Under the Dome

Retired officers group backs Common Core

An organization of retired military officers wants the state to keep the Common Core standards for math and English/language arts, saying weaker education goals could put the state in jeopardy in future rounds of base closure decisions.

Members of Mission:Readiness, a nonprofit organization of retired military officers, sent a letter to state Academic Standards Review Commission last week asking them to consider the impact on children in military families.

The state commission is charged with suggesting changes to Common Core, K-12 national education goals in math and English. The state adopted Common Core standards in 2010. The English and math goals became controversial a few years later, with a few states dropping the standards and others, including North Carolina, considering scrapping or rewriting them.

One of the selling points for national standards was that they would make school transitions easier for children who move from state to state.

Retired Rear Admiral Walter Cantrell emphasized this point at a news conference Thursday.

Children in military families move about eight to nine times, on average, between kindergarten and 12th grade, said Cantrell, a Brevard native who lives in Asheville. As his own family moved, his children would be behind or ahead of their new class.

The Chief of Staff of the Army commissioned a study of schools around military bases last year. The Army told communities around military bases it will consider local education quality as it considers troop relocations.

The study of 2013 data , performed by the nonprofit WestEd, found generally low academic performance at high schools around Fort Bragg.