Common Core Backers Try To Head Off Criticism Ahead Of Tennessee Hearings

Standing room only at Thursday's legislative hearing on Common Core. Many wear stickers with a half-eaten apple that say "Stop Common Core." Others have stickers supporting the standards. Credit: Blake Farmer / WPLN

Standing room only at Thursday’s legislative hearing on Common Core. Many wear stickers with a half-eaten apple that say “Stop Common Core.” Others have stickers supporting the standards. Credit: Blake Farmer / WPLN

State lawmakers begin two days of hearings over Common Core in Tennessee Thursday afternoon. With critics on both the left and right, supporters of the new education standards are rallying at the state capitol ahead of time and planning to pack the hearing room. 

Corporations, school systems and education advocacy groups say they favor Common Core. But the standards have come under intense public scrutiny in recent months. The concerns range from data privacy to federal intrusion in education.

Cicely Woodard is a math teacher at Nashville’s Rose Park Magnet and has also trained Tennessee teachers in the new standards, which are supposed to promote understanding over memorization.

“I don’t want to go back. I want to keep these standards. I want to see my students excel. I want to see them reach these high expectations that we have. And they will.”

Some naysayers have argued Common Core may raise the bar too high and end up leaving discouraged students behind. Even supporters warn that standardized test scores will go down at first.

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