NC Chamber Misleads on #HB657, Seeks to Deny Choice to NC Students – #NCGA

“The business community’s input and needs were heard and clearly addressed in the high school math standards approved by the State Board.”
– NC Chamber of Commerce 6/14/16

The business community’s needs and input are far more important than that of parents and students.

The NC Chamber of Commerce knows what is best for your children. After all, your children are their future worker bees.

Hire Standards AllYourKids All your kids are belong to them.

NC Chamber showed their devotion to protecting the Mother Ship, Common Core, by opposing HB 657 in a statement yesterday. A copy of the statement is at the bottom of this article.


I’m shocked this statement wasn’t put out by their  Foundation’s well-funded Common Core shill group, Hire Standards, which cares so much about education that it hasn’t been active for over a year.

So, what is the Chamber’s alleged lobbyist Andrew Meehan for then?

I say allegedly because Meehan has performed work for the Chamber’s Hire Standards on several occasions, but Meehan isn’t registered with the Secretary of State as a Chamber lobbyist. Something there stinks.

I called the Foundation ‘well-funded’, and by that I mean big donations by Common Core giants like Achieve, Inc. and the Helmsley Foundation.

According to the Chamber Foundation’s own 2015 annual report, these two made ‘platinum level donations to the Chamber Foundation between $500,000 – $999,999.

Chamber Statement Vague,  Misleading

HB 657 proposes offering a choice between Common Core Integrated math and the Traditional math sequence taught in our state prior to Common Core.  The bill is up for a second reading today (6/15).

This bill is an affront to Common Core true believers. To them, it’s Common Core or nothing.  The Chamber has rarely gotten anything right in the past on Common Core and their latest statement on HB 657 is no different.

Here’s what they got wrong:

  • HB 657 is not a “review process”.
  • HB 657 would not “undo” the math revisions approved by the State Board of Education. it would offer an option to students and parents.
  • HB 657 would not “leave the standards open to constant overhaul by the legislature”, but maybe it should since DPI can’t be trusted and the State Board while under Bill Cobey won’t keep DPI in order.
  • HB 657 would not  “start the entire standards revision process over”.  No revision would be needed. The traditional math sequence is a well-known quantity in North Carolina and can be implemented side by side with ease. In fact, it was taught side by side for the first two years Common Core was implemented as a means of transition.

The statement also  says that:

“The State Board’s work is a direct result of the standards review process created by the General Assembly in 2014.”

I believe this is referring to Section 3.(b)  of SB 812. The State board never did what SB 812 directed them to do under that section. Instead, they’ve just nodding their head to whatever DPI is including in their current standards review process, which takes places every 5 years.

The statement keeps hammering this theme:

“We stand behind the standards revision process mandated by the legislature in 2014.” 

No, they don’t. Or they would have a problem with DPI doing what was assigned to the State Board of Education. What the Chamber wants is a rebrand.

DPI’s 5-year review process was supposed to be separate from the task in SB 812 given to the State Board of Education. The State Board of Ed was supposed to review standards from other states and considering the Academic Standards Review (ASRC) recommendations.

Instead, the ASRC recommendations were handed to State Board’s Student Learning and Achievement committee. That committee has just two members, Eric Davis, and Dr. Olivia Oxendine.

Oxendine was on the ASRC and was one of the members who took part in the vicious attack on Dr. Scheick, head of the math work group. One member left before the vote because she was so mad about the way Scheick was treated.

In the end, the elderly Dr. Scheick’s careful and well-outlined recommendations were scuttled by the commission. He was railroaded and it was obvious, even to the media.

Ultimately, Oxendine’s planted idea that the math recommendations should look like her ELA standards recommendations came to pass. The ELA recommendations, which were a watered down re-statement of the ASRC’s task set out in SB 812,  were then applied to the math.

The result? 15 months of work gone in one session. This is why the legislature is now stepping up – again. They are not fooled by the ASRC’s final meeting antics nor DPI’s rebrand attempt.

Anyone opposing HB 657 is doing so out of sheer spite and frankly, choosing a set of flawed standards over North Carolina’s children.  The Chamber has shown what side they are on.

PARENTS:  The Senate convenes at 2 pm! CALL YOUR SENATORS THIS MORNING! (Contact Info Here)

NC Chamber Statement date: 06/14/16

NC Chamber Opposes Bill that would Harm NC’s High Academic Standards

The NC Chamber continues to have significant concerns about legislation that would re-start the review process for our K-12 academic standards. House Bill 657 is scheduled for a vote in the North Carolina Senate this week. The bill would allow each student to choose their high school math sequencing, effectively undermining a single set of high school math standards.

The legislation would undo the high school math standards revisions approved recently by the State Board of Education. The State Board’s work is a direct result of the standards review process created by the General Assembly in 2014. In following this long and careful process, the State Board built on our existing high standards and made them even clearer for teachers, students and parents.

High school math is one of the most critical components for workforce development in North Carolina. High standards are vital to our state’s talent pipeline and have remained a top priority for the NC Chamber. The business community’s input and needs were heard and clearly addressed in the high school math standards approved by the State Board. North Carolina teachers reviewed feedback from across the state and wrote the revisions, providing clarity on the standards themselves and addressing sequencing concerns.

Now is not the time to add uncertainty to the standards or revision process. HB 657 would restart the process and create a host of problems, including:

  • Tremendous uncertainty – North Carolina’s business leaders call for predictability and stability in our workforce development efforts. This legislation would leave the standards open to constant overhaul by the legislature.
  • Unnecessary delays in improving our standards – This legislation would start the entire standards revision process over, the process designed and voted on by the legislature in 2014.
  • Uncertainty for high school math standards – The bill creates two different sequences for high school math standards.

House Bill 657 is an impediment to our state’s effort to create a strong workforce and make sure students graduate career and college ready. We stand behind the standards revision process mandated by the legislature in 2014.

About A.P. Dillon

A.P. Dillon is a freelance journalist and is currently writing at The North State Journal. She resides in the Triangle area of North Carolina. Find her on Twitter: @APDillon_
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