Due to the threat of inclement weather, the Academic Standards Review Commission (ASRC) met via conference call on February 16th, and the meeting time was shortened.
The first order of business was to elect a new co-chair due to the resignation of Jennie Metcalf. Tammy Covil of New Hanover County was elected as her replacement. Mrs. Metcalf will still serve on the commission.
The legislative update to the commission included information on the funding by the General Assembly and the process of hiring 2 staff members to help the commission in their duties. The funding bill has been presented to the legislature. In the meantime, funding is through Administration.
The work groups presented different timelines that have been aligned to meet the goals of the commission. This will be the framework moving forward.
Dr. Oxendine is a member of the State Board of Education Task Force on Summative Assessment as well as a member of this commission. Dr. Oxendine gave a presentation on what is being considered for assessing NC students following the Review Commission’s recommendations as part of the charge given this commission by the General Assembly in House Bill 812 last year. There will be an opportunity during next month’s ASRC meeting to ask further questions for clarification.
Dr. Rebecca Blessing from Kentucky joined the conversation to share her state’s experience in the review process of Common Core. This was for all intents and purposes a sales job for Common Core and reiterated many of the Department of Public Instruction’s talking points. There was to have been a testimony from an early childhood development professional, but this was delayed because of the shortened time of the meeting.
There was some debate on the direction math should go, whether to continue with the new Integrated Math, or return to the traditional teaching track. Most of the commission is in favor of returning to the old way or at least letting the local schools choose for themselves. No consensus was reached; however, several members of the commission were given tasks to bring information to the next meeting for further discussion.
In a quick wrap up on moving forward, Co Chair Andre Peek said they need to get started on their recommendations on the changes for individual standards and whether to keep them, change them, or toss them. This comment brought objections from Jennie Metcalf who stated again that Senator Tillman told them not to use Common Core, so what standards were they to review? Mr. Peek answered that they are to review the current standards and recommend changes. Because of this exchange, it is clear to me that this commission still doesn’t know what kind of latitude they have. Are they replacing, repairing, or removing? Obviously whatever is recommended has to be approved by the State Board and satisfy the General Assembly.
CCTA Public Education Committee Chair