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Senate president torn on Common Core legislation

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Senate president torn on Common Core legislation
By Chris Lawrence | WV MetroNews

CHARLESTON, W.Va — Senate President Bill Cole admitted on MetroNews Talkline halting the bill which would have killed the Common Core teaching standards in West Virginia was very difficult. The House approved measure fell flat when the Senate allowed two years for state school Superintendent Dr. Michael Martirano to work on the standards and repair the problems identified by critics.

“I’m a big fan of Dr. Martirano and I have a lot of confidence in him,” said Cole. “I like the way he thinks, the way he talks and we’ll see if actions back those up, but I think they will.”

Cole worried about the monetary cost of junking the Common Core standards now. He said the state had already invested $40 Million in the implementation of Common Core and getting rid of it would be more costly.

“I feel like this is Big Government intrusion on us and for that reason I’d like to kick it to the curb,” he said. “I hate to always go back to money, but the fiscal note attached to the bill the House sent us was $128 Million.  That’s money we don’t’ have.”

The failure of the bill in the Senate was especially aggravating to House Education Committee Chair Amanda Pasdon who said she would not support the Senate changes to the legislation.

Cole worried as well about the impact on students with an ever changing set of standards on which they are judged.

“If a kid was in first grade when we started changing standards and we change them one more time, before he’s out of 12th grade he would have been taught to four different standards,” explained Cole. “No wonder we have terrible student achievement. We need to get on something and stick with it.”