The Money For The Academic Standards Review Commission

There are a lot of people out there speculating on the funding to support the Common Core Academic Standards Review Commission (ASRC).  Some of the assumptions out there are muddied or incorrect.  To clarify the funding for this commission, we need to look at the history of SB 812.

The original version put forth placed funding as the responsibility of the Dept. of Administration (DOA) in section six of the bill.

SECTION 6.  There is appropriated from the General Fund to the Department of Administration the sum of two hundred fifty thousand dollars ($250,000) for the 2014‑2015 fiscal year to implement Section 2 of this act.

Edition 1 kept this DOA funding language in section 6.

Edition 2 moved the DOA funding language to section 7.

Edition 3 stripped the DOA funding language out completely.

Edition 4 says the General Assembly is not responsible for appropriating funds, but designates the Current Operations and Capital Improvements Appropriations Act of 2014 as the pot the money will come from:

SECTION 8.  Nothing in this act shall require the General Assembly to appropriate funds to implement it. Section 2 of this act becomes effective only if funds are appropriated by the Current Operations and Capital Improvements Appropriations Act of 2014 to support the work of the Academic Standards Commission.

Note: The Current Operations and Capital Improvements act 2014 does not mention the ASRC at all, but does allot $1,764,816 to the Dept. of Administration overall.  The Dept. of Administration falls under control of the Governor’s office.  That being said, it is becoming clear why this funding language was stripped out.

Edition 5 keeps the same wording as Edition 4 on the funding (section 8).

The final passed bill removed language about funding and Current Operations and Capital Improvements Appropriations Act of 2014. In fact, the final bill says nothing about where the money is supposed to come from at all beyond the Dept. of Administration providing meeting space and supplies.

Here is what the final bill says with regard to funding:

SECTION 2.(e)  To the extent that funds are available, the Commission may contract for professional, clerical, and consultant services. Professional and clerical staff positions for the Commission may be filled by persons whose services are loaned to the Commission to fulfill the work of the Commission.

SECTION 2.(f)  The Department of Administration shall provide meeting rooms, telephones, office space, equipment, and supplies to the Commission and shall be reimbursed from the Commission’s budget, to the extent that funds are available.

SECTION 2.(g)  To the extent that funds are available, the Commission members shall receive per diem, subsistence, and travel allowances in accordance with G.S. 138‑5, 138‑6, or 120‑3.1, as appropriate.

So, questions remain:
WHERE IS THE FUNDING?
WHY WAS IT STRIPPED OUT TO BEGIN WITH?

Posted in Academic Standards Review Commission, LadyLiberty1885, NCGA, Pat McCrory, The Articles | Tagged , , , , | Leave a comment

Video: Common Core Math ‘Strategies’ Versus An 8 YO

Parents across the country have had it with the multiple and often convoluted Common Core Math strategies being forced onto their kids.  Proponents claim this is supposed to help them understand math at a ‘deeper’ level.

Are some strategies going to work for one kid but not another? Sure.

Is introducing different ways to work out a problem bad? No.

Is forcing kids to learn all the strategies and apply each of them in order to get credit instead of letting them pick the one that works best for them appropriate? Hell no and it’s confusing the kids and parents alike.

And proponents out there, YES – that is exactly what is happening. Do not try to tell me ‘it’s just a set of standards’ and no one is told how or what to teach because we both know that’s a load of crap.

Dots and sticks math ecardWhen you are a hammer, everything looks like a nail.

I get Common Core is trying to marry the ELA writing standards with the math, but stop. Please. This is ridiculous.  Proponents are kidding themselves – these kids are not abstract thinkers at this age.

What throwing all of these different strategies at the kids actually does is create confusion for all involved.

Newsflash to Common Core Proponents: There is nothing wrong with kids learning basic, foundational methods like 2+2=4 and LEAVING IT AT THAT.  Having to draw a picture and then explain their thinking in detail for each and every problem is taking up valuable instruction time that could be spent getting to other concepts.

To be blunt, this is the same ‘new math’ they tried to push on us a few times over the last few decades. It was dumb then and it’s dumb now.  For the record, I’ve never had a single employer ask me to explain my spreadsheet in a column of sticks or my thinking about how I arrived at any given equation.

In about 45 seconds, this 8-year-old says about the same thing. The ‘old’ method was fastest and easiest.

Posted in Common Core, LadyLiberty1885, The Articles, Video | Tagged | 16 Comments

Modesto Teachers Protest Common Core (Video)

Around 125 teachers showed up to protest the launch of Common Core at a Modesto City Schools board meeting.  Teachers claim they are being penalized if they push back or deviate from the Common Core way.

Sounds familiar.

Excerpt from ModBee.com with emphasis added:

About 125 teachers dressed in black packed the Modesto City Schools board meeting Monday to stand in solidarity, complaining of a disorganized and punitive start to Common Core instruction.

The problems are primarily in elementary, where math materials have arrived late and tests have come full of mistakes, said Dana Filippi, Modesto Teachers Association executive director.

“(Reading and writing) teaching strategies that have been tried and true for years are being squashed,” Filippi said, adding that students are being checked for reading progress too often, at least twice every six to eight weeks.

“All the teachers are out here to say we’ve got a problem,” he said.

Beard Elementary teacher Jennifer McGrath-Oller said she was told to exclusively use a “one-size-fits-all” interactive instructional strategy for which teachers received only one day of training to use. Teachers are being given poor evaluations if they deviate, she said. “An unsatisfactory (rating) is now routinely given for things that used to be conversations with principals,” she said.

 

Right below this section of the article is a video.

While this teacher says outright she likes the Common Core, listen to what she says about the ‘new Common Core era’ where their input is being ignored and an entirely new, unproven way of teaching is being imposed and is “removing the parent from the process“.

This teacher also says they are being turned into a “data driven district that leaves little room for actual teaching”.

 

I’ve heard nearly identical complaints from teachers right here in North Carolina.

I’ve also heard how they’ve been warned they need to “go along to get along” when it comes to Common Core. I’ve been told they are worried for their jobs if they talk about the problems.

The question remains, when will NC teachers have enough of this, stand up and speak out?

 

Related Reading:

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

Posted in Common Core, LadyLiberty1885, Testing, The Articles, Video | Tagged , | Leave a comment

Gov. McCrory: Commissions For Me, But Not For Thee

There are a lot of Republicans in North Carolina scratching their heads over Pat McCrory’s governorship thus far.

The most recent example is Governor McCrory suing the legislature over their ability to appoint independent boards and commissions.

One has to ask, what purpose does this stunt hold? And yes, I would qualify this action as a stunt and a transparent one at that.

Senator Jerry Tillman didn’t go as far as to call it a stunt in his newsletter, but it was close. Here’s the relevant excerpt, emphasis added at the bottom is mine:

Governor Sues Legislature

Governor McCrory along with former Governors, Jim Martin and Jim Hunt filed a lawsuit recently to overturn the Legislature’s appointing power of independent commissions and independent boards.

Legislative leaders and our counsel have repeatedly argued the Governors’ lawsuit is flawed, both from a historical as well as a policy perspective.

For more than 100 years, the state legislature has made appointments to many boards and commissions. The Constitution provides the authority and the courts have affirmed it over the years. If the Governor had strong feelings about any bills in question, his option was to veto them. He did not do this. If you understand the logic behind the Governor’s thinking, let me know. It costs a whole lot more to defend lawsuits and to prosecute them than vetoing them. A whole lot of time and money will be spent by both sides in this lawsuit.

The General Assembly’s right to appoint members to independent boards which are beholden to no single appointing authority and right to provide independent oversight is nothing new and has long been upheld by our state’s Supreme Court. Unfortunately, the Governor’s costly and time-consuming lawsuit to ensure he picks the majority of regulatory board members ignores history and sidetracks their important work.

Governor, I believe there’s a better way to work with the House and the Senate. We’ll see…

Apparently, appointments and commissions are alright for the Governor, but not for the legislature.  Make sure you point this out when and if you ever apply for a board or commission on the Governor’s own website.

There’s also the Governor’s eLearning Commission and his Teacher Advisory committee.

Just to drive the hypocrisy of this lawsuit  home, in November alone, Governor McCrory has made appointments to 8 separate commissions and one judicial appointment.

November Commission appointments:

My 2 cents
While the governor has done great things for business in the state, he’s got folks wondering if he plans to run as a Democrat next cycle given all the fights he’s picked, bad appointments he’s made, his bad adviser choices and his love of the toxic Common Core.

2016, so far, is looking like Cooper’s to take.

Posted in LadyLiberty1885, Legal Related, NC Politics, NCGA, Pat McCrory, The Articles | Tagged , | 2 Comments

NC Common Core Commission Mtg – 11-17-14

On Monday, the Academic Standards Review Commission met for the 3rd time.
I was only able to stay for the first half of the meeting, but tweeted during my time there.

NC DPI was brought in again, this time to explain the math. DPI brought in a team of 6 to present, however after two hours, the only presenter up there was still the first one – Dr. Jennifer Curtis.

Read my storify article, NC Common Core Review Mtg – 11-17-14, and see why the initial presentation stalled out and the overall theme of parents being ‘misinformed’ and teachers ‘making bad choices’ on curriculum being the problem and not the fundamentally flawed and experimental Common Core.

ArneDuncan Kids are stupid memeYou got that?

Nothing is wrong with the Common Core.

It’s the teacher’s fault.
It’s your kid’s fault.
It’s your fault you’re too dumb to get the ‘new’ math.

Related read: As heard in the committee

Posted in Academic Standards Review Commission, Common Core, LadyLiberty1885, NC DPI, Shutuppery, Storify | Tagged | Leave a comment