Common Core debate is short on common sense

Jun 11, 2014

The legislative debate on education standards to be used in grades K-12 is one that is baffling on many levels.

The process of deciding what material will be taught at which grade level is a lengthy one that, done right, leaves plenty of time for consulting with teachers and other education professionals in each of the academic disciplines.

It took several years to design the so-called Common Core standards that were pulled together by educational professionals in 46 states.

Bills passed by both the House and Senate want North Carolina to develop its own standards by the 2015-16 academic year. The old adage “haste makes waste” comes to mind in envisioning how this change might unfold.

A year to overhaul language arts and math classes taught in grades K-12, train teachers on how the new standards will be applied and develop or purchase all new teaching materials will cost millions. It will also render the efforts and costs to implement the Common Core a total waste and require either the state or local school districts to find funding for a do-over.

A review commission, as envisioned by the N.C. Senate bill that would scrap the standards, would be made up of political appointees named by the house, senate and governor.  Such a process would surely politicize a process that should be all about helping out children become the best they can be.

The idea behind the new curriculum was to move away from the rote memorization emphasis of the former state-based standards, and prepare students for a world in which critical thinking and problem solving are stressed. The state-based push behind higher standards across the nation is widely acknowledged as one that will better prepare students of today to become leaders of tomorrow.

The Common Core standards have only been taught a single year, which means they have barely been given a chance to work.

If problems have been found with parts of the standards, it would be far better to fix them rather than scrap the entire system that has made everyone in education — from students to teachers to administrators to parents — work harder and sharpen their skills.

For a handful of North Carolinians — namely 100 or so legislators — to think a hastily reviewed political fix will solve an issue of this magnitude is optimistic at best, lunacy at worst.

The speed at which the House and Senate bills were passed to dump the Common Core means a compromise measure meshing the two versions will likely be forwarded to Gov. Pat McCrory.

The governor, along with plenty of business leaders who understand that without a strong, educated work force the state will be left behind, have indicated they favor keeping the Common Core.

This is an issue where the governor needs to hold fast and do the right thing for future generations of North Carolinians and our state.

Comments (10)
Posted by: Scott Lilly | Jun 11, 2014 21:17

"Common Core" is just a way to show "no confidence" in our teachers.  Teachers are the teaching experts.  They have the training and the desire.  Government ought to get out of their way.  Although I don't yet understand the vision of where we're going with education, having teachers more free to provide a quality education opportunity for those that want to embrace it would be a great development.

Posted by: Charles Zimmerman | Jun 12, 2014 07:52

        When the top earners are favored, they need a steady stream of workers not intellectuals.




Posted by: Scott Lilly | Jun 13, 2014 11:55

When a society has no "low-class", the manufacturing industry will shift to countries that do have a low-class.  When a society tries to make everyone "above" a low-class, some do not have the will to be that and they succumb to living in an upper low-class world by exploiting the safety net systems.  To fix this, the safety net ought to ensure "rock bottom" is squarely low-class.  Low-class do not own a TV, have subscription TV services, own pets to which they receive subsidized veterinarian services, frequently pay for tattoos and piercings, smoke and drink, and other things.  If government subsidies assist people who are not low-class, then we're really not sponsoring "safety net" programs.

Posted by: Charles Zimmerman | Jun 14, 2014 10:24

        Such uninformed nonsense!

         Anyone who qualifies for US assistance must be approved by US while equally protecting their civil rights. Most of such recipients alreddy owned a tv, pets, etc, etc. Food stamps cannot be used for anything but approved items. Those qualified for SSI, SSD, etc must be qualified and meet certain standards of need. Same with housing applicants, etc, etc.

             Once a person meets requirements for OUR assistance what they do with any excess funds is their business. We the people are forbidden from invading "All persons" conscience. As a liberal progressive nation, We have a long history of not being heartless moneygrubbers.

              Furthermore! More of OUR hard earned taxes have and still are being spent to support the top earners by the means of "trickle-down" which has taken responsibility of each to pay in proportion to what they gained and shifted the burden to the middle and lower brackets.

               walmart receives app. 18% of all US food stamp allocations and/or other govt. funds because they chose not to pay a wage their employees can live on and the employees apply for and receive US support which they in kind use at walmart.  A vicious circle. Paid for by US.



Posted by: Scott Lilly | Jun 14, 2014 13:25

Those that take jobs that do not pay a living wage should find employment elsewhere if that is what they need.  If I were to take a job or sell my services for $1/hour, then I'm choosing not to earn what my skills, training, and talent are worth.  And I should only have myself to blame -- not the person or company that agreed to pay the wage I negotiated.


If someone desires to earn a "living wage", that onus is on them to plan for that.  That means education, hard work, sacrifice, community networking, and developing skills or talent.  If there is an option to sit on the couch and complain rather than put in the effort, some will take that option.

Posted by: Charles Zimmerman | Jun 15, 2014 11:19

                "Those that take jobs that do not pay a living wage should find employment elsewhere"


                   Are you kidding me? What jobs? Where are they?

           What with the "mittens" and his ilk "harvesting OUR businesses and outsourcing OUR jobs,  mccrory, etc, cutting unemployment benefits regardless of amount paid in, bushishito"s Great Recession, etc, etc, etc, jobs paying a wage that a person and their family can live on are few and far between.

               The Walton descendant are some of the richest 4 people in US. Their total assets are equivalent to about 1/4 of all US assets. But yet they are not paying a wage their workers can live on. Because of their egregious irresponsible policies We the people are forced to contribute app. 18% of OUR Food stamp and other Social Program monies to support walmart workers. But yet you would blame the worker for not having a decent job when none exits.



Posted by: Scott Lilly | Jun 15, 2014 13:20

"blame the worker for not having a decent job when none exits" -- We live in a free market.  Anyone can take their talent and sell it in the marketplace.  "A job" is not something that grows on trees that government is responsible for rationing.  "A job" is nothing more than two people negotiating under what terms they will assist each other -- typically one side being compensated with money in exchange for their time or talent.  When someone negotiates market value for their services and then complains they aren't paid enough, why would they blame anyone but themselves?

Posted by: Charles Zimmerman | Jun 16, 2014 09:16

             Your opinion is not supported by the reality of post bushishito recession by which anti-US stores such as walmart  have chosen to not pay a living wage which WE must then supplement. We are paying for and or subsidizing the failures of Walmart.  There is your unnecessary govt. spending.





Posted by: Scott Lilly | Jun 16, 2014 09:55

"We are paying for and or subsidizing the failures of ..." -- My argument is that we need to start changing reality.  If you start to take away subsidies from those who earn less than a living wage, then folks will be less inclined to work for less than a living wage.  That would cause those that need labor to increase their pay until people will work for that wage.  If you do that all at once, you will break the system.  If you gradually make the change, wages will go up -- naturally and sustainably.

Posted by: Charles Zimmerman | Jun 16, 2014 10:20

            This would be true if all paid in proportion to what they earn. It is no longer the reality We are facing.

              Walmart needs to unionize.

               As a farmer owner/operator I have done business with many a different company. The best were those owned by the employees. Iwill never get over delivering stainless steel coils to a barbecue grill maker in Columbus, GA. that posted certain and particular conduct requirements of their employees, everywhere. Even after work requirements of attending church. One day a small notice went up. It read 'On such and such a date we will be closing this plant and moving its operations to Brazil. Real nice. No thanks for your service. No bonuses. Nothing. And! Because of the previously established prohibitions on employee conduct the employees could not even discuss the issue amongst themselves without reprisal. Pretty hard to negotiate when your job exists in another country.



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