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New Policy and Business Partnership Seeks to Support Goals of Common Core

A new initiative led by three organizations aims to strengthen support for the Common Core State Standards by emphasizing their importance to students and the skills they'll need, while also trying to dispel myths about the standards.

The new partnership involves the Bipartisan Policy Center, the U.S. Chamber of Commerce Foundation (both based in Washington), and the Hunt Institute, a Durham, N.C.-based think tank. It was announced by Delaware Gov. Jack Markell (D), a prominent supporter of the common core, during a news event in Wilmington, Del. on March 10.

"Countering opposition by some groups to Common Core, this partnership will promote the importance of higher education standards, while also helping states across the country inform the public and apply best practices to most effectively implement high standards and boost student achievement in their schools," according to a press release from the Bipartisan Policy Center.

Speaking at an elementary school where he observed lessons aligned to the common standards, Markell recalled the work he did to oversee the development of the common core along with former Georgia Gov. Sonny Perdue (R) and other governors. (Markell recently wrote a pro-common-core op-ed with Perdue.) He highlighted the 60 percent of jobs that will require education beyond high school in the evolving economy, and the work other countries have done to catch up with the U.S. in terms of educational progress and attainment. 

And in speaking about the common core, he stressed the work governors did to include district leaders and teachers as they worked on the common core. He said states' leaders and common-core supporters expected the work of implementing the common core would be hard.

"What we didn't expect was a lot of misinformation that would be spread around the country around what these standards are," Markell said, saying that misinformation has ultimately turned into a "mythology." (Watch Markell's remarks below.)

Supporters of the common core have tried to shoot down claims from opponents that the federal government controls common core. (Washington created incentives for states to adopt it and likes the standards, but didn't pay to develop them. The National Governors Association and the Council of Chief State School Officers oversaw development of the standards.)

"How these standards are taught to are decisions that are made locally," Markell said.

Conservative supporters of the common core, along with the creators of the common core standards, to name two examples, have put together their own "mythbusting" sites to attack opponents' claims. 

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