Friday, December 20, 2013

CCTA Members Attend Legislative Committee Hearing in Raleigh

Public Service Announcement / Press Release
December 19, 2013

CCTA Members Attend Legislative Committee Hearing in Raleigh

Nine members of the Coastal Carolina Taxpayers Association (CCTA) attended the joint Study Committee on Common Core State Standards held in the Legislative Office Building in Raleigh on December 17th.  There are 7 North Carolina Senators and 7 North Carolina House members, including Michael Speciale who represents much of Craven County, on the Committee.  Senator Soucek presided.

Staff members made presentations about what the committee has been charged with doing, what is and will be on the committee's website, and reviewed what North Carolina law says about "standards," "curriculum," and "Common Core."

Several people made opening statements.  The committee asked short-answer questions during the presentations, but reserved their more probing questions for after the presentations were completed.  The two presenters with the longest, most detailed content were Michael Brickman and June Atkinson.  Mr. Brickman is a former educational policy advisor to Governor Scott Walker of Wisconsin, and is currently a policy director with the Fordham Institute.  Dr. Atkinson is North Carolina's Superintendent of the Department of Public Instruction.

Of the 9 CCTA members in attendance, 7 are members of CCTA's Common Core Committee which is chaired by Kim Fink.  That committee met with Dr. Atkinson for 2 hours the preceding week and thus were aware of some of Dr. Atkinson's vast knowledge about Common Core.  As a matter of fact, Dr. Atkinson quoted things said at that meeting by 3 of our members (Nancy Murdoch, Kim Fink, and Glenn Fink) during her presentation.  Surprisingly, some of Dr. Atkinson's answers to questions asked by Senators and Representatives shocked CCTA members. 

For example, when she was asked if there were more testing or less testing of students under Common Core, Dr. Atkinson said that there is less testing in high schools, then went into a long statement about testing, but failed to acknowledge the increased testing for kindergarten through third grade.  Pre Common Core, North Carolina had no comparable testing in grades K-3 except for a recently instituted "pre-test" in the third grade.  The stress caused young children by testing is one of the areas in which Common Core has been criticized, and Dr. Atkinson is well aware of that.  One wonders why she avoided sharing that information with the legislative study committee.

At another time, Dr. Atkinson was asked about what data will be collected under Common Core, and Dr. Atkinson mentioned only those items of data that are currently being collected, and those items sounded relatively harmless.  However, Dr. Atkinson failed to add that the chain of documents bringing North Carolina into Common Core and related U.S. Department of Education regulation changes will force North Carolina to submit ever more intrusive information that is personally identifiable by name of student without the necessity to obtain that student's parents' permission to the U.S. Department of Education.  Further, the U.S. Department of Education has made it plain that they will release that information to third parties.  There is even a requirement that North Carolina change any state law which is in conflict with Common Core implementation.  Again, Dr. Atkinson is well aware of these things.  Why did she not see fit to mention them?

The joint legislative Study Committee on Common Core State Standards plans to have 3 more public meetings at which it will receive information.  CCTA's Common Core Committee will be happy to share in depth information with the legislative study committee and show them the government documents which make the veracity of the information provided clear.

CCTA members in attendance were Kim Fink (CCTA Common Core Committee Chairman), Glenn Fink, Rick Hopkins (CCTA Chairman), Kathryn Blankley, Nancy Murdoch, Terrie Winter, Ryan Meadows, Hal James, and Raynor James. 

Info provided by:

Raynor James, PR Chair, Coastal Carolina Taxpayers Association (CCTA)

No comments:

Post a Comment