Will latest NC Common Core Math Revisions be just a New Shade of Lipstick on a Pig? Probably.

It’s likely that the vast majority of North Carolinians are unaware that the NC Department of Public Instruction (NC DPI) has been revising the education standards for the state.

Will this be just a new shade of lipstick on the Common Core pig? Probably.

North Carolina’s standards were given the name the “NC Essential Standards”, but most people are also likely unaware that what these standards really are is Common Core.

Right now, the NC DPI has a survey on their website for their 2nd revision of the Kindergarten through 8th-grade math standards for public comment.

This latest revision attempt is lacking in serious ways:

1. Obscured and short public comment time frame.

There has been no effort by the Dept. of Public Instruction to publicize this comment period beyond one small hyperlink buried on their website. This is crippled the value of holding such a comment period.

Also, the public comment for these Common Core math revisions is very short – the window closes April 20th.

2. “Fluency” versus memorization.

There is mention of memorization when it comes to multiplication but not for the basic addition and subtraction facts. The standards ask for “fluency”- but there is a difference between fluency and memorization. What is “fluency” exactly? Does the definition vary from child to child, teacher to teacher and school to school? Yes, it likely does.

Do we need to put the ‘Memorization of addition and subtraction facts’ into state statute too? NC State Statues require memorization of multiplication tables because Common Core lacked it:

“Multiplication Tables. ”“ The standard course of study shall include the requirement that students enrolled in public schools memorize multiplication tables to demonstrate competency in efficiently multiplying numbers.” (See page 13)

3. Where is the outside review?
Common Core was created outside the state, now the Dept. of Public Instruction has made multiple revisions, yet no independent outside entity has been given the chance to ascertain if these revisions are better or worse.

New Shade of Lipstick on a Pig

Lipstick on a PigWill the math suffer the same rubber stamp fate at State Board of Education that the English Language Arts standards?

It seems likely that DPI is just swapping shades of lipstick to put on the Common Core pig.

The State Board of Education held a vote on delaying the adoption of English Language Arts (ELA) revisions. The intent was to take up the pro bono offer of Dr. Sandra Stotsky to examine the revision.

READ: Opinion: Outside Review of Revisions to Common Core Should Happen Anyway

Former Supt. June Atkinson took umbrage with the above-mentioned Opinion article and in her attempt to defend Common Core, smeared Dr. Stotsky on Twitter.

Those voting no on adopting the ELA as written and supporting an outside review process were Dr. Oxendine, Todd Chasteen, Amy White, and Lt. Governor Dan Forest. But it wasn’t enough.

The vote to delay the ELA was close, but fell short as Treasurer Dale Folwell had not bothered to show up and Republicans Buddy Collins, who had been very vocal in favor of an outside review, inexplicably voted to pass the revisions.

Apparently, Folwell has been missing in action from most of the State Board of Education meetings, but this one really crucial as his vote could have tipped the balance.

While officials might be falling down on the job, parents don’t have to. Take the Math Revisions Feedback Survey.


This article first appeared at American Lens News in April 2017.

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: APDillon@Protonmail.com
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