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Ed. Board Members Take Sides On National Standards

Members of the state Board of Elementary and Secondary Education are lining up on both sides of a controversial proposal to adopt national education standards that could replace the MCAS test.

Board member Thomas Fortmann says using the Common Core could improve on the statewide standards.

"There are some things about the way it was written that are probably better than what we have, and then there is the whole issue of commonality," Fortmann said. "When you have 50 states all with different standards and all doing different tests, that's very expensive."

Board Chairwoman Maura Banta has also expressed support for the new standards.

Board member Sandra Stotsky, however, agrees with critics who say national standards could limit Massachusetts' strong educational performance and that the state should maintain its own benchmarks for the statewide assessment test.

"Massachusetts' Board of Education is not voting for the good of the country, it's voting on what's good for Massachusetts," Stotsky said. "It's designed to take care of the students in the state, who are already about No. 1 in the country."

The board votes Wednesday on whether or not to adopt the new standards.

This program aired on July 20, 2010. The audio for this program is not available.

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