Anti-Common Core nuttiness comes to NC

Ugh.  Damn I hope saner voices prevail, but for now, the voices of idiocy are holding sway among the Republicans in the NC legislature:

 — North Carolina would begin walking away from the Common Core standards for math and English in public schools under proposed legislation that a student committee approved Thursday.

“Common Core is gone July 1 if this passes,” said Sen. Jerry Tillman, R-Randolph, one of the measure’s leading proponents.

The full General Assembly will take up the measure when it returns to session in mid-May.

Although the bill does delete legislative language referencing Common Core standards, it does not take them out of play right away. Rather, the measure would create an Academic Standards Review Commission to develop standards “tailored to the needs of North Carolina’s students.”  [emphasis mine]

Riiiight!  Because NC students need unique approaches to understanding math and English.  In North Carolina, 2+ 2 =4.3.  And, clearly critical thinking skills are not needed in the least (certainly not if you plan on serving as a Republican in the state legislature).

“We’ve allowed the Common Core standard to be hijacked by the federal government for the sake of money,” said Rep. Craig Horn, R-Union.

While he initially favored the standards, Horn said that they made the state too dependent on the federal government.

“I just feel that it is time for the state of North Carolina to take responsibility for our own education system and not be dependent upon or subservient to the federal Department of Education or anybody else outside North Carolina for what we do in education,” said Rep. Larry Pittman, R-Cabarrus.

This might be a good time to mention that the standards were agreed upon by the states working together, not mandated by the federal government.  And, even if they were, this might be a good time to mention that all those countries that outperform us in education (and there’s a lot) have national standards.  But alas, reality is not what we are dealing with here:

Common Core critics said the state can’t separate standards from curriculum.

“I don’t like the rewriting of history. I don’t like the revisionist history. I don’t like the social justice. I don’t like the political correctness. It’s not education. It is indoctrination,” said Kim Fink, of New Bern, with the Coastal Carolina Taxpayers Association. “Education started to fail when the Department of Education in Washington, D.C., came into existence. We did fine without them, and we can do fine without them again.”

Arrrrgghhhh!  It’s not like Common Core is some Dept of Ed mandated program.  And even it were it sure is hell is still about critical thinking, common standards across school districts and states, etc., and not “political correctness.”  My God, the stupid!  It hurts!

Here’s where I draw my hope:

In North Carolina, the standards are backed by the North Carolina Chamber, the state’s largest business group.

Alright business, time to step up and not take the dismantling of educational standards due to ideological craziness lying down.


About Steve Greene
Professor of Political Science at NC State

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