#SB812 And The Common Core Commission’s Task

Yesterday, Senator Tillman’s newsletter pressed the Common Core Academic Standards Review Commission (ASRC) on their task of “writing new standards” and not just ‘tweaking’ and/or rehashing them. That’s what Senator Tillman has said for many months now about his bill.

Here’s what SB 812 says about the task of the ASRC, with emphasis added:

SECTION 2.(c)  The Commission shall:

(1)        Conduct a comprehensive review of all English Language Arts and Mathematics standards that were adopted by the State Board of Education under G.S. 115C‑12(9c) and propose modifications to ensure that those standards meet all of the following criteria:

a.         Increase students’ level of academic achievement.

b.         Meet and reflect North Carolina’s priorities.

c.         Are age‑level and developmentally appropriate.

d.         Are understandable to parents and teachers.

e.         Are among the highest standards in the nation.

(2)        As soon as practicable upon convening, and at any time prior to termination, recommend changes and modifications to these academic standards to the State Board of Education.

(3)        Recommend to the State Board of Education assessments aligned to proposed changes and modifications that would also reduce the number of high‑stakes assessments administered to public schools.

(4)        Consider the impact on educators, including the need for professional development, when making any of the recommendations required in this section.

The Commission shall assemble content experts to assist it in evaluating the rigor of academic standards. The Commission shall also involve interested stakeholders in this process and otherwise ensure that the process is transparent.

The “writing of new standards” is not among the charges of the ASRC.  Making recommendations to the legislature is what they are supposed to do.

Spectators would do well to remember the difference noted above when it comes time for the ASRC to present its findings sometime next year.

By the way, I’ve talked with various officials in this state about ‘modifying’ the Common Core.  The copyright, contrary to Bill Cobey telling me it’s a “red herring“, is an issue. In a nutshell, you can’t unless you’re staying in the Common Core State Standards Initiative, which North Carolina is not.

Attempting to bob and weave inside of Common Core would be like trying to nail jell-o to wall. Recommendations of the ASRC might should include the idea of scrapping Common Core, returning to our old standards and improving areas that need it might be the best course of action. DPI already said they were in the process of this when ‘magically’ Common Core arrived.  This move would not be unlike what Massachusetts has done.

Supporters will flip out if you suggest going back to our old standards because according to the ‘grading report’ Fordham did, North Carolina’s standards sucked. Except they didn’t.

oh noes cat gates studyMichael Brickman of Fordham came before the NC General Assembly’s Common Core LRC and trotted out this report and a survey. Forham has since taken a beating over that grading report and the survey.  It’s a well deserved beating, because what they peddled was embarrassing and yet some legislators ate it up because the chamber of commerce told them to.

As it turns out Fordham was paid by the Gates Foundation to do that ‘grading report’, so of course the report trashed almost every state’s standards by comparing it to an experimental set of standards that no one had used before. Good times.

Now factor in DPI’s painfully long, involved presentations of the ELA and Math. We watched the ASRC try to map out a single standard through multiple layers and levels. It was the best and worst presentation tactic on Common Core I’d ever seen and displayed very clearly they are not ‘fewer’ or ‘clearer’.

By the way, this not unrelated — DPI is pushing for the January 30th, 2016 deadline for the ESEA waiver renewal.  We need to pay attention to this as I’ve said before.

Public feedback can be sent to Lou Fabrizio:

The public is invited to review and comment on the renewal extension of ESEA Flexibility being requested through Jan. 9, 2015. A copy of the current ESEA Flexibility Request for North Carolina that currently is in place through the 2014-15 school year can be accessed athttp://www.ncpublicschools.org/docs/program-monitoring/esea/flexibility-renewal.pdf . The NCDPI intends to submit its renewal request to the USED by Jan. 30, 2015.

Interested persons may submit their written comments to Lou Fabrizio via email at lou.fabrizio@dpi.nc.gov or US Mail:

Lou Fabrizio, Ph.D.
Director, Data, Research & Federal Policy
North Carolina Department of Public Instruction
6367 Mail Service Center
Raleigh, NC 27699-6367

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About A.P. Dillon

A.P. Dillon is a Co-Founder and Managing Editor at American Lens. She resides in the Triangle area of North Carolina and is the founder of LadyLiberty1885.com. Her past writing can also be found at IJ review, Breitbart, FOX news, Da Tech Guy Blog, Heartland Institute, Civitas Institute and StopCommonCoreNC.org. Find her on Twitter: @APDillon_
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