A task force is being created to study Common Core education standards in Arkansas. Gov. Asa Hutchinson announced Wednesday he will form a 16-member council led by Lt. Gov. Tim Griffin to ensure the state’s public schools aren’t weakened by conforming to federal expectations.
Hutchinson, a Republican who promised such a review while running for governor, said they will have key goals to evaluate the guidelines.
"First, we do not want to diminish high standards of education in Arkansas. Secondly, we want the standards to be measurable so that we can compare what’s happening in Arkansas with happening in other states in terms of performance. Thirdly, we do want within those standards a maximum amount of flexibility for our local school districts to teach in a way that meets the needs of the students," Hutchinson said.
The governor said the task force will be made up educators, parents, business leaders and students from all over the state with an interest in education and economic growth.
Griffin is to report back to Hutchinson in the early summer and again in the fall after the group does its work.
"We’ve got to make sure that our students here in Arkansas are the best educated, not just in the United States, but in the world because that’s where we are competing," Griffin said.
Common Core standards are intended to ensure that students are ready for college or a career when they leave high school. A majority of states have adopted the standards, but several are doing a reexamination, fearing they may allow too much influence from federal officials.
Griffin said his goal as the leader of the panel is to “set a tone of listening.” He said he wants to hear opinions of Arkansans from all backgrounds and areas throughout the state.
The governor’s office is accepting applications online from those wanting to serve on the panel through Feb. 20. To apply for a position on the council visit: http://governor.arkansas.gov/governors-council-on-common-core-review.