NC State Rep. Cotham’s Politicizing Of Common Core

Update: Welcome Carolina Plott Hound Readers!

Yesterday at the final meeting of the NC General Assembly’s Common Core LRC, a report and draft bill were introduced that removes Common Core from the state statutes and details a commission to be set up to replace the Common Core over the next one to two years.

President Elect of the CCSSO, June Atkinson, who is also NC’s State Superintendent, was absent from this meeting but lent her opinion in a press release. Her absence wasn’t a big issue since Rep. Brandon and Rep. Cotham took up what arguably could be considered a similar line of attack. The word “politicizing” was the big theme. My thoughts on their performances:

Charlotte Observer captures some of this “politicizing” commentary:

Several Democrats voted against dropping Common Core. Rep. Tricia Cotham, a Matthews Democrat, called the whole affair “political theater” that does a disservice to children and teachers.

The state has spent several years and millions of dollars to train teachers and implement the new standards, which hit classrooms in fall 2012. And while that process has been problematic, Cotham said, dumping Common Core now “will create classroom chaos.”

She said a commission of political appointees should not be dictating North Carolina’s classroom standards. “That is scary,” she said, “because that is politicizing curriculum and school standards.”

The lady doth protest too much.  

Well, again, one has to wonder if Rep. Cotham, a member of the Common Core LRC, is tone-deaf or just ignoring the slew of parents who showed up to give statements saying the Common Core was doing just that in classrooms — creating chaos. Update: she wasn’t even there.

In fact, two-thirds of those who spoke at the public comment meeting of the LRC spoke in opposition to the Common Core — a fact blown off in local media reports, who instead…wait for it… politicized the meeting.

About those millions of dollars? Wasn’t your job on the LRC to account for that spending? Can you state, for the record it, was all spent on Common Core? Also, why did you not call out Dr. Atkinson’s shifting dollar figures on professional development spending from $58 million in the first meeting of the LRC to $66 million in the second meeting? What’s a mere $8 million dollar discrepancy, right?  Rep. Cotham’s silence in the LRC meetings up until the last one has not gone unnoticed.

As to politicizing curriculum and school standards, that’s already been done by the NC Chamber of Commerce, the US Chamber of Commerce, the Council of Chief State School Officers, the National Governor’s Association, Achieve Inc., Pearson, The Smarter Balance Consortium, the PARCC, The Bill and Melinda Gates Foundation, the Department of Education, Arne Duncan and Jeb Bush.

Heck, where did the grant money come from? The President’s Race To The Top, which drew from his Stimulus package.  Add Dr. Atkinson to that list who has made a cottage industry out of calling opposition to Common Core liars and ‘bearing false witness‘. That’s just a starter list, by the way. 

Quick side note: WBTV‘s report gets it wrong when they say lawmakers are working on new curriculum. It’s new standards, right? Because Common Core is not a curriculum. Wasn’t that the big push that Rep. Brandon and Cotham were making? That this is “just standards” not curriculum? Yet here we have Cotham changing course when she’s interviewed by media.

Sen. Parmon also made a few similar politicizing statements and one bizarre claim about the percentage of teachers who approve of Common Core.  I questioned that claim here:

Sen. Parmon also made a bizarre claim about 70% of teachers in NC approving of Common Core. If she was referring to the Scholastic survey, I thoroughly debunked that showing that only 600 some teachers in a Gates funded survey is NOT representative of NC teachers. I would also remind Cotham, Brandon and Parmon that NC had better standards than Common Core and the Fordham Grading report was a sham.

A sham indeed.

About A.P. Dillon

A.P. Dillon is a reporter currently writing at The North State Journal. She resides in the Triangle area of North Carolina. Find her on Twitter: @APDillon_ Tips:
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2 Responses to NC State Rep. Cotham’s Politicizing Of Common Core

  1. Pingback: Wake Ed Board Member Fletcher Hijacks Common Core Standards | Lady Liberty 1885

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