State educators defend Common Core standards - WKRN News 2

State educators defend Common Core standards

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FRANKLIN, Tenn. -

Recent criticism of the new education standards called Common Core have led to a meeting in Williamson County with the state's top educator.

The Tennessee Department of Education Commissioner Kevin Huffman will be joined by former Tennessee Senate Education chair Jamie Woodson and Williamson County Schools Director Dr. Mike Looney for a meeting Monday evening at the People's Church in Franklin just off Highway 96.

Williamson County asked that both Huffman and Woodson, who now runs the education group called SCORE, be there to explain exactly what Common Core is.

Woodson was among the majority of lawmakers from both parties who voted for the new standards that came out of federal Race to the Top money that was awarded to Tennessee in 2009 during Phil Bredesen's administration.

On its Web site, a video from the Tennessee Department of Education says, "The Common Core standards set clear goals of what students should know in core subjects such as math and English."

It explains that it is a way to help students learn necessary skills for new jobs coming to Tennessee in areas such as manufacturing and healthcare.

Local push-back has come from groups like the Tennessee Freedom Coalition, run by former Middle Tennessee congressional candidate Lou Ann Zelenik.

She and other critics plan to be at Monday's meeting.

Zelenik told Nashville's News 2 that Common Core is another attempt to "nationalize our schools" and the "federal government's 50-year involvement in education has failed."

The Tennessee Freedom Coalition planned its own meeting on Common Core this Tuesday night at 8 p.m. at the Embassy Suites in Cool Springs.

Williamson County said it has been implementing parts of Common Core slowly, but the bulk of it will be next school year.

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