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Mississippi Policy Experts Debate Common Core Task Force
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Public education advocates in Mississippi say allowing a task force to examine Common Core academic standards could have a negative impact on public schools. 

Senate Bill 2161 would create a task force to examine Mississippi's Common Core education standards, and then make recommendations on how to improve them. The original version of the bill only created the commission, but House's plan would force the state board of education to accept 75 percent of the task force's recommendations.

Rachel Canter is with Mississippi First -- a non-partisan, public education group.

"A lot is going to depend on the composition of that committee," says Canter. "If the committee is more political theater than it is serious business then we're in real danger of doing some damage to the quality of education that children receive."

Opponents of Common Core say the plan is a logical step in making sure the standards are good enough for Mississippi's children. Forest Thigpen is with the Mississippi Center for Public Policy.

"Having a commission made up of a variety of Mississippians with an expertise that's needed to develop standards, that will produce a product that will at least be known, it'll be transparent process and there will be input from Mississippians on what needs to be taught in our schools," Thigpen says.

The competing bills will now go to a conference to work out the differences. The final version will then go to the Governor for his approval.