A new state commission on Monday started to tackle the job of recommending new academic standards for mathematics and English language arts to replace Common Core.
Legislators who helped create the law establishing the commission said they did not want a new name slapped on Common Core, with maybe only one or two changes.
“The legislature won’t take something that’s just a rehash,” said Sen. Jerry Tillman, an Archdale Republican.
Legislators decided this year to have a new Academic Standards Review Commission examine Common Core and recommend changes to the State Board of Education.
The Board of Education adopted Common Core in 2010, and this is the third year that standards are being used in most public school classrooms.
A backlash developed among tea party groups who argued the standards represent a federal takeover of state education. The federal government did not write the standards and did not require states to adopt them – a handful of states never did. But states competing for federal Race to the Top grants received a boost if they adopted Common Core.
Other critics argued that some of Common Core’s expectations are not appropriate for certain grades.
State Board Chairman Bill Cobey said he expected the commission to objectively evaluate the standards and make modifications where needed. Changes should be based on “facts and research,” Cobey said, not on emotions. He hoped for standards that are “clear, concise, measurable, and age-appropriate.”
Cobey is one of two State Board members on the 11-member commission.
Gov. Pat McCrory voiced support for Common Core early on, but he ended up signing the law creating the commission. McCrory issued a statement when he signed the bill in July, saying it didn’t change any of the state’s education standards but “does initiate a much-needed, comprehensive and thorough review of standards.”
The commission chose Andre Peek, an IBM sales executive from Raleigh, and Jeannie Metcalf, a long-time member of the Forsyth Board of Education from Winston-Salem, as its leaders.
Peek said he has supported Common Core since its inception, but wants the commission to examine the standards objectively and come up with changes based on facts.
Metcalf would not give her thoughts on the standards, but said she had heard more about flaws from math teachers than from English teachers.
The commission discussed moving forward with getting details on the standards, conducting surveys, and setting up focus groups.