The final report from the Academic Standard Review Commission (ASRC) on replacing Common Core is due this month.
Certain media have been waging war on the ASRC and others have concentrated on getting opinions from teachers or education policy wonks. What is interesting to me is that these articles never have a teacher who doesn’t love Common Core. Why is that, media? Could it be because the ones who oppose it have been told by the Department of Public Instruction (DPI) to keep silent?
I would encourage people to read this series I published, where a teacher chronicled her Common Core journey and what really went on behind the scenes:
- Behind The Common Core Curtain In NC -PT 1
- Behind The Common Core Curtain In NC – Part 2
- Behind The Common Core Curtain – Part 3
- Behind The Common Core Curtain In NC – Part 4
Also, very few, if any of these articles have actually reached out to the people demanding the standards be dumped or changed significantly. That group of people are the parents.
One thing the media should take note of is that the ASRC has been doing the job that DPI should have done five years ago, but it seems that Dr. Atkinson was too busy ‘Racing To The Top’ to grab federal money to be bothered to act on the feedback DPI received panning the very same things that the ASRC has found deficient in the standards.
Here is snippet from Asheville Citizen Times, which I hope serves as a wake up call to the educrats, media and various parties who keep trying to ram Common Core down the throat of the public:
Retired businessman Andre Peek, who serves as co-chair of the 11-person commission, said the group is “feverishly working” to meet its deadline.
“Our recommendation is that the standards need to change, and we’re going to try to be as specific as we can within the expertise that we have on recommendations for areas that need to change,” Peek said.
The commission, which began its review in 2014, found the standards are unclear, according to Peek. Also, some are not in the right order or show up at the wrong grade level, Peek said.
Andre Peek was appointed by the Governor. The two of them both believed the Common Core was the greatest thing ever. After over 14 months of digging into the standards, even Mr. Peek was forced to admit that there is quite a bit wrong with Common Core.
The Asheville Citizen Times article also cites Dr. Atkinson, yet like all the other outlets fails to mention that she has been the President of the CCSSO for the past year. For those who are unfamiliar with the CCSSO, it is one of two unaccountable and unelected D.C. trade organizations who hold the copyright on Common Core and who were used to rubber stamp the standards with oft repeated the ‘state led’ canard.
Here is the section where Atkinson is cited:
While the state commission has been doing its work, the state Department of Public Instruction has been doing its own review of common core standards, according to state Superintendent June Atkinson.
DPI typically reviews state standards every five years.
“It has been the practice of the Department of Public Instruction and the state Board of Education to have standards that would live for at least five years and during the fourth and fifth year, it has been the policy that we would review those standards, get feedback and determine if changes are needed,” Atkinson said.
With common core in its fourth year, DPI has been holding focus groups, doing surveys and talking with teachers “about what should be changed, and what needs greater clarification,” she said.
Educators have suggested some changes in wording and moving some of the standards from one course to another, but she says overall feedback has been “stay the course with the standards,” Atkinson said.
The state typically needs two years to implement new standards because of the need to train teachers and also make sure tests and course materials reflect the new standards.
“One of the challenges with changing standards at this point is that there’s no money in the state budget for professional development (for teachers),” Atkinson said.
Before launching common core standards in 2012, school districts and the state spent about $66 million in federal dollars on professional development and training for teachers, Atkinson said.
In hearings before the General Assembly’s Legislative Research Commission on Common Core, Dr. Atkinson admitted that DPI brushed off that ‘annual 5 year review’ because Common Core came along and the state would just take those standards instead.
Dr. Atkinson cannot honestly sit there and say that DPI needs more money for professional development to make Common Core work when she is responsible for bringing Common Core to the state, sight unseen and with no support in place for the standards to be found anywhere. Maybe she was ‘forced‘.
Atkinson claimed federal money was not a factor and no one had even heard of something like the Race To The Top. That’s interesting since the opposite is true and she knows it. Secretary of Education Arne Duncan came to NC in 2009 and specifically mentioned it. Here is Atkinson’s testimony with my commentary:
I noticed the article mentions the $66 million in Race To the Top money used for ‘professional development’. Originally, Atkinson told the General Assembly it was $58 million yet a week or so later it morphed into $66 million.
To date, DPI has failed to turn over a full accounting of that $66 or $58 million was spent in terms of who attended, where they attended, what was covered and more. All Atkinson would say is that the districts told her they did training but Atkinson refused to elaborate on what that training encompassed.
By the way, Dr. Atkinson and Governor Perdue obligated North Carolina to use Common Core by mentioning it by name in our state’s Race To The Top grant application. That application was submitted 6 months before the standards were released or adopted by North Carolina. The media in North Carolina has yet to report on that or even ask questions about it.
Now that the Race To The Top funds have run out, Common Core has a litany of unfunded mandates in it from materials to tests and technology to training. All of these unfunded mandates, which are estimated in the billions, will land on the tax payer’s shoulders.