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      SC Education agency pulls out of testing program

      COLUMBIA, S.C. (AP) - South Carolina Education Superintendent Mick Zais has withdrawn the state from testing for new standards next year.

      Zais wrote the chairman of the South Carolina Board of Education on Monday saying Zais has learned he has the authority to withdraw South Carolina from a consortium that would test Common Core standards.

      Zais says he decided to pull out of the Smarter Balanced Assessment Consortium so South Carolina can consider alternatives to the tests.

      The Common Core standards and the tests to measure their effectiveness have been criticized as an attempt to nationalize education.

      South Carolina Education Association President Jackie Hicks says it's a mistake to abandon the process that had already been approved.

      Copyright 2014 The Associated Press. All rights reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten or redistributed.

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