Common Core standards at the center of heated debate - wistv.com - Columbia, South Carolina |

Common Core standards at the center of heated debate

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COLUMBIA, SC (WIS) -

Senators debated a bill that would take Common Core standards out of South Carolina schools, but there was little agreement amongst lawmakers, even with a potential compromise on the table.

With protesters outside, lawmakers inside the State House struggled with how to stop Common Core, a set of academic standards 45 states voluntarily started to adopt in 2010 which is set to be fully implemented in South Carolina this year.

A compromise proposed would let schools opt out of Common Core starting in 2016. Bill sponsors said the state knows best what South Carolina students need to learn.

"Should we go back to our old standards that were nationally recognized, that were benchmarked with other states?" said State Senator Larry Grooms, R-Berkeley County. "I didn't see anything wrong with our other standards. If anything, our standards were too stringent, but that's a debate I'd love to have on the senate floor."

Accountabilityworks.org found South Carolina schools have already started spending millions implementing the program and retraining teachers.

"95 percent of the standards are already standards we have been teaching in South Carolina," said Jackie Hicks with the SC Education Association. "So it's quite amazing they want to gut everything and begin again."

The education subcommittee will meet again next week to further debate the changes suggested Wednesday.

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