NC Enters Year 4 of Common Core and Reading Retention for 3rd Graders Increases Statewide

The headline at the News and Observer reads, “More NC third graders retained for poor reading“.

File this one under: Things I saw Coming And Was Called Crazy For.


The second year of the state’s public school literacy law saw more third graders – about 1 in 7, in all – retained because they were not reading well.

Under the law, most students who cannot show they are reading at grade level before beginning fourth grade risk being retained. Schools have the option of having students repeat third grade, moving them to a transition class or to a fourth grade class where they receive extra reading help. Students are counted as being retained in all those cases.

The state’s retention rate rose slightly to 13.6 percent from 12.7 percent from last year. But the rates of increase were significantly higher in some local districts. In Durham County, the retention rate increased to 23.2 percent, up from 17.8 percent. In Orange County, the retention rate increased more than five percentage points, to 18.2 percent.

Rates increased in Johnston County to 7.1 percent from 6.5 percent, and in Chapel Hill-Carrboro schools to 7.5 percent from 6.5 percent. Wake retained 11.2 percent of its third graders, up from 9.9 percent last year.

The law the article is citing is Read To Achieve.   Read to Achieve was spawned by Jeb Bush’s Foundation for Excellence in Education (FEE).

Jeb Common CoreThe powers that be at the NC Legislature have adopted more Bush tied reforms than just Read To Achieve. Another example is the wildly unpopular A-F report cards.  Don’t forget the Bush/Common Core influence behind the new push for Digital Learning either.

It’s no coincidence that Jeb Bush and FEE are the biggest Common Core supporters beyond the Chamber of Commerce and Common Core’s main financial backer, Bill Gates himself.

What the article does not cite is that North Carolina has just entered year four of Common Core. That means that the kids hitting Third grade this year have never known anything but Common Core.

Ravitch FallacyIf the claims of supporters of the standards are to be believed, scores should be going through the roof, yet they are not. Supporters of the standards promised us flying cars or something… right?

Common Core’s standards in grades K-3 have been criticized for being age and developmentally inappropriate.   Logic dictates that in order to be a good writer, one must first be a good reader.

Common Core’s emphasis has been the opposite and for some time now, critics have pointed out that the English Language Arts (ELA) standards are pushing writing more than reading.

The early standards often push skill sets appropriate for a child who is already a proficient reader. For example, the First grade standards include a long list of the learning the finer points of English grammar and syntax without children being confident and proficient readers yet.

At what point does Dr. Atkinson admit her precious Common Core is failing our kids? Perhaps maybe once her term as President of the CCSSO is over?

For the uninitiated, the CCSSO is the Council of Chief State School Officers. This organization, alongside the National Governors Association were the groups used to give legitimacy to the claim that Common Core was ‘state-led’.  These two groups also hold the copyright on the standards.

The article closes with this:

Sherri Miller, director of K-3 Literacy in Wake, said attendance in the district’s camps increased this year, as did the percentage of students who passed a reading test after camp.

Nothing changed dramatically in the district, Miller said, making it difficult to say why more students were retained.

It’s not difficult to say why more students were retained if one considers what is being taught: Common Core.

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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:
This entry was posted in A.P. Dillon (LL1885), Common Core, EDUCATION, NCGA, Testing and tagged , , . Bookmark the permalink.

9 Responses to NC Enters Year 4 of Common Core and Reading Retention for 3rd Graders Increases Statewide

  1. Pingback: NC Enters Year 4 of Common Core and Reading Retention for 3rd Graders Increases Statewide | Tillett For CT

  2. Pingback: What They’re Saying About Education In NC – (10/16/15) #NCED | Lady Liberty 1885

  3. I hate to be the cynic, well maybe not, but anyway, don’t higher retention rates mean more education therefore more overtime or more positions for teachers? Is this just one method that the NEA and teachers unions can get more jobs / dues?


    • A.P. Dillon says:

      That’s one way of looking at it. Another is that the ones we have are either not getting the job done or are hindered by a set of experimental standards. Or both.


  4. Jim says:

    The real problem with Common Core (which is a standard and not a curriculum) is that it shows just how behind our kids and education systems are. It’s not the standard’s fault. The fault is in the exceptionally low standards we came to accept with decades of inadequacy.


    • A.P. Dillon says:

      I’m going to disagree with you.
      Common Core has some standards which have been around for a while, however the way CC is structured by pushing concepts meant for older learners down into the beginning grades is a recipe for failure.
      Common Core has zero evidence behind it. Zero.


  5. Pingback: Common Core Test Score Manipulation Can't Hide Standards Failure - #StopCC #StopCommonCore - Stop Common Core NCStop Common Core NC

  6. Anngie says:

    Wait what? Common core didn’t produce the BEST readers ever? These 4th graders aren’t going to blow the Finns and Chinese out of the water on the PISA? I’m so unexpectedly disappointed.


  7. Kim says:

    This is no surprise. Many of us saw this coming and were criticized for it. One person who has been very vocal about it is Greg Brannon. He even wrote a paper on it. I’m pasting the contents in this comment area. We need more men like him willing to step up and fight the fight for truth and liberty.

    Common Core
    By Dr. Gregory J. Brannon
    April 2, 2014
    ​Common Core is a standardized education system that does an injustice to our kids, to parents, teachers and to our country as a whole. Common Core goes against Biblical teaching and the Constitution that our Founding Fathers gave us to frame our government. Common Core hurts our public schools, our private and home schools and ultimately our colleges. Common Core is unacceptable and needs to be eliminated. The more informed citizens are about Common Core, the more the outrage that follows.
    ​God is very clear in His Word about education. He writes in Proverbs 1:7, “The fear of The Lord is the beginning of knowledge. But fools despise wisdom and instruction”. James Madison said, “Knowledge will forever govern ignorance; and a people who mean to be their own governors must own themselves with the power which knowledge gives.” Knowledge is what we need to give our children, not Common Core Standards!
    ​There are three questions that we must ask ourselves: “Who is sovereign?”, “What is the legitimate role of government?”, and “Who is in charge of our children?” These questions will put Common Core in perspective and show why it needs to be eliminated. The first question, “Who is Sovereign?” can be answered by first defining Sovereign. One definition of sovereign in Webster’s Dictionary is: “King or Queen.” According to God’s Word in Timothy 6:15, “which He will manifest in His own time, He who is the blessed and only Potentate, the King of kings and Lord of lords.” God is the ultimate Sovereign ruler and He made us in his image to be sovereign. Another definition of sovereign in Webster’s is, “having independent authority and the right to govern itself”. We, being made in God’s image, are sovereign and have the authority to govern ourselves.
    ​“What is the legitimate role of government?” It is the rule of law, not of man. Simply put, the legitimate role of government is to protect the individual inalienable rights.
    ​The last question is, “Who is in control of our children?” God created each man and woman and gave each child parents to love and nurture and offer guidance as the child grows. Parents are the ones who have control of their children and should maintain that control in every aspect of the child’s life, including education. James Wilson, one of the Founding Fathers, said, “It is the duty of parents to maintain their children decently, and according to their circumstances; to protect them according to the dictates of prudence; and to educate them according to the suggestions of a judicious and zealous regard for their usefulness, their respectability and happiness.” Parents know and love their children more than anyone else and will always pursue for the very best for them. With parental control of education, parents will advocate for their best education possible.
    ​Common Core is a standards based education policy that is being forced on our children and it has no place in their lives. We are sovereign and should have rule over ourselves, the government has no right to impose these standards on our children and parents have every right and responsibility to protest this governmental intrusion into the life of their children.
    ​More evidence that Common Core has no place in our schools is that it is a direct contradiction to true Federalism. We are a country that is made up of dual sovereignty, which means that there are two powers of government that have separate functions. Though they have separate functions, they have one mission and that is to protect our individual inalienable rights. The state sovereignty comes from the individual and it is up to each individual to maintain that sovereignty. The United States Constitution lists enumerated functions, or powers that are specifically given to Congress. These functions can be found in Article 1 Section 8.
    In those 18 enumerated functions, education IS NOT listed. Therefore, the federal government has no Constitutional right to be involved with the educational system of the states. In fact, the NC Constitution is clear about NC’s role in education. This can be found in Article 1, Section 15 of the NC Constitution: “The people have a right to the privilege of education and it is the duty of the state to guard and maintain that right.” The federal government has no legal right to reach into North Carolina and dictate what curriculum that is used.
    ​Looking back to the history of education, Woodrow Wilson wanted a two-tiered system. He said, “We want one class of persons to have a liberal education, and we want another class of persons, a very much larger class of necessity in every society, to forgo the privilege of a liberal education and fit themselves to perform specific difficult manual tasks.” This frame of mind goes along with John Dewey’s philosophy on education. Dewey was a socialist and an atheist and co-authored The Humanist Manifesto 1. Dewey is quoted as saying, “We must help the God-indoctrinated person realize that morals and ethics are manmade…(and thus teach him to) discard his outdated, immoral, or evil values (by) replacing them with RATIONAL ONES.” In his book, The Underground History Of American Education, John Taylor Gatto says this about the Education Trust of 1917: “the major administrative jobs in American schooling were under the control of “the Education Trust”: representatives of Rockefeller, Carnegie, Harvard, Stanford, University of Chicago, and the National Education Association.

    The chief end, wrote Benjamin Kidd, was to “impose on the young the ideal of subordination.” Gatto called Andrew Carnegie, J.P. Morgan, John D. Rockefeller, and Henry Ford “The Four Architects of Modern Forced Schooling” who thought that modern industry needed “workers who know nothing”. Dewey in 1933, advocated that, “Man is responsible for what he/she gets out of life. There is no hereafter. There should be NO LIMITS to pleasure one can seek in life. UNLIMITED ABORTION RIGHTS, HOMSEXUALITY, DIVORCE, EUTHANASIA, AND SUICIDE are exalted as an acceptable way out of an unhappy life!” This mentality is not what our education system needs to be made up of.

    North Carolina’s Constitution says in Section 1: “Religion, morality, and knowledge being necessary to good government and the happiness of mankind, schools, libraries, and the means of education shall forever be encouraged.” NC is obligated to protect education and keep its influences at a state level, at a parental level. With the implementation of Common Core in NC, it violates its own Constitution and the US Constitution. The federal government enticed the states, including NC to accept Common Core, by offering federal dollars for programs like Title 1, Race to the Top and No Child Left Behind. Here lies the violation…the federal government has no authority to intervene in the state’s educational systems. While Common Core is being implemented in public schools, it is not mandated in home schools or private schools. However, the standardized tests are written to the Common Core standards and each private and home school must teach their students the material that they must know in order to pass the standardized tests. This includes PSAT/SAT and the Advanced Placement tests that are required for college acceptance.

    Members of the Common Core Validation Committee have refused to sign off on the standards. The English portion of Common Core has students reading mostly non fiction material and not literary where imagination and cultural knowledge is learned. The Math portion has many missing math components like prime factorization, conversion with fractions, it replaces Euclidean Geometry with an experimental approach, it takes Calculus out of the curriculum for most students and the list continues. These deficits in Common Core’s teaching standards attack the STEM areas of education. Common Core does not challenge our students to a higher level of learning; it lowers the standards therefore weakening our educational systems in comparison to other high achieving countries.

    “The Family Education Rights and Privacy Act is a federal law that protects the privacy interests of students.” Up until the amendments of 2008 and 2011, parents could view, change and have control over who has access to their child’s school records. After the amendments in 2008 and 2011, that changed so that sharing information between institutions is much easier. NC received a grant in 2012 from the US Department of Education to develop and begin using “P-20W”. “General Statues 116E allows the NC Longitudinal Data System Board with creating an inventory of what student data will be collected and reporting it to the Joint Legislative Oversight Committee.” What this means is that there are over 400 portals of data collection that collect information on each child beginning in preschool and going until that child reaches 20 and in the workforce. Some avenues of data collection are: attendance records, immunization records, doctor visits, prescription medicine (type of drug, reason and dosage), standardized tests results, hobbies, attitudes toward school and many, many other portals. The danger with this is that a child’s records are readily available and the parent has no idea who is accessing the data and for what reason. This is a clear violation of all privacy laws. Common Core is a vital part of the collection of educational data on each child and is shared with other agencies.

    John Taylor Gatto, a three time teacher of the year, said, “When you take the free will out of education that makes it schooling.” Education does not equal schooling. I believe our greatest generation of educators was not our Founding Fathers, but their parents. They taught their children to question and challenge everything. With that, they built the first and only Constitutional Republic based upon the individual over the collective. We must run back to those foundational Constitutional principles. We must not, we will not, allow these central planning social engineers to destroy any more generations! We must get back to individual freedom and liberty, where we should never have left. James Madison said, “A well instructed people alone can be permanently a free people.” We must instruct and educate our children in order for our country to remain a free country and not one of socialism. Common Core does not instruct our children, it leads us on a fast pace tract to socialism and we must stop it!


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