The Friday before the Christmas holiday, the NC Academic Standards Review Commission
(ASRC) met for the last time.
This final meeting was their fifteenth in as many months. And they blew it.
Going into the final meeting all indications were that the commission agreed that much of the K3math and some of the ELA were age and developmentally inappropriate. The commission also seemed to be in agreement that the high school math progression was not working either.
The ELA recommendations seemed very basic and largely restated the purpose of the
commission’s task. The math standards were far more specific and included taking Minnesota math standards in place of Common Core. The ELA standards were quickly voted on and passed. The math was not.
What went on with the math standards was an inquisition with one purpose: to discredit Dr. Scheick and make sure the math stayed exactly the same. I am not exaggerating.
Certain commission members seemed to turn cannibal and went after Dr. Scheick in a manner that had the entire room uncomfortable and confused. Even the media in attendance were confused.
Led by Jeffrey Isenhour, Ann Clark, Denise Watts, Laurie McCollum, Olivia Oxendine, Bill Cobey and Andre Peek were clearly working in concert to make sure that Dr. Scheick’s
recommendations died in that meeting. It was appalling.
At one point, Jeffrey Isenhour was questioning the definition of a single word in one of Dr.
Scheick’s recommendations. It got so bad, that Commissioner Metcalf got up and left. She never came back. When I caught up with Metcalf later, she said she left because she, “was embarrassed and ashamed for the way Dr. Scheick was being treated.”
I think everyone watching was.
I explain in more detail what went on in my article at Civitas, NC Common Core Commission Takes a Dive. The end result is that after fifteen months of work, including countless hours of research, surveys, testimony, and evidence, the ASRC threw it all out the window.
The ASRC failed to complete the task set out for them in SB 812.
The final report is due to the NC Board of Education and the General Assembly on December 31st. I am hoping ALL of their research gets turned over, including the teacher listening tour results which overwhelmingly sided with Dr. Scheick’s recommendations.
Bill Cobey is the Chairman of the State Board of Education. Dr. Olivia Oxendine is on the State Board of Education as well.
Without argument, these two should never have been on the ASRC since the State Board of Education has to receive the report. Instead, two citizen parent representatives should have been installed on this commission.
At the time the ASRC was selected, I questioned the choices of Sen. Berger and former Rep. Thom Tillis and it looks like I was over the target — Both Clark and Watts worked consistently to undermine the task of the ASRC.
At the final ASRC meeting, Cobey said that the’ Dept. of Public Instruction (DPI) is the
administrative arm of the State Board of Education’. Cobey also made statements that DPI
doesn’t do anything unless they are directed to by the state board and that the recommendations from the ASRC would be turned over to the “Committee on Student Learning and Achievement.”
Coincidentally, Dr. Oxendine is the Vice Chair of that committee.
Given that the ASRC has failed to complete the task set out for them and that Senator Tillman reminded them that the legislature was not going to accept a rehash of Common Core, it stands to reason that the legislature will have to take action. This will be the second time they’ve had to act because the State Board, Superintendent Atkinson and the NC DPI have not.