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State Education Director Says Arkansas Has Common Core Flexibility

A second full day of debate underway on Arkansas' new K-12 education standards.
LITTLE ROCK, AR - A second full day of debate underway on Arkansas' new K-12 education standards.

It's called common core and it's already in a majority of Arkansas classrooms.

But some parents, educators and students telling lawmakers they don't think common core is the best for Arkansas.

Most Arkansas classrooms don't get started for another four weeks but the debate on what's taught in the classroom heating up at the state capitol.

Arkansas Department of Education commissioner Tom Kimbrell says common core standards, which are geared to get students ready for college, are similar to what Arkansas already has in place.

"We're going to do what we best can for the kids of this state," Kimbrell says. "I'm not doing this so we can create any kind of federal opportunity. This is about what we need to do for kids in Arkansas."

New testing comes in spring 2015, which will replace the current end-of-year benchmark exams.

Kimbrell says in 2016, educators will see if common core is working.

"Have we got there yet? No. I got schools in this state I'm not proud of," Kimbrell says.

State representative David Meeks, R-Conway, says the two-day hearing is important for lawmakers.

"We don't want to get trapped into something that's not Arkansas-centric and I think that's why you started to see opposition to it," Meeks says.
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