ELIZABETHTOWN — Earlier this month, the N.C. Senate voted 33-12 to adopt a bill that will, in essence, replace Common Core standards in North Carolina with a new set of standards, according to WRAL. Gov. Pat McCrory signed the bill into law on July 16.
According to the Washington Post, North Carolina is the second state to repeal the Common Core standards following the example of Indiana. Other states are also exploring repealing the program, according to the Washington Post.
Bladen County Schools Superintendent Robert Taylor said that, currently, Bladen County’s schools will continue to use the Common Core standards until they receive notification from the N.C. Department of Public Instruction regarding the creation and/or implementation of any new curriculum standards.
According to the Washington Post, the program was adopted by North Carolina in 2010 when the state won a Race to the Top grant in the amount of $400 million. Since that time, school systems have been training teachers and staff on the standards as well as purchasing materials and new text books for classrooms to align with the new standards, according to reports.
“The last three years, we have invested time and money to train teachers in Common Core,” said Taylor.
Bladen County had a Race to the Top grant for $1.2 million and Taylor said that paid for professional development as well as technology and wireless upgrades.
“If you cost it out over a three-year period, we have spent possibly $300,000,” said Taylor. “At this point, we will continue to use Common Core standards because all the assessments are based on it which means we have to continue on the current course until they decide what the new standards will be.”
Taylor said that move by the General Assembly is more about political posturing.
“If you look at other states, they have adopted the Common Core Standards with a different name. I think they will use nearly the same standards and call it something different,” said Taylor.
He added that the thought behind Common Core was if there is a set of common standards across the nation, it provides more continuity in what a child is learning.
“Because they accepted the Race to the Top grant, we had to do certain things. It’s not a bad thing. It asked us to do some things in a short period of time and forced us to make changes more quickly than we would have without it,” said Taylor.
Taylor said that Bladen County Schools recently invested about $200,000 in new instructional materials for the district’s K-2 program to align with the Common Core standards.
“Now, if the state comes along and says we have to do something different … we are in a wait and see pattern,” said Taylor.
He said the process is now up to the State Board of Education as to how it will proceed and what the new standards will look like.
“I wouldn’t expect anything (new) in the schools for the next three years,” said Taylor.
He added that Common Core went much deeper and was more rigorous than prior standards. Taylor said that hopefully, the program will simply be modified, but until the State Board of Education and the NC DPI make their decisions, Taylor said his staff will continue using Common Core.