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Chris Christie Definitively Calls for Ending Common Core in New Jersey for the First Time

As wife Mary Pat Christie, left, looks on, New Jersey Gov. Chris Christie tells heckler Jim Keady to: "Sit down and shut up," during a event marking the second anniversasry of Superstorm Sandy Wednesday, Oct. 29, 2014, in Belmar, N.J. Keady began heckling Christie about the pace of storm recovery and repeatedly interrupted the governor. After trying to brush the man off, Christie yelled back the man didn't know what he was talking about and was just showing off for the news cameras. When heckler Keady continued, Christie told him: "Sit down and shut up." (AP Photo/Mel Evans) AP Photo/Mel Evans

New Jersey governor and likely Republican presidential candidate Chris Christie is for the first time definitively calling for an end to Common Core in his state, the Associated Press reported.

Common Core, the controversial K-12 math and English standards, has been a thorny issue in New Jersey. After having been on the fence about the matter in the past, Christie finally declared Thursday that the system isn’t working for the state.

New Jersey Gov. Chris Christie listens to a question as he addresses a gathering at Hackensack University Medical Center Wednesday, Oct. 22, 2014, in Hackensack, N.J. Christie said that there is no indication that a West African passenger taken to a Newark hospital Tuesday has been infected by the Ebola virus. Christie says he expects that the patient, who had reported symptoms of having potential exposure to the virus, will be released from the hospital after he is interviewed by the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention. (AP Photo/Mel Evans) AP Photo/Mel Evans AP Photo/Mel Evans

This is a strong departure from 2013 when Christie said, “We are doing Common Core in New Jersey and we’re going to continue.” But in Iowa and in New Hampshire this year, he talked about having great concerns about how the standards are affecting schools.

Christie was set to talk about Common Core during a speech Thursday at Burlington County College, according to excerpts released by his office ahead of the speech, the AP reported.

Christie is expected to ask the New Jersey education commissioner to convene a group of parents and teachers to come up with a replacement for the standards that are state specific. But he will reaffirm his commitment to testing for measuring student and school performance. Christie's education commissioner has been a Common Core supporter.

Most other Republican candidates for president are opposed to Common Core. This week, both former Pennsylvania Sen. Rick Santorum and former New York Gov. George Pataki name-checked ending Common Core in their announcement speeches. Another likely candidate, Louisiana Gov. Bobby Jindal, has sued the U.S. Department of Education, alleging that states have been pressured to adopt the standards.

But former Florida Gov. Jeb Bush, who has yet to formally declare, and Ohio Gov. John Kasich, another potential candidate, are both strong supporters of the Common Core State Standards, which were developed by the National Governors Association and Council of Chief State School Officers.

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