“The Common Core standards in English language arts and mathematics are rigorous and aligned with the skills that students need today. That is why the State Board of Education adopted them in the first place. Under these standards, students are expected to learn important mathematics facts and skills and how to apply them to solve problems. They are expected to learn to read, write, speak and listen well and to support their ideas with facts and details. That is why these standards were endorsed by the University of North Carolina system, the Community College system and the North Carolina Chamber.
“Today’s draft bill by the General Assembly’s Common Core study committee would allow for a comprehensive review of academic standards for English language arts and mathematics and maintain the State Board of Education’s Constitutional authority over the Standard Course of Study in our state.
“I believe North Carolina needs to continue its five-year cycle for maintaining standards so that teachers have stability in their lesson planning and classroom operations. The current Standard Course of Study – including the Common Core State Standards – is in its second year of classroom use and supported by the majority of teachers.
“I welcome study and review of the Standard Course of Study. That is how we ensure appropriate, rigorous and competitive learning standards for North Carolina students. The State Board of Education initially adopted the Common Core State Standards to address concerns that our old standards were not rigorous enough to prepare our students to be competitive in college admission and careers.
“I remain concerned about the myths that continue to be perpetuated about the Common Core. Issues that are not even a part of the Common Core are being incorrectly connected to the standards, which are statements of what students should know and be able to do at each grade level. I encourage all North Carolinians to read the standards for themselves.
“North Carolina should act cautiously and carefully before making changes to our Standard Course of Study. The stakes – the competitive future of our young people and our state – are very high.”