Sorry, Common Core. Last night just wasn’t your night. Voters resoundingly sided with candidates who rejected Common Core national standards and tests and promised to restore state and local control of education.
Two races for state superintendent were particularly notable in this regard. In Arizona, Diane Douglas ran on an anti–Common Core platform during her campaign for the state’s top education post. She appears to have clinched the job. As Politico noted, “Republican Diane Douglas — another staunch opponent of the Common Core — was leading in the state superintendent race early Wednesday with 87 percent of the vote counted. . . . Her victory would be a huge win for the anti-Common Core movement.”
Richard Woods will become Georgia’s new state superintendent. Woods also campaigned on an anti–Common Core platform and has pledged to work to create Georgia-based standards to determine what will be taught in the Peach State.
In South Carolina, Molly Spearman won her bid for state superintendent. The state withdrew from Common Core earlier this year. In writing the Palmetto State’s own education standards, Spearman is expected to follow the lead of Governor Nikki Haley.
Over in Wyoming, Jillian Balow won the race for superintendent. She has suggested that she’ll review that state’s involvement in Common Core.
The potential for Arizona and Georgia to reject Common Core and forge a new path forward is particularly notable.
Douglas told the Arizona Republic she was optimistic about the results, and that “voters were voicing their opposition to Common Core standards, her key issue in the campaign.” And Arizona Governor-elect Doug Ducey has said the state can do better than federally funded standards, which should not be imposed from the top down.
Momentum against Common Core has been mounting. Already this year four states — Indiana, Oklahoma, South Carolina, and Louisiana — withdrew from the national standards and tests. More than a dozen other states have either exited or downgraded their involvement with the assessment component.
Last night parents, teachers, and taxpayers continued that momentum, underscoring their opposition to Common Core by voting for candidates who support state and local control of education.
— Lindsey Burke is the Will Skillman Fellow in Education at the Heritage Foundation.