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Haslam Pushing Common Core Standards

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Photo: Video by NewsChannel5.com

Haslam Pushing Common Core Standards

CREATED Mar 18, 2014

NASHVILLE, Tenn. (NEWSCHANNEL 5/AP) - Governor Bill Haslam said he hopes to dismiss misconceptions about Common Core education standards that are receiving push back from a bipartisan group of lawmakers.

"(There's) a lot of controversy right now about common core," Haslam said to reporters during an informal press conference at Cedar Grove Elementary School in Smyrna. "And I understand that because it is a big change in the way we're doing things."

The Republican governor was to visit schools in three different regions of Tennessee on Tuesday to drum up support for the standards. First started three years ago, Common Core is impacting math, English language arts classes across the state.

Teachers say the new standards require students to have a deeper understanding of the material, that helps develop critical thinking skills.

Cedar Grove was his first stop for Haslam who had a round table discussion with educators. He told reporters afterward that the state needs to do a better job of explaining Common Core, what it's not and why it's critical for students.

"Right now in Tennessee I think we're making unprecedented gains in education and to turn around would be exactly the wrong thing to do," he said.

A broad coalition of Republican and Democratic House members last week passed a bill seeking to delay the implementation of the new standards by two years.

The Senate would have to agree to those provisions before the measure would head for the governor's desk. Haslam wouldn't say if he would veto an anti-Common Core bill if it made it to his desk, but he did say staying the course was a top priority.

(Copyright 2014 by NewsChannel 5/The Associated Press. All Rights Reserved.)