The House Education Committee has postponed indefinitely planned hearings on the state's academic standards, known as the Pennsylvania Core Academic Standards, a variation of the Common Core State Standards.
State Rep. Paul Clymer, chair of the House Education Committee, today issued a news release announcing the postponement.
The hearings were sought by state Reps. Seth Grove, R-York, and Ryan Aument, R-Lancaster, after Gov. Tom Corbett issued a statement last week calling for "continued public review" of the standards in English language arts and math in elementary and secondary public schools.
In 2010, the state Board of Education approved the Common Core State Standards, which were developed by the National Governors Association and Council of Chief State School Officers. The Common Core provided national standards as well as an opportunity for states to add some state-specific standards. Last year, Pennsylvania made some changes from the 2010 version although much of the Common Core remains. The regulatory process for the changes was completed early this year.
The governor's news release last week called the review the "final phase in his nearly three-year effort to permanently roll back the national Common Core plan implemented by his predecessor, Gov. (Ed) Rendell."
This week, acting education secretary Carolyn Dumaresq wrote Mr. Clymer a letter asking for the hearings to be rescheduled.
Her letter notes the governor has asked the state board to take "an additional step," which will be a "public and transparent process to review the 'eligible content' derived from the new standards that are now law. In layman's terms, eligible content is what students should know and be able to do as a result of instruction."
She said this can take place without changing the existing legislation.
In his news release, Mr. Clymer said, "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."
Education writer Eleanor Chute: firstname.lastname@example.org or 412-263-1955.