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Corbett Orders Short Delay to Tweak Common Core

Gov. Tom Corbett has ordered a delay in the adoption of new high stakes standardized tests for public schools in Pennsylvania.

The new Pennsylvania Common Core standards were supposed to be implemented in July. The class of 2017 would need to pass the subject-specific tests before graduating.

But Education Department spokesman Tim Eller says the postponement won’t result in any major changes.

"Even with a short delay we are confident that this will be in place before school – students return to the classroom in the upcoming school year, so there will be no disruptions," Eller said.

Pennsylvania Common Core has been taking heat from all sides and Eller says the delay is meant to quell the fears of those opposed to the new standards. Recent hearings brought conservative groups to the Capitol to protest such standards saying they would undermine local control.

Democrats called for a moratorium to Common Core, saying schools shouldn’t be held to higher standards without getting more resources. 

"The governor is asking the state Board of Education to consider some of the concerns that were brought up from both the public and the General Assembly to consider minor tweaks to this regulatory package to address the concerns," Eller said. 

He said much of the push back was really against the national model for Common Core educational standards, which he says is not being used in Pennsylvania.

"I think some of the criticism or some of the concerns or fears about the Pennsylvania Common Core and the regulatory package that is ending are hyped up if you will because of the national Common Core issue."