Editorials

NC should support Common Core

Common Core wasn’t born out of some political ideology. Establishing national standards by which states could measure student progress against other states is just common sense. It’s also in the best interest of students, who don’t need to be subject to variations from state to state in the quality of education they are receiving.

Common Core was not the brainchild of Democrats or Republicans or liberals or conservatives. Governors of both parties and professional school administrators saw the wisdom in it.

Unfortunately, Common Core has been politicized, and some states, including North Carolina, are threatening to abandon it. While Republicans haven’t cornered the market on opposition nationwide, they’re leading that discussion in North Carolina. An Academic Standards Review Commission appears ready to make wholesale changes, and it seems to be getting marching orders from some of the most conservative members of the General Assembly who want to do away with Common Core.

Some Republicans seem to think Common Core is the cause of President Obama and Democrats, which it’s not. Others certainly give the impression they think it’s a conspiracy to infiltrate schools with a political ideology.

Could it be that some Republicans oppose subscribing to national standards because if North Carolina students did poorly on tests, the public would demand more investment in public education?

Common Core is a good thing. It raises standards and it demands more of schools and teachers and students. In the long term, meeting Common Core standards will make for better students. That’s why the N.C. Council of Teachers of Mathematics recently stood behind Common Core standards. The council’s board noted that doing away with standards now will undermine a lot of work already done by teachers – and students.

Common Core foes have been organizing their opposition for a while now, based on ideology and the inclination of radical tea partyers to oppose “national” standards and “national” anything. The common sense groups behind Common Core need to fight back.

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