Yesterday afternoon I was privileged to attend a meeting between North Carolina Department of Public Instruction State Superintendent, Dr. June Atkinson, Karyn Dickerson, the North Carolina Teacher of the Year, Jen Currin, the North Carolina Virtual Teacher of the Year, and some of the leadership of the Coastal Carolina Taxpayers Association (CCTA). The purpose of the meeting was to discuss concerns about the Common Core standards for education that are coming to North Carolina. The meeting was very cordial, and both sides of the discussion were genuinely interested in providing the best possible education for children and young adults in the North Carolina schools.
There was, however, some very basic disagreement on the value of the Common Core standards and curriculum. One example of inaccurate teaching of history was found in Prentice Hall’s The American Experience, a textbook which has been aligned to the Common Core.
There is no reading in this chapter ostensibly devoted to World War II that tells why America entered the war. There is no document on Pearl Harbor or the Rape of Nanking or the atrocities committed against the Jews or the bombing of Britain. The book contains no speech of Winston Churchill or F.D.R. even though the reading of high-caliber “informational texts” is the new priority set by the Common Core, and great rhetoric has always been the province of an English class. There is not a single account of a battle or of American losses or of the liberation of Europe.
As the daughter of an Army veteran who landed on Utah Beach on D-Day, I am offended by this. As an American, I am offended by this.
I admire Dr. Atkinson’s desire to bring quality education to the children of North Carolina. I just feel that she has not examined the Common Core curriculum closely enough to realize that the Common Core curriculum will not give her the quality education for the students in North Carolina that she desires.