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Tennessee's Gov. Haslam Unsure About Common Core's Future

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Tennessee's Republican Governor Bill Haslam, a former supporter of the Common Core Standards, has started to give into its naysayers.

The Daily Caller reports that Gov. Haslam says his goal is to collaborate with legislators in an effort that would do away with Common Core while trying to "preserve what he sees as its positive aspects."

The majority of Tennessee school superintendents have released a letter pleading with the state to not abandon Common Core standards. Tennessee has 141 superintendents, and 114 signed the letter to keep Common Core in schools.

The letter notes that Tennessee educators have spent years and millions of dollars planning to implement the new standards - and now legislation threatens to become the latest Republican-led state to ditch the standards. It points out that Tennessee students have shown considerable gains in test scores in the last several years -- signs that the present process is succeeding.

If Common Core is eliminated, Tennessee would create its own set of standards to follow. If the bill passes, Tennessee would join Indiana, Oklahoma and South Carolina as states that used to embrace Common Core, but no longer do.

As a supporter of Common Core, it saddens me that yet another state is ready to cut ties with the standards. Common Core provides guidelines to help establish what students should be learning in math and science each school year, and monitor year-round progress. Establishing what students know allows teachers and parents to help lead students to success.

If the state does away with Common Core, I hope that Gov. Haslam and other lawmakers in the state dedicate adequate time to the development of new standards for Tennessee -- ones that consistently measure what students are learning and prepare them for life after high school.


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