NC State Superintendent and CCSSO President Elect, June Atkinson, went on local political show NC SPIN to talk about “the move away” from Common Core. In the interview, the same talking points are recycled yet again. It was far easier to do with a host practically feeding her lines — It was almost embarrassing to watch.
Narratives of the interview:
- Disruption and constant change
- Money we’ve already spent/cost (see my note below the full video clip)
Hey, haven’t we heard these same narratives recently? Yep.
Discussion About the Replacement Commission
The host also asks about the replacement commission, but does so in a manner that slights the idea using the phrasing “do you have any confidence” while asking his question. (4:17 mark)
Atkinson’s response is that she “has faith in the State Board of Education”. Great. The State Board of Education is headed up by Bill Cobey, who does and says whatever Atkinson says on Common Core. The alarming bit comes when Atkinson makes the following statement:
“In keeping with our NC Constitution, The State Board of Education will have the ultimate decision as to whether the standards are changed.” – Dr. June Atkinson On NCSPIN 8/19/14
I smell a set-up and I think Atkinson just tipped her hand here. The legislation makes no mention of what happens in the event that the State Board of Ed rejects the findings of the Commission. Going by the implications in Atkinson’s statement, what’s to stop the NC Board of Education from overriding the will of the people to keep Common Core and just rename it? Nothing.
Here’s the full video:
At the 3:38 mark Atkinson starts listing the money spent on professional development.
“$44 million by local school districts from federal funds… $22 million from state Race to the Top.. and so our teachers have just become comfortable with using these standards…”
NC adopted Common Core in 2010. If we take Atkinson’s $66 million spent on professional development as true, then we have a serious waste of funds if it took FOUR YEARS, two of which NC was using the standards, for teachers to get “comfortable”.
Reminder about that $66 million:
“Also, Atkinson slid in a change to her testimony from the first hearing with regard to Professional development spending. In the first LRC meeting, she claimed $58 million was spent on Professional development. In the second meeting, she now claims $66 million. So which is it?”