Panel says Common Core needs major revisions for NC schools

Posted August 17, 2015

— A state panel charged with revamping academic standards for North Carolina schools said Monday that, while it's too early to say whether the Common Core standards will be scrapped, keeping the national system will require a major overhaul.

The Academic Standards Review Commission is expected to make a recommendation to state lawmakers by December, but the co-chairs said the reading, writing and math standards need to be changed to work.

"There will be changes. There’s no debate about the need for change," commission Co-Chairman Andre Peek said.

"This is something that should have been done prior to the adoption of Common Core," Co-Chairwoman Tammy Covil said.

The standards were adopted by the state several years ago, but their implementation in the 2012-13 school year angered some parents, who said they were inappropriate in several areas. Critics pressed lawmakers to repeal the standards, but they last year created the review commission to find the most appropriate academic standards for North Carolina students.

Common Core backers say the rigorous standards improve education and make North Carolina competitive by producing a workforce that can solve problems. But commission members agree with opponents that the standards are unclear, repetitive and developmentally inappropriate.

Academic therapist Carole Ardizzone, who was invited to speak to the commission as an expert, said Common Core sets students up for failure.

"The standards are totally off base," said Ardizzone, co-founder of Brookstone Schools, a Christian school in Charlotte. "They’re not rigorous; they’re outrageous."

She cited a first-grade standard that asks 6-year-olds to "write an opinion piece and supply a reason for that opinion."

Ardizzone advocates "neurological-based learning," which she said is rooted in beginning with the basics and taking baby steps to build a foundation slowly and solidly.

"If we want children who are good at science math and linguistics by high school, you’re not going to get it by taking high school standards and breaking it down and feeding it to a kindergartner," she said. "You have to start with what a kindergartner can learn."


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  • Pam Snyder Aug 27, 2015
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    Wow.......1st week of school and were STILL arguing about common core!!! DROP IT!!! I'm already having problems with it this year! Come on guys, really?

  • Janice Gilreath Aug 23, 2015
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    You have hit the nail on the head, Lynn Wilhelm. And I don't think much of "academic therapist" Carole Aridizzone quoted in the article who thinks that a first grader is not able to write an opinion and support it with a reason. "I like pancakes because they are sweet and delicious." Is an opinion supported by a reason. I'm pretty sure any first grader could come up with something similar.

  • Lynn Wilhelm Aug 19, 2015
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    Most people commenting here aren't specific about which standards they don't like. How many people who hate CC have actually read the standards?
    You can access them in handy pdfs right here: Read them and point out exactly which ones you think are inappropriate and why. There are also resources in the Wikis at that link.

    Your complaints generally lie with how CC was implemented--with too few resources, too little help and too little time--but it's too late to fix the past.
    But despite the difficulties teachers have really stepped, and most have worked tirelessly to help parents and students understand the new standards. Lots have created videos you can watch with your kids. If your school's teachers haven't try Google.
    Some schools and districts have done a better job than others, some administrators and school boards have been more supportive than others.

    CC may need tweaking, but throwing CC out is a big mistake.

  • Rick Fetter Aug 18, 2015
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    And because the reasons you gave common core should be kicked to the curb for now. If they want to bring back common core they need to do it right. Educate the teachers (in collage) on how to teach common core and then hire them starting with 1st grade. Then every year include the next grade level till you reach 12th grade. That way you avoid what happened this time. They took kids that were taught one way for 4 or 5 years and tell them to forget everything they have learned and start over again and do it with no text books or reference material. Our kids got screwed by this.

  • Kathryn Dunn Aug 18, 2015
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    CCSS are the standards (what students should master), not the curriculum (what/how lessons are taught). The true issue lies with the teacher training and curriculum materials. Our teachers in NC were underprepared and have been trying to stay afloat as they navigate the new standards. If teachers don't understand the standards or have resources to effectively teach them, how can students succeed? Common Core offers a level playing field for all learners. Unfortunately the districts weren't prepared for such a big change. I'm not sure making another change in standards is the right answer.

  • Cary Tom Aug 18, 2015
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    I do not disagree with one thing you said. Nail on the head

  • Roy Hinkley Aug 18, 2015
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    It sounds like your real complaint is the curriculum and instructional methods, not the standards.

  • Paul Donovan Aug 18, 2015
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    What is taking them so long to get rid of this joke ?

  • Sam Adams Aug 18, 2015
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    So far my family is entering into our second year of the common core experience and from what we have seen it is a complete joke. Its nothing about sheet after sheet of complete dumb down busy work and half of these homework sheets make zero sense. Its like the instructions are written by an ESL student. The work itself presents little to no challenge to my son and its not like he is the sharpest tool in the shed. To me there is something wrong when he is getting all 4's and he has yet to learn anything. Unfortunately, at our school actually learning is not important. Its all about teaching so they get high scores on their standardized tests at the end of the year. Our principle even admits this and will do nothing to change it.

  • Barbara Sossomon Aug 18, 2015
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    No revisions. Show Common Core the Door. It dumbs everything down and makes everyone crazy. Let's go back to teaching the right way.