A state education group has launched a website focused strictly on Common Core, which is a series of national academic standards that have sparked controversy in Louisiana.

The site, www.LouisianaCommoncore.org, was started by Education’s Next Horizon, which is a non-profit group set up to improve education from kindergarten through 12th grade.

The group backs the standards, which take full effect for the 2014-15 school year.

However, the website includes stories and other information that is critical of Common Core.

“We wanted it to also be very informative and resourceful for individuals who perhaps have not taken a side on Common Core,” said John Warner Smith, chief excutive officer of the group.

“We think the dialogue is going to be good and positive,” Smith said. “There is no fear in having that discussion.”

The standards were adopted by the state Board of Elementary and Secondary Education in 2010, and 44 other states have approved them too.

They apply to reading, writing and math.

Backers say the new rules will improve student achievement and better prepare students for college and careers.

Opponents have branded Common Core as a bid by federal officials to dictate curriculum to local school districts.