HARRISBURG – Following assurances today by Acting Secretary of Education Carolyn Dumaresq in a letter to Rep. Paul Clymer (R-Bucks), chairman of the House Education Committee, Clymer has decided to postpone two upcoming hearings on Gov. Tom Corbett’s call for review of the Pennsylvania Academic Standards. The Pennsylvania Academic Standards replaced the problematic Common Core Standards implemented under the Rendell administration as the educational baseline system in the Commonwealth. Unlike Common Core, the Academic Standards ensures local control of curriculum.
Clymer agreed to delay the hearings following consultation with Reps. Seth Grove (R-York) and Ryan Aument (R-Lancaster), members of the Education Committee who had earlier called for the hearings.
“In light of assurances from the administration that there are no plans to try and reopen or change the Pennsylvania Academic Standards, I have decided to postpone the hearings,” said Clymer. “The State Board of Education is planning a review of the eligible content, not the standards themselves, and will be accepting further public comment. I have been assured the House Education Committee will be consulted with once the review is completed. I am certain the review will once again demonstrate that we have taken the appropriate action in implementing a locally controlled academic system focusing on rigorous academic standards, as opposed to following any federal directives.”
Contained in the letter, Dumaresq recognizes that it was a House resolution, authored by Rep. Hal English (R-Allegheny), along with advocacy by House Republicans that spurred the creation of the Pennsylvania Academic Standards. Under the standards, several positive changes have taken place, such as ensuring the state’s standards are rigorous in achieving student academic success; retaining local control of curriculum development; prohibiting state-mandated reading lists or curriculum; refraining from any nationalized tests or assessments; and ensuring no further personal or student data is collected as a result of the standards.
Clymer said the House Education Committee, including Reps. Grove and Aument, will continue to monitor the state board’s progress during the review process.
The letter from Dumaresq requesting postponement of the hearings and an outline of the State Education Board’s proposed timeline is attached.