Texas Attorney General Greg Abbott issued an opinion today saying that public schools in Texas must not implement the Common Core State Standards.
State Senator Dan Patrick (R-Houston) who chairs the Texas Senate Education Committee, asked Abbott to render an opinion after the Texas Legislature banned the use of the Common Core in Texas schools. Patrick was also a co-sponsor for that bill. He wanted to avoid any confusion over the intent and meaning of the law.
While the standards were never adopted in Texas; Common Core aligned materials have made their way into the state. Also some educators in the state were concerned that some of the Texas education standards, the Texas Essential Knowledge and Skills (TEKS), overlapped with the Common Core.
“That concern is baseless,” Abbott wrote in his opinion. “To use a simple example, if TEKS requires teaching that 2+2=4, the bill plainly does not prevent this instruction simply because Common Core also teaches that 2+2=4. The Legislature was aware of the frequent overlap between the TEKS and the Common Core Standards, as evidenced by the bill author’s explanation that it was not his intent ‘to prevent the use of materials where the two standards may overlap.’”
“The stated intent of the bill was to prohibit the ‘outright adoption of national common core standards,’” Abbott added. “Accordingly, school districts must not use the Common Core Standards to comply with the requirement to provide instruction in ‘the essential knowledge and skills at appropriate grade levels.’”
Abbott, a Republican, is currently running for Governor. Texas Governor Rick Perry announced last summer that he would not run for reelection, and has not ruled out another presidential run in 2016. Abbott leads his Democratic opponent State Senator Wendy Davis (D-Ft. Worth) by almost 13 points according to Real Clear Politics.