Tea Party to host anti-Common Core meeting

By Chris Kieffer

Daily Journal

TUPELO – The Tupelo Tea Party will meet Monday night to discuss concerns about the new Common Core State Standards.



The meeting is intentionally planned for the night before Tuesday’s Mississippi Education Symposium, which will focus on innovation in education, the use of technology and preparing teachers for using the new standards. The symposium will be headlined by William Bennett, who served as U.S. Secretary of Education under Ronald Reagan.

The meeting will start at 6 p.m. at the BancorpSouth Conference Center.

Speakers include State Sen. Angela Burks Hill, R-Picayune, and Whitney Neal, director of grassroots for FreedomWorks. Neal will give a presentation via Skype from Washington, D.C., and there will be a question-and-answer session.

Hill is a member of the Mississippi Senate Conservative Coalition, which has been vocal in its opposition to the Common Core State Standards.

The standards are new guidelines for English and math instruction that were developed by the National Governors Association and the Council of Chief State School Officers. They were fully adopted by 45 states and the District of Columbia.

Many schools have already begun to introduce the new standards, and students will begin to be tested on them next year.

Grant Sowell of the Tupelo Tea Party said he has concerns about the cost of implementing the standards, including curriculum, textbooks and training.

Mississippi is among a group of states in the PARCC Consortium working together to develop a test based on the new standards. The group has called for those tests to be taken on computers, which will impose an additional cost on schools.

Several states have announced plans to back out of PARCC and develop their own tests, and Sowell said Mississippi should look at their reasons for doing so.

Sowell said the event is also trying to reach those outside of the Tea Party, including Common Core supporters.

“At the end of the day, we are open to discussion and open to debate,” Sowell said.


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  • Kevin

    The Tea Party is opposed to costs–that’s it? Well the article fails to mention how much the additional costs will be. I don’t think it’s only about costs. I think the Tea Party opposes Common Core for other reasons, namely content, but they didn’t want to tell the reporter that. If costs and computers are the only problem with Common Core from the TP’s perspective, then I’d have to say to them that they need to get over it and move on. Computer-based testing is the future and we might as well go on and implement it now rather than being the last state to do it. I also think TP objections have something to do with local control of education and I’d really like to know how they think Common Core will upset this balance of power over education.

  • Guest Person

    The Speakers will be a National Tea Party rep and a former Baptists school science teacher who strongly supports Charter Schools. I don’t think this will be a meeting of ideas I think it will be a meeting of how much goverment sucks. I would not expect any sincere discussion on anything of merit – they certainly are not interested in helping Mississippi schools.

    I will be happy to listen to the Tea Party when they present ideas that can be developed into workable policy – currently they just complain about goverment and try to tell people how to live.

    • Kevin

      I’m going to attend this meeting and try to see if a contrary viewpoint goes over with this crowd. I’ll keep you posted on how it comes out.

  • barney fife

    Tea Party dialogue: ” … cry, spit, snarl, bitch, complain, instigate, wail …..”
    Nothing of substance offered.

  • FrereJocques

    And this is one reason why MS remains at the bottom (or top) of lists of all things good (or bad). This program was sponsored by the National Governors Association, among others. 45 out of 50 states have adopted it. But our Guv’nor, who thinks he knows best for everyone, wants to keep MS students from benefiting. And the fact that the Tee Pee party is against it means that it must have SOME merit.

    Republicans and religious nutcases do more to hinder bringing MS into the 21st Century than anyone.

    • barney fife

      Well said, FrereJocques.

    • Kevin

      Curiously enough, my brother in Louisiana says a bunch of liberals in his neck of the woods oppose Common Core.

  • 1941641

    Bill Bennett, Gene/Grant Sowell, Whitney Neal Freedom Works…Tea Party Rif- Raf…
    Send all these people back to where they came from and re-schedule a meeting to be comprised of rational people for a rational final result for the good of public education! Not home schooling!
    Leave ignorance out of the discussion!

  • The answer is more football!