Common Core in SC … why we are POWERLESS to stop it.

I lifted this from an email I received from Kris / SC District 5 Patriots


I received a reply from State Superintendent of Education Mick Zais and have forwarded it below. While he agrees that the adoption of Common Core Standards will be detrimental to the education of South Carolina’s children, his response is quite troubling.

BOTTOM LINE: Neither he, nor our state legislature, can do anything to stop it because the power over academic policies in the state of South Carolina rests solely with two agencies whose members are unelected and have no accountability to the people: The SC Board of Education and the Education Oversight Committee. According to Rep. Ralph Norman, the SC Legislature gave the SC Board of Education total authority over public education in our state in 1998 because “…the thinking at the time … is that this board had the expertise and knowledge to make this type of decision.”

So how is that working out for us??? NAEP ranks us dead last in the nation! Other states are making legislative changes to prohibit Common Core in their states. Our SC legislature, on the other hand, can’t do anything about it, nor, can our State Superintendent of Education, because the authority to educate our kids has been given to an unelected, unaccountable entity.

My thought is this: If the SC Legislature can give the power to the State Board of Education, it can take it away! How do we do this??? Where do we start?

Here are some facts and links to what other states are doing:

Alabama announced that they are withdrawing from PARCC (Common Core) to pursue testing elsewhere. This leaves PARCC with 22 states using their materials. Utah had previously announced they were withdrawing from Smarter Balance (Common Core) leaving SB with only 24 states. So the numbers are dwindling with more and more states finding out what the impact of these standards will be.

Vote allows Common Core to continue for K-2 temporarily

Former TX Supt of Ed on Common Core:


From: Ed, SCSupt

Subject: RE: Common Core Standards in SC
To: SCD5 Patriots

Dear Kris:

Thank you for your recent correspondence regarding the Common Core State Standards.

I did not support the adoption of the Common Core State Standards as a candidate for State Superintendent of Education because they would limit the State’s ability to determine academic standards in English-language arts and mathematics. Rather than personalizing and customizing education as I have championed, the Common Core is a one-size-fits-all solution that does not recognize the different aspirations and interests of students.

Academic standards are adopted by two entities: the State Board of Education and the Education Oversight Committee. The State Superintendent of Education does not have a vote on either board and does not appoint any members to them. In 2010, prior to my election, both bodies adopted the Common Core State Standards. Again, I did not support the adoption of these standards.

However, I have repeatedly said I will fulfill my oath of office to faithfully implement and administer statewide academic standards, established by the State Board of Education and the Education Oversight Committee, though I may disagree with them. To reverse the adoption of the Common Core would require both bodies to adopt new standards, and those of us who did not support the Common Core are not in the majority on either board.

I worked with the South Carolina General Assembly to prohibit the iteration of the Common Core State Standards: science. Two budget provisos specifically prohibit the adoption of the Next Generation Science Standards for the next fiscal year. Budget provisos are one-year laws though, so they must be renewed in the next budget to maintain the ban against these Common Core-like academic standards. South Carolina’s current science standards were rated as an “A-minus” by the Fordham Institute, an education research organization. South Carolina was one of only six states to receive a rating of “A” or “A-minus” for their science standards.

The Common Core State Standards issue shows how unelected bodies like the State Board of Education and the Education Oversight Committee make far-reaching policy decisions.

Thank you again for your correspondence regarding this important issue.


Mick Zais, Ph.D.
State Superintendent of Education

February 21, 2013   Posted in: Uncategorized

7 Responses

  1. cibby - February 21, 2013

    It seems that answers are framed to suit the audience here. Wen I met with a District 7 Associate Superintendent last month, I was told that Common Core really wasn’t so bad, and that rejecting it would entail the loss of significant federal subsidies.

    I didn’t like the answer then, and like it even less now that I’ve had a chance to look into it a bit. All that I see is a massive lowering of the bar so that educators can brag about increasing the percentages of students who are “above” the median level. When the median line is on the floor, there is a very negative gain for future generations. The government’s concerted effort to dumb-down the population to prepare them to be obedient sheep is beginning to show signs of real success.

    If that we’re nothing more than a conspiracy theory, would they also be doing all possible to put an end to home schooling?

  2. Steve Haynie - February 22, 2013

    In January Dr. Kelly Pew, Superintendent of Pickens County Schools, addressed the Pickens County Taxpayers Association. During her discussion she mentioned Common Core Standards with a brief, positive view. After the meeting I made sure to ask more about those standards and was told they are only for English and math, NOT science and history. The Common Core Standards are being applied to kindergarten through fifth grade in this school year. They will be applied to all grades in the next school year.

    This is a new situation that has not been implemented for a full year. We must act now. I have contacted my Representative about this matter in the last month. Everyone else must do the same. The state should be able to take away the authority of the SC Board of Education and the Education Oversight Committee to keep education standards within our own State Department of Education.

  3. Margaret - February 22, 2013

    I’m glad there are some discerning “watchmen on the walls” opposing the continued down grading of education in SC. I learned a month ago or more ago that Supt. Zais would implement Common Core and I was sorely disappointed in him. When Mr. Zais was elected Supt. of Education, I assumed that he would oversee more wisely than his predecessors, public education options for our citizen children. His response to Kris regarding the power of the unelected bodies of the “State Board of Education” and the “Education Oversight Committee” was eye opening to me.

    The maze of bureaucracy is like a house of mirrors, allowing the enemies of a free republic to dismantle our constitutional foundations while the American voter stares confusedly wondering how and why their homeland is crumbling. When you combine this bureaucracy with a dumbed-down, entertainment crazed culture it is a wonder that we are not in worse shape than we are. I can only attribute the fact that there is even the semblance of freedom left in America to the merciful, gracious hand of God. May He help us in the days ahead and may He raise up a remnant of young leaders who understand what they have lost and how they might recover the treasure that was the U.S.A.

    Lindsay Burke of the Heritage Foundation suggests an exit strategy for Common Core as sited in the link below.

  4. kelly hamilton - March 14, 2013

    People should be very afraid of CCSS, IMO. It is a profitering racket on the backs of our children. The development & support of CCSS is corrupt, the Obamacare eqiv in education, and everyone (regardless of political beliefs)should be very worried about the the “data mining” taking place.

  5. Steve Haynie - March 14, 2013

    One of my resolutions to be presented at precinct reorganization is on ending Common Core in South Carolina. The wording still needs some refinement, but there is a week to get it right.

  6. BettyRowland - October 26, 2013

    I gave out fliers on common Core to 30 parents at a local school, while waiting to pick up child. Not one parent knew anything about cc! These parents are in the dark. How to get more parents to do their research needs to be done. Any suggestions?

  7. kelly - October 28, 2013


    I agree. The majority of parents in my area only know the talking points schools give them on CCSS. I think fliers are good. Maybe a “Trick & NO Treat” flier to hand out on Halloween to parents out with their children. Stacks can be left at church events and other fall festivals. I placed some in mailboxes. For me, it was important to keep the political rhetoric out, and stick to the facts; in addition, I listed conservative and liberal leaning citations/websites. Despite the media bashing of the tea party, the fact is opposition to CCSS covers all political stripes, albeit for different reasons. Good luck! Quite a few around me think I’m nutty :-)

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