A group in Des Moines was told Tuesday night that they shouldn't believe educators who say that Iowa isn't a part of the controversial "Common Core" state educational standards.

Common Core has come under increasing fire in the US from conservative groups who claim that liberal educators are using the initiative, which was developed under the auspices of the National Governors' Association, as a way to wrest control of education away from local school boards.

Jenni White told a meeting Tuesday night that she's compared what's called the "Iowa Core" and the "Common Core" and she doesn't see any difference.  In both cases, she says its a watering down of the educational standards in this country.

White organized a group called "Restore Oklahoma Public Education" which successfully lobbied the state legislature to pass a bill that pulls the state out of the Common Core initiative.  

She says now their Governor, who's the chairman of the National Governors' Association, has joined with the National Association of State Boards of Education in suing the legislature, saying their action violates the state constitution.

The audience was also told by local conservative activist Tamara Scott  that the "STEM initiative" being touted by Lt. Gov. Kim Reynolds is an outgrowth of the Common Core standards, and actually waters down educational achievement in mathematics.

Gov. Terry Branstad was also criticized by Scott for signing a letter in 2010 endorsing the principles of the national initiative. Another conservative activist, Shane Vander Hart, told the crowd that Gov. Branstad's executive order that he says prevents the state from having federal control over education doesn't stand in the way of the wresting of educational control from local school boards.

The meeting was sponsored by Concerned Women for America and Americans for Prosperity.