Word has it the Common Core Conference Committee is close to resolving differences between the House (HB 1061) and Senate (SB 812) bills. Insiders and press reports say the final version looks much like the Senate bill. While differences between the two bills are real, the similarities are significant. Both bills advocate for the review and replacement of Common Core standards. Both bills eliminate Common Core from the current statutes. Both bills set up a standards review process, and both bills argue for more state — not federal — control over what is taught in the classroom. The differences are in how the bills get to those goals. Some Common Core critics fear the Senate bill will allow schools to keep Common Core Standards. Others believe, if we review the standards and find they work, we should be free to implement them. No conference committee bill is perfect and this one won’t be either. Still considering where we were a year ago, getting this far is quite an accomplishment. We’ve been fighting Common Core for almost two years. We’ve helped to educate many about the problems with the standards. Now it’s time get across the goal line. We need a bill that both Houses can agree on, the governor can sign and works to ensure NC students have standards that are rigorous, age appropriate and North Carolina-centric. Considering the costs and all we know about the problems with Common Core, it would be disastrous to not get it done. It can’t happen fast enough.