Tuesday, June 24, 2014

Sen. Dan Soucek's Role in Killing "Common Core" Standards

Both the NC House and the NC Senate are on a wild-eyed mission to kill the new Common Core educational standards because someone suggested that President Obama was behind the whole thing, even though the standards were developed in the states, not in Washington, and even though the Chamber of Commerce supports Common Core along with most educational professionals.

The current hysteria started in Sen. Dan Soucek's Senate Education Committee, which passed out a bill (subsequently passed by the full NC Senate) throwing out Common Core and mandating that the state write its own standards.

That has been done in Indiana, where conservative dyspepsia can also cause stampedes, but in Indiana the state's standard-writers ended up adopting about 85% of the Common Core anyway. That prospect for NC has sent some far right-wingers into cardiac arrest, so the NC House's version of the Kill the Common Core Act goes completely overboard, mandating that no part of Common Core can be used in North Carolina.

Wake County School Board member Bill Fletcher said about the House version, “I’m trying to understand the impact of saying you can’t use Common Core as you build new standards. If I’m writing a cookbook and somebody tells me I can’t use salt, sugar, pepper and olive oil, I’ve got a problem writing a new cookbook.”

Political overreach, in short.

Some conservative provocateurs are now putting pressure on Senator Soucek to make the Senate bill as extreme and exclusionary as the House proposal (and we know how Soucek stands up to right-wing political pressure!). Who knows what will ultimately pass, but you can bet it won't be in the interests of public education in North Carolina. Soucek is already persona non grata among school teachers in Watauga County, following his public forum on education policy last December. Will he choose to double-down on Common Core?

1 comment:

I'm Baaack said...

O.K. Let me get this straight. If NO PART of Common Core can be used, that means NC schools can't mention the U.S. Constitution, Declaration of Independence, mental math, and basic tenets of Physics, Chemistry, or Biology. Not to mention that kids will not be required to write coherent English sentences or read books of any complexity of structure or thought. Guess "Eddicashun" in NC will stop at the 3rd grade with memorization of the alphabet, addition facts and multiplication tables.

Oh...wait...Common Core requires kids to know that stuff, too. DANG!