On Monday, I attended the monthly meeting of the Academic Standards Review Commission (ASRC).
The Academic Standards Review Commission was established by General Assembly of North Carolina Session 2013 Session Law 2014-78 Senate Bill 812.
SECTION 2.(c) The Commission shall:
(1) Conduct a comprehensive review of all English Language Arts and Mathematics standards that were adopted by the State Board of Education under G.S. 115C-12(9c) and propose modifications to ensure that those standards meet all of the following criteria:
- Increase students’ level of academic achievement.
- Meet and reflect North Carolina’s priorities.
- Are age-level and developmentally appropriate.
- Are understandable to parents and teachers.
- Are among the highest standards in the nation.
(2) As soon as practicable upon convening, and at any time prior to termination, recommend changes and modifications to these academic standards to the State Board of Education.
(3) Recommend to the State Board of Education assessments aligned to proposed changes and modifications that would also reduce the number of high-stakes assessments administered to public schools.
(4) Consider the impact on educators, including the need for professional development, when making any of the recommendations required in this section.
The Commission shall assemble content experts to assist it in evaluating the rigor ofacademic standards. The Commission shall also involve interested stakeholders in this processand otherwise ensure that the process is transparent.
The Commission has worked hard, but unfortunately, the Commission has been trying to re-invent the wheel rather than draw on what has already been successful in North Carolina and other states. A group of educators has put together the North Carolina Education Plan, which is based on standards that were successful in other places. Minnesota (pre-Common Core) math standards have proven to be successful and Massachusetts (pre-Common Core) English standards have proven to be successful. The North Carolina Education Plan builds on these successes. Parents have expressed their dissatisfaction with Common Core–the excessive testing have created unnecessary stress in young children and children who loved going to school now dread going. There is also the issue of data mining, privacy violations and unfunded mandates in terms of electronic equipment in future years.
Common Core is a horrible program backed by some people with very large sums of money. It is time for parents to get together and make their voices heard.
Lady Liberty also attended the ASRC meeting. These are a few of her comments:
Of note in the draft ELA recommendations was recognition that the Common Core as it stands is not age/developmentally appropriate, “ELA standards need to be revised or rewritten to be developmentally appropriate for the students“.
Of note in the Math recommendations had several items of note, with quite a few centering on the Common Core’s inability to provide a decent math experience for high schoolers:
“A return to the sequence of studying Algebra I, Geometry and Algebra II is strongly recommended.”
“High school math standards in their current form appear to be not only repetitive but also give no clear set of standards or curriculum for each of the three courses.”
Overall, the consensus has been that the integrated math under Common core is not only confusing but insufficient for students wishing to advance to a four year school.
For the K-8, the recommendation is to totally chuck Common Core.
“For K-8 Math, it is recommended that the Minnesota standards be adopted. These standards meet the benchmarks of the National Mathematics Advisory Panel whose findings were released in 2008; Common Core does not meet these benchmarks, nor does any other state’s standards. NMAP was specifically created to study how mathematics instruction in the U.S. could be made world competitive again.”
The ASRC would do well to take a good look at the North Carolina Education Plan. It would save the state a lot of money and the parents in the state a lot of aggravation.