VA Lawmakers Taking on Common Core Educational System

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Virginia General Assembly 2015 Virginia General Assembly 2015
RICHMOND, Va. (WVIR) - The controversial "Common Core" education standards put in place by the majority of other states - but not Virginia - could soon be even less likely to come to the commonwealth.

More than 40 states have adopted Common Core in recent years. It started with bi-partisan support, and was designed to use universal standards in English and math to better prepare students for work or college. Of late, more educators have pointed out practical problems with Common Core.

"Why we would want to join the herd when we are already ahead of the herd is beyond me," said 22nd District Senator Tom Garrett Jr. (R).

Some argue that Common Core puts additional burdens on teachers and schools. Supporters say the state could benefit from it, and that American students are playing catch-up with other countries.

"Some of our school districts are indeed outstanding, unfortunately many of them are lagging far behind," said 32nd District Sen. Janet Howell (D).

Despite critiques from some conservatives and teachers, others say there is potential to the system, and that we shouldn't throw away the concept before more research and discussion.

"What exactly is the evil of Common Core, or any part of it?" asked 21st District Senator John Edwards (D)

VA Senate Bill 724 is heading for vote in Richmond's General Assembly, and would authorize the legislature alone to make a call on the federally-based system.

"This does not overturn the world. This is simply a bill that says that you've got to come to the General Assembly. And I think this will settle the waters with the public," said 13th District Sen. Dick Black (R).

The summary for SB724 reads as follows:

Board of Education; Standards of Learning. Prohibits the Board of Education from adopting revisions of the Standards of Learning that implement the Common Core State Standards unless it has the prior statutory approval of the General Assembly.

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