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State Republicans Seek To Block Education Reform Vote

Massachusetts Republicans are moving to block efforts by the state education commissioner to adopt uniform national education standards.

The House minority leader, Rep. Brad Jones, is calling for a delay of a vote, currently scheduled for Wednesday, on whether to adopt the so-called Common Core standards.

Republicans say the federal benchmarks would be a step backwards for Massachusetts and could spell the end of the state's MCAS test.

Education Commissioner Mitchell Chester said the standards would help the state progress according to better standards.

"I'm bringing this recommendation to the state board with a sense of confidence that by adopting the Common Core, we are not diluting, we are not taking a step backward," Chester said. "In fact what we are doing is adopting a set of standards that are in a way stronger than our own standards."

Chester added that the state would reserve the option to drop out of any plan that could pull the state's schools backward.

"No one can force Massachusetts to adopt or continue to implement something that Massachusetts doesn't feel is good for Massachusetts," Chester said.

The state's Board of Elementary and Secondary Education is scheduled to meet Tuesday evening to discuss the new standards, and plans to vote on them on Wednesday.

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

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