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Colo. gubenatorial candidates to join national day of protest of Common Core standards

Nearly a dozen conservative elected officials and gubernatorial candidates are expected to join a protest of the Common Core State Standards Saturday at the state Capitol.

The protest, organized by grassroots group Stop Common Core Colorado, will be at noon, April 5, on the west steps of the Capitol. The event is part of a nationwide day of protest led by Eye on U.S. Education, a group that aims to “preserve American Values through education.”

The protest comes about two months after a bill that would have delayed the full implementation of the Colorado Academic Standards, which are fused with the Common Core, and their standardized tests  was killed in February by a state Senate education committee on a party-line vote. Saturday’s protest also immediately follows a conference, held last weekend, that aimed to bolster the anti-standardized test movement.

The two causes, which politically attract fractions of both conservative and progressive groups, generally overlap. However, in the instance of Saturday’s protest, it’s clearly a push from the most conservative of Coloradans.

Among those expected to attend the protest are four Republican gubernatorial candidates: Greg Brophy, Tom Tancredo, Ronnie Bell Sylvester, Steve House. A surrogate for candidate Mike Kopp is also expected to attend. Also on hand will be state lawmakers Vicki Marble, Ted Harvey, Stephen Humphrey, and Justin Everette.

Marble sponsored the aforementioned bill.

The Colorado Academic Standards, adopted by the state in 2009, cover 10 different content areas including social studies, science, and world languages. Colorado’s math and English language standards were fused with the Common Core, a set of standards developed by and adopted by 45 states, in 2010.

The aim of the Common Core, supporters say, is to raise student expectations and create a national benchmark. Critics argue the standards are mundane and nothing short of a federal mandate that violates, in some instances, constitutionally protected local control of schools.

Correction: An earlier version of this article listed Tim Neville and Steve Laffey as state lawmakers. They are not. Neville is a former state senator who is running again this year. Laffey is running for a U.S. congressional seat. The article has also been clarified to reflect the Colorado standards for math and English language were adopted after 2009.