HS Chamber Event Misinforms On Common Core

On August 1st, I wrote about an event centering on education being put on by the Holly Springs Chamber of Commerce. It was for Chamber members only and was sponsored by WHIZard Academy.  It’s worth reading the Holly Springs Chamber plan.

At this event, Rep. Paul Stam and school board member Susan Evans were present as were Area Superintendent Lloyd Gardener and Assistant Superintendent of Facilities Joe Desormeaux.

The topics were Common Core and School caps. Not one person on the stage, save Rep. Stam, offered the close to the truth on Common Core but instead offered regurgitated talking points. Fair warning – The ‘skills for a 21st or global workforce’ and ‘career and college ready’ talking points was used multiple times.  I’d love to see the definition of those talking points. To date, no one can offer one. Why? Because no one can’t predict what any one child will be skilled at, what their potential is or what their interests will be using a set of academic standards. It’s a farce.

Video was taken and can be accessed here.

Here are some of my notes

Rep. Stam was first to speak.
Stam is correct that Common Core is multiple problems in one name. He gave an example of the age and developmental inappropriateness of Common Core but then also said Common Core is “just standards”. It’s not just standards — those drive curriculum, tests, materials and everything else. They are also copyrighted and NC cannot change them, which is a big reason why the NCGA passed the bill to repeal them from our statutes and replace them. That commission leads me to a remark by Rep. Stam that raised my eyebrows around the 8:02 mark:

“One of the members of the commission.. I believe… will be from Holly Springs..”

Wait, what?? Applications are still being sent in this week although my sources tell me that there is a list of front-runners already being compiled.

Wake School Board Member Susan Evans spoke near the 10 minute mark.
She talked in circles for a few moments after being asked a question on the plans for curricula for Wake county and never did give any real information or specifics other than “they can’t wrap their heads around it yet”.  Evans did talk about the Wake Envision event and campaign – including “Futurist” David Houle. A campaign that to date has cost over $58,000 to run. I would encourage people to read about this “Futurist“.

At the 15:40ish mark, Evans tries to return to Common Core and re-iterate it’s “just standards”.  All due respect ma’am, no it’s not. Evans mentions the curriculum is developed at the state level — which is the Department of Public Instruction run by State Superintendent Dr. Atkinson. Dr. Atkinson is president-elect of the CCSSO, one of the two D.C. trade organizations that holds the copyright on the Core. It’s more than a good bet the curriculum they have created is from the same pipeline the Core came from.

Also, the Wake County School Board can’t seem to see beyond the approved Common Core talking points. Perhaps Mrs. Evans has forgotten the parents  who came to speak out at the Superintendent Direct Line forum – 11 of the 12  of them spoke in opposition of Common Core, including me.  We’re the ones who vote, not chambers of commerce.

Mr. Lloyd Gardner speaks around the 16:20 mark.
Around the 20:30 mark he begins talking about how Common Core has this “framework” for a higher level skill set. No, it doesn’t.  Gardner also talked about the increases in proficiency scores, yet failed to mention the scoring system was changed yet again and that cut scores are not the same as raw scores. The EOC’s from the first year under Common Core were atrocious, hence the monkeying with how they were to be scored this year.  Sidenote: Mr. Gardner is one of the top paid Wake County Schools employees as of 2011.

Lloyd Gardner misspoke on how many years NC has used the Common Core claiming it was one. It’s two years, Mr. Gardner and the reason teachers have to devote a great deal of time “diving in” is because it was fobbed off on them without warning or support.  Here’s one of his quotes:

“Since this is the first year of the implementation of Common Core we don’t have recent numbers however, please note that school leaders and teachers really devote a great deal of time in diving deeper into how these new standards impact school structure.. Our trends are showing very positive gains.”

Since this was a closed event, there was no one there to set the record straight or even offer debate. I hope the Holly Springs Chamber and Business community read this article and start asking real questions.

Related Reading:  
New NC Superintendent “Consortium” Recommends 7 Year Common Core Lock In

About A.P. Dillon

A.P. Dillon is a freelance journalist and is currently writing at The North State Journal. She resides in the Triangle area of North Carolina. Find her on Twitter: @APDillon_
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