Maine Committee, Several Republicans Vote to Keep Common Core


The push to rid Maine of the controversial Common Core State Standards suffered a setback on Monday, as the Legislature’s Education and Cultural Affairs Committee voted 12-1 against LD 1396, “An Act Regarding Educational Standards for Maine Students”.

LD 1396, if passed, would effectively eliminate the Common Core Standards in Maine, and allow Maine to develop its own education standards and assessments.

The Common Core State Standards have generated a considerable amount of contention in recent months, not only in Maine, but in school systems throughout the country. Opponents of Common Core, including many educators and parents, assert that the standards are too low or confusing, and do little to nothing to improve Maine’s education system.

“The fact is, Common Core standards will not improve our State’s schools, and it’s time to stop wasting our precious time and money,” said Rep. Karen Gerrish (R-Lebanon) the sponsor of LD 1396 and an educator of 25 years.

Heidi Sampson, education advocate and member of the Maine State Board of Education, also told the committee at a public hearing that “there is evidence these standards are not research-based,” and that the standards could be particularly detrimental for younger students.

“Over 500 Early Childhood Health and Education professionals have expressed their strong concern with respect to these standards being developmentally inappropriate in grades K~3,” Sampson said.

But these arguments were not enough to convince members of the committee that Maine should change course and reform its education system.

Seven Democrats, and five Republicans, including Senators Brian Langley (R-Hancock) and Peter Edgecomb (R-Aroostook), and Representatives Joyce Maker (R-Calais), Matthew Pouliot (R-Augusta), and Paul Stearns (R-Guilford) all voted that LD 1396 ought not to pass.

Representative Mike McClellan (R-Raymond) was the lone member of the committee to vote in favor of the bill.

The bill now heads to the full House and Senate to be voted on.


  1. now you know the truth that the repub,s are not any better then the dem,s. we need change in government from top down. clean out both party,s and start a new way of doing thing,s in maine.

  2. What is not said in this news article is that we did pass LD 1235 An Act To Strengthen Standards-based Diplomas which will be working group and their mission will be: the Department of Education shall convene a working group to develop standards, assessments and assessment criteria for determining student proficiency in the guiding principles as outlined in department rule that are required for secondary school graduation beginning January 1, 2017 2019. They will also be reviewing where we are and the problems that are occurring.

  3. The families of those districts need to contact their representatives and voice their concern with Common Core. We can and should do better here in Maine as far as our public education system is concerned. This generation of children deserve a better education so they will be prosperous contributors to Maine in the future. We can replace these poor standards with something far superior and ought to take a look at the Massachusetts standards that helped propel that state to the top.

  4. How long is a piece of string? Clearly, until it is measured, we don’t know.

    We have just one shot at preparing our children for adulthood and, so far, we have gone more than a decade without any significant progress toward that goal.

    No Child Left Behind was passed in 2001 with target achievement levels to have been reached about ten years afterward. The education establishment not only ignored the law, unions, in an effort to crush any attempt to use results as any form of teacher report card, actively fought against it.

    It was only when funding was about to be withheld that states squealed and promised to come up with their own alternative testing. Now we are discovering that the alternative testing also shows no progress being made.

    So, here we are, fourteen years later and less than half of our high school students are able to demonstrate proficiency at grade level. LESS than HALF!

    While the unions and politicians squabble and ignore parents’ pleas, it is our children who are suffering. Who is going to speak up for them?

  5. I see no advantage having a Federal Dept of Education. Things have only gotten universally worse under the Feds watch. Politics, money and unions = all children left behind and no future for America. The shortsighted greed is killing our children’s future!

  6. Find out where each committee member gets their campaign funds-and have a press conference to take your State back and away from the special interests
    My guess is the Maine Teachers Assoc also support Common Core-that has been the mantra across this country. Obama is a big fan of common core and the Teachers Union…..that speaks volumes

  7. For those who may not be familiar with the procedure, Rep McClellan’s one vote saved the bill. Now it can be voted on by the Legislature.

    If he had joined the other 12 members of the committee, the bill would have died in committee and gone no further. What is so strange about this vote is that twelve out of thirteen people refused to overcome their personal bias and recognize that the grassroots reaction against Common Core has made it a national presidential issue. Obviously, throwing out Common Core needs a vote of the entire legislature, and yet 12 little-minded people of both parties tried to keep it from seeing the light of day. Shame on them and 3 cheers for Mike McClellan. Thanks to him you can contact your legislators and tell them to throw out Common Core.


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