Introduced as HB1551

Description: HB 1551 - Legislation to repeal the State Board of Education Pennsylvania Common Core Standards. (Tallman)
As we have all heard, Common Core Standards were put in place by an unelected body, and have come under increasing criticism.  This legislation will stop any further implementation of Common Core in Pennsylvania.  Contrary to other people’s comments, Common Core removes local control as this quote from Bill Gates at the NCSL meeting in 2009 indicates: “When the tests are aligned to the Common Standards, the curriculum will line up as well.”  In addition, this legislation will prevent additional funds from being spent to implement Common Core.  My fear is that teachers will be in a straitjacket, not being able to adequately address individual student needs, nor be able to stress one area of subject material for a longer or shorter period of time based on the learning ability of the students.

Document #2

Introduced as HB1552

Description: HB 1552 - Exempting private, religious and home-schools from Common Core Standards (Bloom)
This bill will specifically prohibit the imposition by the State Board of Education or any other agency or instrumentality of the Commonwealth of Common Core State Standards and related initiatives (such as uniform testing and expanded student data-gathering) upon private, religious or homeschool educational settings.

Document #3

Introduced as HB1553

Description: HB 1553 - National Standardized Assessments and Surveys (Kauffman)
This proposal will prohibit State imposition of national standardized assessments and surveys on Pennsylvania public schools.  In 2010, the State Board of Education (State Board) adopted the Common Core State Standards in English and Mathematics.  Since that time, the Pennsylvania Department of Education (PDE) and the State Board have modified the state assessments administered to students in Pennsylvania public schools for consistency with our new State standards.  Many constituents have expressed concern that Pennsylvania’s adoption of academic standards that are common to many states may result in adoption of national standardized tests for our students.  PDE has assured me that the Corbett Administration has no intention of adopting any sort of national exam.  However, a future governor will not be bound by such a commitment.  This legislation will prohibit PDE, the Secretary of Education, or the State Board from imposing a national standardized assessment or survey on any student enrolled in a Pennsylvania public school.  By doing so, this bill will help to ensure that future academic assessments administered in our public schools will be designed specifically for Pennsylvania students in response to the Commonwealth’s unique needs.

Document #4

Introduced as HB1554

Description: HB 1554 – Prohibition of individual student data transfer to the Federal Government (Lawrence)
A number of constituents have approached me with a specific concern surrounding the transfer of individual, private student data collected at the state and local level to the federal government.  In my view, there is no reason for the federal government to obtain, maintain, or compile any sort of database on individual students from across the United States.  Education is a matter left to the states, and this legislation will prohibit the transfer of any student specific data to the federal government without specific authorization from the student’s parents.

Document #5

Introduced as HB1555

Description: HB 1555 – Advisory Committee to conduct a study of Common Core Standards prior to any implementation (Tallman)
This bill requires a study to be conducted before the implementation of Common Core Standards in Pennsylvania.  An advisory committee will be created with members of both the House and Senate Education Committees and one member to be appointed by the Governor.  This committee will be required to look at both the pros and cons regarding the use of Common Core Standards for education in the Commonwealth.  Additionally, they will hold at least two public meetings.  The committee will issue the report on November 1, 2014.  No Common Core Standards will be implemented until 90 days after this report is released.