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Statement from Gov. Bob Wise on States Withdrawing from the Common Core State Standards

“I prefer to think of the glass as thirty-five to forty states full rather than three to four empty,” said Gov. Wise.

WASHINGTON, DC – More than forty states and the District of Columbia have adopted Common Core State Standards in English language arts and mathematics. Of those, three to four states have recently withdrawn or are considering a “pause” in implementing the standards. In response, Bob Wise, president of the Alliance for Excellent Education and former governor of West Virginia, issued the following statement:

“I prefer to think of the glass as thirty-five to forty states full rather than three to four empty.

“The knowledge and skills that students need to be ready for college and a career do not differ from state to state. That’s why I think states withdrawing from the Common Core to develop their own standards will eventually come back to the Common Core standards or something very close to them, as was Indiana’s experience. Even states that say they are rejecting the Common Core are doing it as ‘repeal-lite.’

“State legislators backtracking from the Common Core are essentially junking the tens of millions of dollars and countless efforts and hours spent developing curricula and conducting massive professional development. It’s tough enough being an educator today without having constant political pressure and uncertainty surrounding which standards you’re supposed to use.

“Withdrawing from the Common Core might be an easy vote for state legislators to cast, but it will be difficult from them to explain why what they did was better, especially teachers, parents, and business leaders and who are very supportive of the Common Core.

“In most states, the Common Core State Standards represent a vast improvement over previous standards because they are aligned with the real demands of college and careers, internationally benchmarked, and build off the best existing state standards in this country. That’s why thirty-plus states are aggressively implementing the Common Core.”


The Alliance for Excellent Education is a Washington, DC–based national policy and advocacy organization dedicated to ensuring all students, particularly those traditionally underserved, graduate from high school ready for success in college, work, and citizenship.

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