published Thursday, March 13th, 2014

Anti-Common Core bill dies in Tennessee Senate panel

NASHVILLE — Efforts to roll back implementation of Tennessee's Common Core standards and testing failed in the Senate Wednesday night.

Education Committee members voted 7-2 against the measure sponsored by Sen. Stacey Campfield, R-Knoxville.

Tea Party and many socially conservative groups have assailed Common Core, which proponents including Republican Gov. Bill Haslam say is needed to provide students with critical thinking, problem solving and writing skills necessary for college and work.

Critics wanted the state to come up with a Tennessee-created testing regimen. But Haslam and Education Commissioner Kevin Huffman say that would be too expensive and they believe the tests developed by the Partnership for Assessment Readiness for College and Careers (PARCC) are sufficient.

Also during the Education Committee's marathon session Wednesday, Sen. Todd Gardenhire, R-Chattanooga, again delayed a vote on his proposal to grant in-state college tuition rates to children, not born in the U.S., who came with their parents illegally to country.

Gardenhire's bill would grant the in-state tuition rates to students who spent at least five years in a Tennessee school before graduating from high school.

The bill has met resistence from a number of Republicans on the education panel. Gardenhire argues the students shouldn't be punished for their parents' actions and that a college education will enable them to lead more productive lives.

about Andy Sher...

Andy Sher is a Nashville-based staff writer covering Tennessee state government and politics for the Times Free Press. A Washington correspondent from 1999-2005 for the Times Free Press, Andy previously headed up state Capitol coverage for The Chattanooga Times, worked as a state Capitol reporter for The Nashville Banner and was a contributor to The Tennessee Journal, among other publications. Andy worked for 17 years at The Chattanooga Times covering police, health care, county government, ...

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