Military officers defend Common Core

Posted June 12, 2014

— As North Carolina lawmakers work on plans to replace the national Common Core academic standards in the state's public schools, a group of retired military officers said Thursday that the state needs to give the program more time.

The group Mission Readiness: Military Leaders for Kids argued that Common Core standards are necessary to ensure the nation's future military strength. They said the standards will make students better prepared to compete in the military, in college and in the workplace.

"What we need is for a Common Core standard in-state for every grade that we have in North Carolina so that we get all the teachers on the same road moving in the same direction. Does this tell them how to teach? Absolutely not," retired Army Gen. Marvin Covault said.

Common Core standards for math and English were developed by state and nonprofit leaders, and they have been embraced by President Barack Obama's Education Department and adopted by 44 states. The standards set out what students need to know and be able to do in order to graduate from high schools, but school districts and classroom teachers still decide how that material is taught.

The House and Senate last week passed bills that would appoint a state commission to review North Carolina's educational standards. The House bill would not allow the panel to consider continuing to use Common Core as a basis for future standards. Senators left open the possibility that Common Core, with modifications, would continue to serve as the basis for North Carolina's public school standards.

Underpinning much of the push for repeal is the sense by political conservatives that North Carolina had ceded its prerogative to set educational standards in favor of national program tainted by federal involvement.

North Carolina students are wrapping up their second full year of learning geared toward meeting the math and English standards. Backers of keeping the current Common Core program say the state is making changes to classroom instruction just as teachers and students are adapting to the new approaches.

The military leaders say criticism of the standards is overblown. They said across-the-board standards provide real accountability and consistency for students, parents and teachers.

The North Carolina Chamber and other business groups also have urged lawmakers not to be hasty in trying to ditch the standards. Common Core helps ensure workers and college aspirants meet certain basic qualifications, they have said.

Either the House or the Senate bill needs to pass the other chamber – or lawmakers need to craft compromise legislation – before it can go to Gov. Pat McCrory. He has expressed reservations about repealing the standards.


This blog post is closed for comments.

Oldest First
View all
  • Terry Watts Jun 13, 2014
    user avatar

    Watching the video (to see the charts) and doing a little math, currently our State system only produces 61 kids out of 100 that can score high enough to pass the Armed Forces Qualification Test.

    To PCGK23's point: from the same data as above, SC only produces 52 kids out of 100 that are able to pass the Test.

  • Terry Watts Jun 13, 2014
    user avatar

    View quoted thread


    Does this one make you feel better about it: http://www.dodea.edu/Back-to-School/commCore.cfm

  • pcgk23 Jun 13, 2014

    View quoted thread

    South Carolina's economy is extremely strong. We have repealed Common Core. Not sure what you mean.

  • philipw Jun 13, 2014

    Our legislature has embraced the right to remain ignorant. And poor. We are catching up with South Carolina fast.

  • jas196837 Jun 13, 2014

    View quoted thread

    I am a liberal and have family members who are registered democrats (liberals) who fought for this country in Iraq and Afghanistan. So I dare you to say liberals hate the military when you many who serve this country. Choose your words wisely next time.

  • I-Defy Jun 13, 2014

    View quoted thread

    since when? You libs HATE the military and everything it stands for. Look how you are making that deserter Bergdahl a hero because of his anti-American anti military stance. Everytime there is a dem president in office they gut the military. So just stop with your nonsense you know you are full of it when you try to defend the military by attacking the GOP. Pathetic

  • Ears to the Ground Jun 13, 2014

    I think the GA just doesn't want to be compared to other states because it will show that our children are behind children in other states. Unless you have a universal metric you can't compare states.

  • archmaker Jun 12, 2014

    View quoted thread

    Yes I have as I have a 5th grader myself. Did I know how to do it despite having a higher education, no - but I learned. And I noticed that it taught how math works, not just how to replicate the answer you can get from a $5 calculator.

  • Corvus Jun 12, 2014

    If Common Core is so good, why are so many kids having to get waivers to pass 5th and 8th grade?
    Have any of you had to sit down and try to do 5th grade math homework in the past year. I have had to help my son and the homework they are sending home does not give examples or anything explaining how to do the problems! Plus they are trying to rename adding, subtracting, multiplying and dividing.

  • Hessian Diesel Jun 12, 2014
    user avatar

    View quoted thread

    You do realize those sources are not the US Defense Dept. or any military branch, one is a Common Core web page.