SC facing challenge to merge state, federal school standards

VIDEO: SC facing challenge to merge state, federal school standards

COLUMBIA, SC (WCSC/WIS) - It's an age-old question: how do you take state education standards and merge them with the standards Washington wants, like No Child Left Behind?

South Carolina education experts are working to combine their standards with the feds' standards but some lawmakers say that means too much meddling from Washington.

The Federal government is doing it again, wanting their plan merged with South Carolina's. The problem is South Carolina has its own deadline to do that and the federal government has set one much sooner.

The official name for the plan is Federal Accountability Requirements, and it affects how your child's school is assessed, from performance tests in the classroom to new sets of academic standards for the school year.

At the State House, the Education Oversight Subcommittee laid out the groundwork for meeting those standards.

The meeting was mainly a question and answer round, with some lawmakers, like Sen. Mike Fair, expressing concern at the amount of control Washington has in the planning process, one instance of that being a tight deadline.

While South Carolina schools aim to have the new plan in place by next fall, Washington wants an full report by January.

"The good thing about the federal timeline is we can make amendments later, so hopefully we'll have a year to go through the changes, and a have a system all ready by 2017," Education Oversight Committee Executive Director Melanie Barton said.

Putting these new standards in place may be easier for some school districts with more resources, like Greenville or Charleston, than school districts like Marion or Abbeville.

One idea is to use districts with more resources to get other districts up to standard.

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