Around North Carolina: ESL in the News
Against Common Core Hits NC
battle against the new Common Core education standards has
been spreading across the nation like a summer wildfire,
and it's now headed to North Carolina. Governors in Indiana
and Pennsylvania have hit pause buttons, and the state Senate
in Michigan approved a budget that would prohibit funding
for Common Core implementation. Now North Carolina Lt. Gov.
Dan Forest posted a nearly four-minute
video on YouTube, titled "My Concerns with Common
Core." In it, he said he has serious qualms about the
state's "rush to implement" the K-12 standard.
Common Core is a relatively new cause célèbre
for tea party groups and conservative talk show hosts such
as Glenn Beck, who has zeroed in on what he calls "scary"
and "insidious" data collection on children through
Atkinson, NC Superintendent of Public Instruction remarked:
"I am so disappointed people would want to make this
a political football. If we stopped implementation of the
Common Core - this is the first year - our teachers would
be in a tizzy."
Committee Scrutinizes CCSS
Superintendent of Public Instruction June Atkinson talks
with Rep. Larry
Pittman after a joint legislative committee meeting on the
use of the CCSS.
Image: Chris Seward, N&O
joint legislative committee charged with scrutinizing the
new Common Core standards used in North Carolina schools
for math and English held its first meeting Tuesday and
the talk quickly turned to overhauling or dumping them.
All but five states have adopted Common Core, but it has
increasingly come under attack, particularly from conservatives,
and some states are now considering dropping the standards.
The opposition led legislative leaders to create the committee.
Core' in my neck of the woods is poison language,"
said Sen. Jerry Tillman, an Archdale Republican and retired
McCrory: Public School Students Take Too Many Tests
Pat McCrory believes that public school students take too
many tests, and he has asked his education policy adviser
to determine whether they are all necessary.
said he met with a group of district superintendents last
week, and they uniformly complained about the testing load,
the cost, and the drain on instructional time.
Board of Education Vice Chairman A.L. "Buddy"
Collins questioned the time taken for testing, saying that
two high school principals told him that their schools spend
20 days a year on tests. Those 20 days represent lost instructional
time, Collins said
Guckian, McCrory's senior education adviser, said tests
need to be "fewer and deeper." He'll deliver a
report on testing at the end of the summer.
Why McCrory Believes
NC Teaching Has Too Many Tests
Guckian, senior education adviser to Gov. Pat McCrory, points
out that the number of tests administered to students in
grades four through 12 is approaching 200 across the state.
After reviewing the state's testing, as directed by Gov.
McCrory, he recommends taking a "fewer and deeper"
approach. He warns that excessive testing may take a lot
of time and talent away from classroom instruction and rob
teachers of the time they need to develop meaningful relationships
with parents and students. Administering and compiling excessive
test results also saps teacher creativity and motivation.
He fears that some of the state's best teachers may leave
the profession, adding that there is evidence that this
is happening at increasingly alarming rates.
Board of Education Sets Standards for Diplomas
school graduates will have seals on their diplomas in a
few years showing whether they are ready for work or college
under new criteria adopted by the State Board of Education.
The board set out three paths for students earning seals
on their diplomas: career, community college and four-year
More Hardcopy Texts after 2017
Pat McCrory signed two bills in March dealing with digital
learning and technology.
One signals the state's intention to transition from funding
textbooks to digital materials by 2017, the other directs
the State Board of Education to develop and implement digital
learning standards for teachers and administrators.
legislation will help fundamentally transform the way our
children learn in our schools through technology,"
McCrory said in a statement.
Lauds North Carolina's Progress on Race to the Top
education officials offered praise for North Carolina's
progress on school reform and improvement at the halfway
mark of the nearly $400 million Race to the Top grant. The
four-year grant, awarded in summer 2010, has entered its
Carolina, Tennessee and Rhode Island were singled out as
the most successful by federal officials who reviewed the
dozen states and the District of Columbia that received
federal grants in the early rounds of the Race to the Top
"North Carolina has set a clear path forward on comprehensive
education reform that will better support teachers and principals
and enable student growth for years to come," Education
Secretary Arne Duncan said.
challenges vouchers for NC private schools
battle over private school vouchers in North Carolina is
headed to court. Twenty-five plaintiffs filed a lawsuit
in Wake County Superior Court, calling the state's voucher
program an unconstitutional assault on public education.
The diverse group includes parents, teachers, clergy and
well-known names such as Mike Ward, former state schools
superintendent, and Judy Chambers, the daughter of the late
civil rights lawyer Julius Chambers.
Sponsored by the N.C. Association of Educators and the N.C.
Justice Center, a left-leaning advocacy group, the lawsuit
seeks an injunction to stop the tuition grants before they
start in 2014.
Carolina School a Standout for Bilingual Education
North Carolina school has become a national model for its
bilingual curriculum that offers students of different origins
an education in both English and Spanish.
the eighth-grade students at Charlotte's Collinswood Language
Academy finish their classes next month they will be the
first group to complete one of the most innovative programs
for bilingual education in the United States.
North Carolina Again Leads Nation in NBCT
North Carolina added 330 newly-credentialed
teachers in 2013 to its National Board Certified Teachers
(NBCT) cadre. This brings the state's total number of NBCTs
to 20,122, and once again places North Carolina first in