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Chris Christie said New Jersey has “eliminated” Common Core. It hasn’t.

Libby Nelson is Vox's policy editor, leading coverage of how government action and inaction shape American life. Libby has more than a decade of policy journalism experience, including at Inside Higher Ed and Politico. She joined Vox in 2014.

Common Core finally got its moment in the spotlight Thursday night. Sen. Marco Rubio and New Jersey Gov. Chris Christie briefly fought over the standards, which set common expectations for what students know and can do in reading and math in 43 states:

"I like Chris Christie, but we cannot afford to have a president of the United States that supports Common Core," Rubio said.

"Common Core has been eliminated in New Jersey," Christie shot back.

This isn't really true. Christie, once a Common Core supporter, flip-flopped on the standards as he entered the Republican race: "We must reject federal control of our education and return it to parents and teachers," he said then.

But although he tried to get rid of Common Core in New Jersey, the standards are largely still in place, with a nominal number of changes.

Christie asked the state's Department of Education to review Common Core in New Jersey in May. But on Monday, a committee of teachers and parents eventually recommended keeping 84 percent of the standards and said the state should continue using standardized tests linked to them.

This means that while New Jersey's standards might get some tweaks, the state isn't actually throwing out the Common Core and starting over — no matter what Christie might have hoped.

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