North Carolina lawmakers have taken the first steps to repealing Common Core standards for students in kindergarten through twelfth grades. A committee gave its support to proposed legislation that would do just that. It still needs to go before the full General Assembly.
North Carolina public schools have been using a set of standards for math and English called the Common Core for the past two years. Think of them as goals for what children are expected to learn. Nearly all states have adopted them, but North Carolina is now among several that are thinking of doing away with the standards.
For the past five months, a legislative committee has studied whether that makes sense. The panel has decided it does.
“We’re just doing what the people have asked me to do,” said Senator Jerry Tillman of Archdale. “Now, that’s amazing how the tea party and the soccer moms are together on questioning why we would turn education over to a federal conglomerate of states and why don’t we do our own like the Constitution said. It’s just as simple as that.”
The Common Core was developed to help states raise standards and come up with a common set of expectations for what students should know. Critics argue the standards haven’t been thoroughly researched and, in some cases, aren’t age appropriate. School superintendents and business leaders in the state have urged lawmakers to keep the Common Core in place.
Committee member Senator Earline Parmon of Winston-Salem says repealing the standards now after all the money and time the state has invested in them would be a waste.
“I think that’s a disservice to the public, to our students, and to our educators,” Parmon told the committee.
The draft legislation would create a group to re-write the state’s academic standards. It would also give North Carolina until at least 2015 to adopt new standards.
The General Assembly will take the measure up this summer. Several lawmakers, including House Speaker Thom Tillis, say they want to do away with the Common Core. Governor Pat McCrory has voiced support for the standards.
Last month, Indiana became the first state to opt out of the Common Core.