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Ads back state use of US school standards

– An advocacy group that supports Indiana’s private school voucher and charter schools programs said Tuesday that it’s starting an advertising campaign to fight efforts to end the state’s use of national reading and math standards.

Stand for Children said its television and radio ads are aimed at conservative lawmakers opposed to Common Core State Standards, which the group calls good national benchmarks.

The Common Core State Standards tell schools and teachers what students should learn during each grade and have been adopted by 45 states. Indiana uses them in kindergarten and first-grade classes, though all grades are scheduled to begin using them in the 2014-15 school year.

The effort to overturn the state’s use of those benchmarks has exposed a split between education leaders in the House and Senate.

The chairman of the Senate’s education committee, Sen. Dennis Kruse, R-Auburn, said he was surprised by Stand for Children’s decision to start an advertising campaign supporting the standards. Kruse said he supported the bill’s call for new statewide hearings on whether it should keep or modify those standards.

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