We need to hear from our state's educational leaders and not our politicians when it comes to issues that deal with educational standards. People like Phil Berger, Paul Stam, and even Governor McCrory have little business discussing educational standards that they know little or nothing about. So, why haven't we heard from our state's school leaders - especially the Superintendent of North Carolina's Department of Public Instruction (DPI) - on the issue of Common Core State Standards. The head of DPI is an elected official - which means that the person in this office can express her/his views on issues that might not be supported by the state legislature or the governor. Common Core is an issue that requires Dr. June Atkinson to speak up. She is an educator who should be very familiar with the many benefits that come with national education standards.
Our educational leaders need to explain to the public that Common Core:
1. provides rigor to public school education and raises the bar for our students - something that will help them immensely in the future;
2. has absolutely nothing to do with a federal takeover of education. There is not hidden agenda in Common Core;
3. enhances teachers' creativity because states and local school systems are free to create their own curriculums, as long as they focus on meeting the agreed upon academic standards;
4. reflects what we have been seeking in education for a long time - a way to make our students think critically;
5. prepares our students for the challenges they will face in college and at work; and
6. does something that our schools have never done before - it shares ideas, nationwide, on how we can best educate our children.
The rhetoric and misinformation from our politicians needs to stop, and they need to disengage from meddling in issues they do not fully understand. If we continue down the slippery education slope that we are currently on we will face a very grim future. Governor James Hunt had it right - our topmost priority in North Caroline must be a first class K-12 educational system - nothing more, nothing less.