Common Core curriculum begins third year in NC schools

Posted August 20, 2014

— North Carolina public school students are back to school and using the Common Core curriculum for the third year.

Lawmakers discussed scrapping it during this legislative session, causing confusion about whether it was still in place, but Common Core is sticking around, at least for now.

Common Core is the current standard course of study for math and English and is designed to force students to think differently.

Tim Gibson, principal of Easley Year-Round Magnet Elementary School in Durham, says the curriculum has caused students to do more thought-provoking, purposeful work. He says students now learn critical thinking and problem solving at a younger age.

“Truly, mastery is not just doing it within the context of the class or the subject matter, but that they’re able to transfer that to something else that’s relevant in their life as well,” he said.

Common Core is a set of nationwide standards that provides plenty of local flexibility.

“It just defines the what that is supposed to be taught, but the how is really designed and developed by the school district and our classroom teachers,” said Stacey Wilson-Norman, Durham Public Schools’ deputy superintendent of academics.

North Carolina lawmakers recently created a commission to review the Common Core curriculum and make recommendations to make it better. Gibson says he believes there is room for improvement.

“There’s certain skills that are maybe not addressed explicitly in the curriculum that need to be examined and filled in,” he said.


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  • Kenny Dunn Aug 21, 2014
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    As far as I can tell the resistance to CC is just another example of the right opposing everything our President adopts. Even things that came from the right to start with. Oppose everything Obama.

  • taylor3297 Aug 21, 2014
    This is an interesting article.

  • rocket Aug 21, 2014

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    Did someone imply otherwise?

  • carolinagirl75 Aug 21, 2014

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    Patently untrue. First, the Common Core has already been developed and has been for several years. Secondly, it was developed by elementary, secondary, and post-secondary teachers and professors. I've been teaching for more than a decade, and it's by far the best set of standards I've ever had to teach. I love its flexibilty, rigor, and emphasis on critical thinking.

  • bill0 Aug 21, 2014

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    Yes. 5+4 = 10 in base 9. just like 1+1=10 in base 2. Of course neither are actually taught under common core standards, but that probably won't stop you from posting all sorts of "facts" about it, right?

    In common core, you would more likely see a question like "Use a number line to show that 5+4=9. Then write an example of the number sentence using apples and oranges."

    "Just the latest very expensive fad. Johnny still can't read."

    Seems like you don't understand the difference between a standard and a method. Common core is a standard and spells out what they want kids to learn. Methods are the means you use to teach those standards. Methods are certainly subject to all sorts of teaching fads, but they aren't covered by common core at all.

  • tracmister Aug 21, 2014

    The common core represents that same problem that North Carolina and the development of a new curriculum represents. It is being developed by people who have no knowledge or limited knowledge of the classroom that are influenced by text book companies, software companies, and special interest groups instead of true educators.

  • justabumer Aug 21, 2014

    The lawmakers are going to decide what's best for educating our children? How many of them are qualified to evaluate education models? One of the problems the state's schools face is the fact that many decisions which affect them are made by folks in Raleigh who know nothing about how to educate the population.

  • Terry Watts Aug 21, 2014
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    Nor are they knee-jurk reactionaries...

  • rocket Aug 21, 2014

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    Critical thinkers aren't blind cheerleaders for either side.

  • Grand Union Aug 21, 2014

    And funnily enough, the sky did not fall........