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NC House committee rejects Senate common core plan

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RALEIGH, N.C. -

Republicans in the General Assembly want to replace the state's Common Core testing standards for public schools, but can't agree on how to do it.

A House committee Thursday rejected the Senate's Common Core bill, and said it still supports its own plan. The vote signals that Senate and House members will have to work out their differences in a conference committee before they adjourn for the year in the coming weeks.

A Senate plan could potentially keep the door open for the state to keep some of the current Common Core standards. But Sen. Jerry Tillman, R-Randolph, insisted the proposal would scrap the program.

"There no doubt in anybody's mind...that both bills repeal Common Core. They repeal Common Core," he said. "A lot of people don't want to read that language ...it's in both bills as clear as it can be ...repeal doesn't have another meaning."

More than 40 states have adopted Common Core and Democrats remain skeptical of shifting away from it. It has been used in North Carolina for two years. House Democratic Leader Rep. Larry Hall of Durham said much of the dispute has come down to wording in the legislation.

The stricter House version wants to specifically prohibit any provisions from the national Common Core model from being used and directs the State Board of Education to stop participating in developing the standards for math and language arts. The board would then make changes following recommendations from a proposed standards commission.

"It's all a political rub, it really is ... an election year political rub ... this is a political exercise, not really a policy exercise," said Rep. Larry Hall, D-Durham, the House Minority Leader, who is on the House Education Committee.

One of the measures will have to pass both the House and Senate before going to Gov. Pat McCrory's desk. McCrory has expressed concerns about stepping away from Common Core.

Copyright 2014 The Associated Press. All rights reserved.

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