NC SPIN did a special taping of the event.
The attendees were mainly business community members and the panelists included:
- Chris Fitzsimon, Director of NC Policy Watch
- John Hood, President, The John Locke Foundation
- Craig Horn is a retired food broker and entrepreneur
- Andre Peak is a retired executive with IBM and is chairman of the NC Business Committee for Education and co-chair of the Academic Standards Review Commission for the state
- Keith Poston, President and Executive Director of the Public School Forum
- Tom Campbell, Moderator
The conversation covered teacher pay, differential pay for teachers, school choice, virtual charters and lastly, Common Core.
The discussion on Common Core starts around the 22:30 mark.
Pay attention to the moderator, Tom Campbell, as he cuts off Andre Peek’s answer regarding Common Core and launches into a small rant about standards in our state being the “initiative du jour”. Campbell then goes into a sad set of statements about opposition blaming Obama.
Around the 25 minute mark, Campbell turns to Keith Poston for more answers about Common Core and ‘sticking with the standards’. Poston’s response is predictable and a set of assumptions not based in fact or evidence. Poston tied having the same standards in all states to kids being able to get a job where ever they want.
Poston continued and said, “we’re going to make a mistake if we back off high standards.” The implication here being we shouldn’t drop the fundamentally flawed and experimental Common Core. His claim is based on the false assumption that Common Core is indeed a set of higher standards, which has no evidence to back that claim up.
Poston went one step further and proclaimed that, “the Common Core standards we incorporated into our state are the highest standards we’re ever going to have.”
Yes, he really said that.
Following Poston’s remarks, John Hood then was asked about testing. His responses were well-rehearsed sounding and Hood actually launched into a series of comments supporting Poston’s false position and statements on Common Core.
“In this particular case, you can’t go backwards, you can’t stay where you are…As Keith just illustrated. In fact, the screw ups with our testing program in the past demonstrate that simply repealing common core and going back to the system we had before is not an answer.”
Hood then mentioned how pleased he was that North Carolina has adopted the ‘battery of ACT tests’. Hood also mentioned the need for tests like the ACT in K-8.
Mr. Hood, you do realize those tests are all aligned to Common Core, right? Do you also realize that versions of the ACT are already in K-8 and those are Common Core aligned as well?
The purpose of tests like ACT, WorkKeys and EXPLORE isn’t to inform instruction and assist the student, they are designed to assess the student and place them in a silo going forward.
Very disturbing and disappointing commentary from Mr. Hood. Someone please ask him what office he is intending to run for.