Under the Dome

Dome: Lt. Gov. Dan Forest unhappy with DPI response on Common Core

From Staff ReportsAugust 23, 2013 


North Carolina Lt. Gov. Dan Forest says he has serious qualms about the state's "rush to implement" the K-12 learning standards known as "Common Core."

TAKAAKI IWABU — tiwabu@newsobserver.com

File this under: Ask and ye shall receive.

Back in July, Lt. Gov. Dan Forest sent a letter to the Department of Public Instruction with 67 questions about the Common Core State Standards, the new learning goals adopted in North Carolina and most other states. Forest has been a critic of the Common Core, which has become a favorite target of the Tea Party and conservative talk show hosts.

Forest asked State Superintendent June Atkinson for the answers by the start of this school year.

His letter was not 67 simple questions, however. Including appendices, the letter ran for 40 pages and the questions had more than 150 sub questions and requests for documentation.

Earlier this month, he got answers. He described the DPI response Thursday in a news release and YouTube video: 12 boxes with 40,000 pieces of paper with references to 134 websites, 320 separate reports, 40 presentations, a blog post and a thumb drive. Apparently he didn’t want to read it all.

“If the Lieutenant Governor, who is a member of the State Board of Education, has questions dismissed in this manner, imagine what will happen this school year when an individual parent or teacher asks these same questions,” he said. “It is unclear to me, why a Department that is supposed to promote the Common Core Standards is hiding behind mountains of information and not offering clear, concise, common sense responses to very reasonable questions.”

It was government bureaucracy at its best, Forest said.

And he vowed that he would mail a copy of the DPI response to every legislator, school superintendent, school board member and county commissioner in the state.

Dome wants to know who will pay for the postage.

Tillis called ‘establishment’

U.S. Senate candidate Greg Brannon is using his far-right conservative views to draw a sharp divide between himself and Republican rival House Speaker Thom Tillis on the issue of the federal health care law. Brannon favors the Tea Party-inspired move to defund Obamacare and criticizes Tillis – though not by name – for not agreeing to do the same. In maneuvering to stake ground as the more conservative candidate in the GOP primary, Brannon calls Tillis an “establishment candidate.”

From an email to supporters, Brannon writes: “We must take a stand and stop the government takeover of healthcare by DEFUNDING Obamacare at every opportunity. That’s exactly what I will do if elected to the U.S. Senate.

“And the truth is, I’m the ONLY candidate in this race for U.S. Senate that you can trust to follow through ... In fact, unlike my establishment-backed opponent, I’ve signed a pledge promising to join Senators Rand Paul, Mike Lee, and Ted Cruz in their fight to defund ObamaCare.”

McCrory doesn’t show

Except for some TV cameras, Bicentennial Mall in downtown Raleigh was mostly empty on Thursday when Madison Kimrey, 12, showed up with a chocolate Bundt cake, lemonade and hope. Madison had asked – via a YouTube video – Gov. Pat McCrory to join her for cake and conversation.

Madison specifically wanted to talk about some recently signed laws she disagrees with – namely changes to the election law which stops pre-registration of 16-and 17-year-olds.

Madison told the media present that she didn’t think McCrory would show, especially after comments he made on Wednesday during a radio interview. He indicated liberal groups were responsible for the meeting request.

Madison was accompanied by her mother and Eric Lundy, a regional organizer for MoveOn.org. Lundy insisted he was only there “helping out with logistics,” and said Madison came to him to ask about doing a petition.

Staff writers Jane Stancill, John Frank and Annalise Frank

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