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NASHVILLE, Tenn. (AP) â€” More than five years after U.S. governors began a bipartisan effort to set new standards in American schools, the Common Core initiative has morphed into a political tempest fueling division among Republicans.
The U.S. Chamber of Commerce leads establishment voices â€” such as possible presidential contender Jeb Bush â€” who hail the standards as a way to improve student performance and, over the long term, competitiveness of American workers.
Many archconservatives â€” tea party heroes Rand Paul and Ted Cruz among them â€” decry the system as a top-down takeover of local schools. The standards were developed and are being implemented by states, though Common Core opponents argue that President Barack Obamaâ€™s administration has encouraged adoption of the standards by various parameters it set for states applying to get lucrative federal education grants.
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