Common Core Study Bill Filed in North Carolina

North-Carolina-State-CapitolH733 was filed in the North Carolina House of Representatives.  The bill’s purpose is to establish a committee of 20 members to study the Common Core State Standards and their impact in North Carolina.  State Representatives Larry Pittman (R-Concord), Hugh Blackwell (R-Valdese), Rob Bryan (R-Charlotte) and Michael Speciale (R-New Bern) are the primary sponsors.  If this bill passes the committee will study items such as:

(1)        The estimated cost of implementing the CCSS in K‑12 Mathematics and K‑12 English Language Arts since approval by the State Board of Education in June 2010, including costs associated with at least all of the following:

a.         The purchase of instructional materials that are aligned with the CCSS.

b.         Professional development and training provided to school personnel.

c.         The changes to schools’ and local administrative units’ technological infrastructure (including computer hardware, software, bandwidth, security, etc.) necessitated by adoption of CCSS and assessments.

d.         Outreach and personnel expenses committed by the Department of Public Instruction for CCSS‑related activities.

(2)        Projected cost of fully implementing common core assessments in English and Mathematics upon adoption of common assessments and all related assessment instruments.

(3)        A detailed summary of the federal funds used to assist North Carolina’s adoption of the CCSS and common assessments.

(4)        Research that determines whether CCSS’s definition of “college readiness” is consistent with the requirements needed to enter four‑year constituent institutions of The University of North Carolina system.

(5)        Studies that demonstrate that CCSS uses appropriate, research‑based curriculum sequences in Mathematics and English Language Arts.

(6)        The details of North Carolina’s participation in the SMARTER Balanced Assessment Consortium (SBAC).

(7)        Time line for the adoption of CCSS assessments.

(8)        Programs and support services created or adapted to assist schools in implementing CCSS.

(9)        Practices employed to assist at‑risk students, including children with disabilities, low‑income students, and English language learners.

(10)      Changes to instructional methods and teaching philosophies stimulated by CCSS adoption.

(11)      Perspectives of classroom teachers and school‑based administrators that assess the transition from State standards to the CCSS.

(12)      Perspectives of classroom teachers and school‑based administrators that detail the ongoing process of teaching CCSS, including impacts on working conditions and classroom instruction and prospects for its success.

(13)      Perspectives of public school students, parents, and members of the community regarding the impact of the CCSS.

(14)      CCSS‑related correspondence between the Department of Public Instruction and any elected member of the General Assembly between January 2009 and June 2010.

(15)      Correspondence between the U.S. Department of Education and the Department of Public Instruction related to CCSS between June 2010 and the date of inquiry.

(16)      Operation of the Common Core Certification Program in North Carolina.

(17)      Plans and prospects for adopting common standards in other subjects, including all of the following:

a.         Arts Education.

b.         English as a Second Language.

c.         Healthful Living.

d.         Information and Technology Skills.

e.         World Languages.

f.          Science.

g.         Social Studies.

h.         Career and Technical Education.

(18)      Public school student data collection, dissemination, and access policies and practices employed in North Carolina since adoption of the CCSS.

(19)      CCSS preparation and training provided by teacher education programs and schools of education in North Carolina.

(20)      Impact of CCSS adoption on charter schools, alternative schools, specialty and regional schools, online schools, early college programs, and other nontraditional public school settings.

(21)      Impact of CCSS adoption on International Baccalaureate programs, Advanced Placement courses, the Occupational Course of Study, and other alternative courses of study.

(22)      Comparisons of CCSS adoption and performance disaggregated by student groups (e.g. sex, ethnicity, race, socioeconomic status, grade), school types and sizes, community types, percentage of economically disadvantaged students, and other commonly accepted categories.

(23)      CCSS adoption in North Carolina compared to other states and jurisdictions.

(24)      Evidence that the use of a common or national curriculum in other countries directly leads to high academic achievement.

(25)      Fiscal, educational, and legal consequences of State withdrawal from CCSS and/or the SMARTER Balanced Assessment Consortium.

The bill does not slow or stop the implementation, but will provide a through report on the actual cost and impact of the Standards.  The committee would submit an interim report in 2014 with recommendations for action, they will do that again in 2015 and their final report would be in 2016.  I suspect as they study this further we could see a bill to halt implementation in their next session.  This may be a model for states that are not quite ready to halt the implementation of the Standards.

We encourage North Carolina residents to contact their State Representativ
e about this bill

Dr. Terry Stoops of the John Locke Foundation wrote a primer for North Carolina residents on the Common Core.

Spotlight 435 – 35 Questions About Common Core: Answers for North Carolinians

Photo Credit: Jimmy Emerson via Flickr (CC-By-NC-ND 2.0)