Gov. Haslam visits TN schools in support of Common Core - WSMV Channel 4

Gov. Haslam visits TN schools in support of Common Core

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It's pretty rare that something as seemingly uncontroversial as primary school curriculum becomes headline news, but the Common Core national standards have managed to do that in a lot of states, including Tennessee.

Opponents say Common Core is an interference from the federal government that they don't want, while proponents call it a huge step forward for Tennessee students.

The issue took center stage, once again, Tuesday with press conferences, debate at the state capitol and even a cross-state tour by the governor.

Mary Ellen McMillan has been teaching Common Core at Cedar Grove Elementary for three years and says her students are scoring higher and she loves it.

"I've seen it very much benefit my students," McMillan said.

But many parents believe their kids are being forced into a kind of generic national curriculum and standard.

"There are so many politicians forcing this agenda on our kids. I cannot stand a federal takeover of our education. It's not OK with me," said Shannon Martin, of Rutherford County.

The Tennessee House has voted to delay Common Core statewide for another two years, a big mistake according to some educators who say Common Core is leading to better scores right now.

"It's made me a better teacher. It's changed my professional development. It's changed the way I help my own daughters with their homework," said fifth grade teacher Philip Eller.

The Common Core delay next goes to the Senate, and, if it gets through there, to the governor's desk.

But Gov. Bill Haslam has made it clear he believes Common Core is working and is a huge supporter.

"I've been fairly strong in my statements about how critical it is not to back up on Common Core. In Tennessee, we're making unprecedented gains in education. And to turn around would be exactly the wrong thing to do," Haslam said.

The governor visited schools in west, middle and east Tennessee on Tuesday, including Cedar Grove Elementary in Smyrna, to try and shore up support for the curriculum and testing standards that he has called crucial to improving education in the state.

Copyright 2014 WSMV (Meredith Corporation). All rights reserved. The Associated Press contributed to this report.

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