Members of a state commission said Monday they need money soon if they’re going to be able to come up with a replacement to the Common Core standards used in North Carolina’s public schools.
The Academic Standards Review Commission is charged with bringing in experts and meeting with groups to recommend by the end of 2015 new standards in math and English language arts. But the commission hasn’t received any funding, though the body was signed into law in July.
“We are running out of time,” said Co-Chairman Andre Peek, an IBM executive from Raleigh. “This needs to be solved soon. We need money to bring in professionals.”
Sen. Jerry Tillman, the co-chairman of the state Senate’s Education Committee, was at Monday’s meeting. He said in an interview that he thought that the state Department of Administration, which houses the commission, would provide funding. Tillman said he’ll meet with legislative leaders soon to come up with money for the commission.
North Carolina is one of more than 40 states that adopted the Common Core standards. But a national backlash largely led by conservatives has caused several states to back away from the Common Core.
So far, the 11-member commission has heard presentations on the current standards from the state Department of Public Instruction, whose staff is distrusted by Common Core opponents.
One of the major concerns raised Monday about the math standards was whether they’re age appropriate. Concepts such as learning about decimals and multiplying fractions were moved into earlier grade levels under the Common Core.
“It may look good in paper, but the translation in the classroom, it’s a disaster,” said Tammy Covil, a commission member and New Hanover County school board member.
Another concern was how the state eliminated the Algebra I, geometry and Algebra II high school courses in favor of new courses that combined the older courses and some other math topics. Most states that adopted the Common Core allowed school districts to keep their traditional math courses.
Jennifer Curtis, chief of DPI’s math section, said the transition has had “bumps,” and that DPI is getting teacher feedback on potential changes. But Curtis said that DPI has heard many positive comments and success stories, too.