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General Assembly Debates Common Core

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The Virginia Senate has postponed a final vote on legislation that would prohibit the state from adopting the national Common Core standards for public education without prior approval of the General Assembly.  The standards have been widely adopted by states but have come under fire—in part, for their mandatory, one-size-fits-all approach.  

Bill supporters argued that it doesn’t stop the state from adopting Common Core, but merely requires the input of lawmakers.  Senator Tom Garrett said under the state SOLs, student achievement is already among the best in the nation. 

“And so why we would want to join the herd when we’re already way out ahead of the herd—is beyond me!”

Bill opponents inquired whether education experts were not the most qualified officials to make that decision. Senator Janet Howell added that student achievement is not that high in some localities. 

“The Governors’ Association started down the path of the Common Core because Virginia and every state in the Union is failing vis à vis the rest of the world.”

Forty-three states and the District of Columbia have adopted Common Core. A final vote in the Senate is expected on Thursday.

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