Palmetto Sunrise: Issues with Common Core persist

A fifth grade student guides the class in working a math problem during class. (Post and Courier file photo)

COLUMBIA - South Carolina's Common Core opponents are so adamant about purging the education standards that they read the law differently than everyone else.

Superintendent of Education Mick Zais reportedly said earlier this month the Common Core standards would not even be on the table when writing the state's new education standards. But on Thursday, his staff told a group of education officials and two senators that Zais had learned the law does not bar Common Core from being considered.

"We are going to start off with a clean slate," said Department of Education Spokesman Dino Teppara. "They just said we want to look at everything and write the best standards possible."

One thing to watch out for is the fact that the new standards have to be "college and career ready." That's a requirement the Common Core standards met.

When they were drafted, writers of Common Core used standards that showed students who faired off better in college than their peers. South Carolina's 2007 standards are not college and career ready, only because they were never tested to see if they were.

"That's what makes this so hard, I think, for these writers," said Education Oversight Committee Executive Director Melanie Barton. "Nobody has ever done this before." And that's part of what triggered Thursday's debate, with Board of Education Chair Barry Bolen saying it would a problem if the team of writers doesn't consider Common Core. "That's why you start a review process with existing standards because it may be that those standards are rigorous and have already met the definition of college and career ready," Bolen said. "By revising what the panel thinks needs to be revised is different than writing total new standards."

In other news:

Democrat to be SC governor briefly (The Associated Press)

Study looks at challenges for migrant workers in S.C. (The Post and Courier)

Sheheen: S.C.'should pause' defense of state's gay-marriage ban (The State)

Bail for Northwoods Mall shooting suspect highlights authorities' struggle with new law (The Post and Courier)

S.C. gas prices cheap - and getting cheaper (The Post and Courier)

Sellers vows to make life better for S.C. seniors (The Times and Democrat)

Sen. Tim Scott to be featured speaker at pro-family event in Iowa (The Post and Courier)