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NORTH CHARLESTON, S.C. (AP) - U.S. Education Secretary Arne Duncan says South Carolina is setting the bar too low for students under the state's decision to do away with Common Core guidelines.

The Post and Courier of Charleston reported that Duncan told a conference in North Charleston on Thursday that the decision to drop out of the Common Core standards is politicizing education.

Common Core standards have been criticized as an attempt to nationalize education.

Duncan said that South Carolina has historically set a low bar for student achievement.

Several hundred teachers, principals and school administrators took part in a live Internet chat with Duncan.

Gov. Nikki Haley signed a bill last month that will replace Common Core curriculum for the 2015-2016 school year with new standards developed by the South Carolina Department of Education.

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