NC panel starts revision of Common Core standards

Sep 23, 2014 by

Raleigh, N.C. — As part of legislation repealing the controversial Common Core academic standards in North Carolina public schools, a new state commission began the process Monday of reviewing math and English language targets for students to devise a new system of standards.

The Academic Standards Review Commission has a year to come up with standards to recommend to the State Board of Education. The Common Core standards started to show up in classrooms two years ago and will stay in place until any changes are finalized.

A national organization of state school officers and the National Governors Association developed the Common Core standards, which the federal government encouraged states to accept with potential grant money as an incentive. Forty-four states and Washington, D.C., adopted them, with North Carolina one of the earliest to sign on. Indiana, Oklahoma, South Carolina and Missouri have since decided to rewrite the Common Core standards.

North Carolina has spent more than $66 million to train teachers on the standards, which are supposed to focus on key concepts and help students understand how to apply them in real-life situations, State Schools Superintendent June Atkinson said.

But Common Core became a target for conservatives, who called it a federal takeover of local education. It also angered some parents, who said the standards were inappropriate in several areas.

“I’m hopeful that the standards will remain strong and any issues with age-appropriateness standards, that those would be the ones that would be addressed,” said Phil Kirk, a Republican business leader who headed the state school board for six years under former Democratic Govs. Jim Hunt and Mike Easley. “We’ve spent tens of millions of dollars developing the standards and training teachers and it will be frustrating if we have to start all over on that.”

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