Wake County school board member defends Common Core standards

07/16/2014 6:00 AM

07/15/2014 6:47 PM

With the General Assembly set today to replace Common Core, Wake County school board member Monika Johnson-Hostler is defending using the education standards in North Carolina’s public schools.

In an interview Monday on “The State of Things” on WUNC, Johnson-Hostler said Common Core will better prepare children like her 8-year-old daughter for global competition. She said Common Core’s “rigor is invaluable” for educating students.

“I’m a fan of Common Core and I get that I’m one of few,” Johnson-Hostler said. “I always like to give the disclaimer as to why. It is not how I learned, but I do believe that as a parent my goal is for my daughter to be better and smarter than me.”

On Wednesday, the state House is scheduled to vote on the conference report for Senate Bill 812, which would create a commission to recommend new K-12 math and language arts standards. The Senate approved the revised version last week.

Today’s approval would send the bill to Gov. Pat McCrory’s desk. The new standards, which could include wording from Common Core, could be in place for the 2015-16 school year.

While opposed by many conservatives, Common Core has been backed by the state’s education establishment, including the Wake County school system.

“I think the rigor is invaluable,” Johnson-Hostler said during the radio interview. “We are raising a generation that has to be competitive. There was a not a thought in my mind in 1993 when I graduated from high school that I was going to be competitive with people in other countries. It just wasn’t here for me.

It is there for our kids who are in middle school already. They already know that competition isn’t just their peers in that classroom, but it’s global. And so for us to not pay attention to ways that we can make our kids competitive and compare apples to apples in this country, which is what I think we’ve never done before and Common Core does that.

So what we call it, I’m indifferent to. The rigor and the structure of Common Core and the standards are what are important to me.

I’m also again, I love policy. Common Core speaks to helping our students understand what they learn in the class, how it is applicable to everyday current events.

That’s something that is invaluable to me is that our third-grades are reading the paper and learning farm to table means what to them. They can learn how to measure. They can learn the importance of our environment. So i think if people break it down into those small chunks, I think they can understand why I’m a fan of Common Core.”


The WakeEd blog is devoted to discussing and answering questions about the major issues facing the Wake County school system. WakeEd is maintained by The News & Observer's Wake schools reporter, T. Keung Hui.

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