- Associated Press - Wednesday, January 21, 2015

COLUMBIA, S.C. (AP) - The State Board of Education has given initial approval to new reading benchmarks for South Carolina students.

Superintendent Molly Spearman credits the writing panels’ teachers and agency workers for condensing a two-year process into six months.

The board’s vote Wednesday represents the first in a several-step process for approving the homegrown standards that will replace Common Core. A law passed last year requires Common Core math and reading standards to be replaced by the time students enter classrooms this August.

The board is expected to vote on new math standards next month. The next step is for colleges to certify the standards prepare students for college and careers after high school. If they do, the Education Oversight Committee must also sign off before the state board could give final approval.

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