I had a chance to speak with a number of them off camera and several of them were confused about how the Commission could vote down the math recommendations when for months they had unanimously said the Common Core math was fatally flawed.
Here are links to the articles from each outlet so far:
- WRAL – State panel doesn’t scrap Common Core as expected
- ABC 11 – Inaction on Common Core leaves critics fuming
- WNCN – Common Core’s Future in NC Uncertain After Stunning Commission Meeting
- News and Observer – Education commission recommends Common Core rewrite, rejects specific math replacements
- EDNC – Academic Standards Review Commission slashes recommendations in final meeting
While I’ve had my issues with EdNC, the last article article in the list above by EDNC is probably the most accurate portrayal.
But after a lot of sometimes acrimonious discussion, both of those measures were voted down.
Commission member Jeffrey Isenhour was one of the most vocal critics of adopting the Minnesota standards. He said that they would need an extensive review before adoption could be considered.
“I think in the beginning we didn’t vet and do our work up front with the current standards,” he said. “I think it would be irresponsible on our part to do the same with another set of standards.” He added later, “And I don’t think it’s fair to the Commission, I don’t think it’s fair to students, teachers or anybody in this state to do a wholesale trade from one horse to another horse,” he said.
Commission member Ted Scheik, who chaired the work group that developed the math recommendations, said he would be willing to amend the proposal to clarify that the Minnesota math standards would just be used as a model. But that amendment wasn’t good enough for majority approval.
Isenhour failed to show up for a single session of the teacher listening tour. He also had been laying the groundwork to kill any math recommendations going back to March of this year.
It is very telling that the commission members wouldn’t even allow for the Minnesota math to be used as a model, despite those standards being widely recognized as solid, showing results better than that of North Carolina and very workable for NC to use, as highlighted by this article in the Courier Tribune.
Scheick’s work group decided to go with the Minnesota standards because it found that they are clearer and meet guidelines in a 2008 national report on math education by the National Mathematics Advisory Panel. Minnesota students do better on national assessments, the state commission’s draft report noted.
This year, 53 percent of Minnesota fourth-graders scored at or above “proficient” on the National Assessment of Educational Progress math test, while 44 percent of North Carolina’s fourth-grade students reached that mark.
On the eighth-grade NAEP math test, 48 percent of Minnesota’s students were at or above proficient, while 33 percent of North Carolina’s were.
NAEP scores, which are considered the nation’s report card, dropped nationally this year compared with 2013. There seems to be no connection between Common Core and student performance on this year’s test.
Minnesota’s fourth-grade scores dropped four points, while North Carolina’s dropped one point, which NAEP considered an insignificant change from 2013. Virginia’s fourth-grade scores were unchanged while Texas saw fourth-grade scores go up two points. Neither state uses Common Core standards.
Eighth-grade math scores were unchanged in Minnesota and Virginia but declined four points in North Carolina and Texas.
Isenhour’s comments here are also ironic. Isenhour basically admits that Common Core was never vetted in North Carolina, but the 15 months of the Commission’s math group work and research were not good enough. The man is a hypocrite.
The fact is that Common Core was adopted wholesale by the NC Board of Education days before the standards were released to the public and a full six months after Dr. Atkinson and Governor Perdue put Common Core into the federal Race to The Top grant application.