The Wake Education Partnership, a business-backed advocacy non-profit organization, is urging a state group not to recommend repealing the Common Core math standards used in North Carolina’s public schools.
In a letter dated Monday to the Academic Standards Review Commission, WakeEd President Steve Parrott says it’s concerned that ASRC may recommend replacing the math standards with those used in Minnesota. Parrott says “North Carolina’s standards must be among the highest in the nation.”
“Any recommendation to change or replace current standards must be supported by significant research demonstrating the superiority of the resulting product,” Parrott writes.
WakeEd’s letter comes as the review commission is set to vote Dec. 18 on a final report. As Lynn Bonner reported last month, the rhetoric is heating up over the math standards.
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WakeEd is financed by the business community, which nationally has backed Common Core. WakeEd is also a vocal advocate for the Wake County school system, including helping to fund a study released this week that says the district generates billions of dollars for the local economy.
In Monday’s letter, Parrott also says teachers have “expressed their desire for stability,” and that keeping the current Common Core standards will give educators more time “to grow their skills and better implement North Carolina’s high standards.”
Parrott also uses a sports analogy to challenge those who say that Common Core isn’t specific enough. Parrott writes that “standards are often necessarily broad.”
“To be eligible to run the Boston Marathon, runners must demonstrate they have met a qualifying standard in a certified marathon to be eligible for entry,” Parrott writes. “How a runner meets that standard, the training they complete, the equipment they waer, and the nutritional regimen they follow?
“Those are analogous to curriculum, instructional materials, and professional development. That certified marathon is a designated assessment.”
In an online post Thursday announcing the new letter, WakeEd encourages people to “reinforce our message or share any recommendations you may have by reaching out to commission co-chairs Andre Peek (firstname.lastname@example.org) and Tammy Covil (email@example.com).”
In late October, WakeEd sent out a newsletter giving tips on how to advocate for Common Core. WakeEd has dialed back on the language used in October that was highly critical of the General Assembly for wanting to drop Common Core.
The last WakeEd newsletter drew a backlash from conservative activists who are critical of Common Core.
Andrea Dillon called WakeEd’s October newsletter “misinformation” and “hyperbolic bullying.”
“I find the faux outrage that follows in this newsletter hilarious given you haven’t bothered to give a crap until it looked like this commission might actually be performing the job given to them,” Dillon wrote in October. “The subtext here is, ‘how dare citizens actually exercise their rights by contacting their representation to act!?’”
In a November blog post, Dillon said WakeEd is another example “of business entities demanding a place at the education discussion table by buying the table and all the chairs around it.”