NC Teachers Speak Up On Common Core

As schools across North Carolina begin teaching classes based on the Common Core standards, it is timely and appropriate to consider the views of the people who are closest to the new curricula: teachers.

The superintendent of the Department of Public Instruction, June Atkinson, has insisted that teachers were a crucial part of the state’s planning process for Common Core. But teachers have been remarkably quiet on the subject, perhaps fearing that vocal opposition could lead to retaliation from administrators. For the first time, that has changed: the Civitas Institute conducted an informal nonscientific survey of public school teachers in North Carolina. We received responses from over 1,700 teachers from 71 different school districts that yielded some interesting results. Teachers reported serious reservations about Common Core Standards, with 62 percent of polled teachers favoring the delay or halt of Common Core implementation.

Civitas has previously described the results of the survey, but now we are publishing some of the individual responses. There are a lot of hard-working, passionate teachers whose opinions warrant our attention.  Regardless of their position on Common Core, they’ve earned the right to be part of the discussion.   Here are what a few of them have to say about Common Core Standards:


“Is this just a new face on an old clock…?”

“[Common Core] teaches to the middle and puts low expectations for all students.”

“STOP THE TEST DRIVING INSANITY and give teachers more time to do what actually improve[s] student learning – CLASSROOM TIME TO TEACH!”

“[Common Core] seems to be just another ‘Flavor of the Month’ and within five years it will be replaced.”

“Our system and individual schools are doing their best to introduce a curriculum that no one can really define. The CC although wordy is still vague in many ways and left open to many different interpretations.”

“…we were not given proper materials to implement these standards in our classrooms. We have been ‘flying the airplane, while building it’!”

“I traded a Cadillac curriculum for a Pinto.”


“Common Core is great, but it’s been rolled out poorly in our district.”

“Being in such a transient county, this will help students to be on the same grade level when they transfer in and out.”

“For [English Language Arts] the standards under Common Core are much more clearly defined.”

“These standards are a huge improvement over the Standard Course of Study that we followed before. They are clearer and easier to analyze and then apply to instruction.”

“I believe that NC needs to ‘catch up’ with the rest of the nation. This year has been tough with higher expectations, but in a few years, it will balance out.”

“I think the principle behind Common Core is great. I just don’t think everything should be tied to testing. Our students are tested to death.”


“Textbooks… ha ha.”

“We have not received new textbooks in 6 or 7 years.”

“What textbooks?!!”

“The lack of materials has placed an almost impossible burden on teachers…”

“…We do not have the money to change all materials and resources to align with Common Core.”

“Our textbooks are 10 years old…”


“What input?”

“We had NO input [we were] told this is what we are doing.”

“Teachers had very little input in my county.”

“I was not aware teachers had any say in this…As far as I know the only ones making any decisions are the clueless politicians in Raleigh who have no idea what actually goes on in schools.”

“We had input?”

“Teachers have been involved???”


Full list of comments [Warning: PDFs]

Question 1

Question 2

Question 3

Question 4

Question 5

Question 6

Question 7

This article was posted in Education, Issues by Lee Brett on September 17, 2013 at 4:48 PM.

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Comments on this article

  • 1

    Vicky Benet
    Vicky Benet Sep 18, 2013 at 10:17

    Common Core is terrible for our kids. It does dumb down our schools.

    Get back to the basics, and raise our standards.

  • 2

    Lynne Stratbucker
    Lynne Stratbucker Sep 18, 2013 at 15:54

    I am totally opposed to Common Core – perhaps not because of what they are currently implementing even though that really dumbs down our students and doesn’t teach them the truth about the country and its history, etc, but for what is yet to be implemented but is on the agenda and that is even more horrific than anything we have seen yet to date. Read all of what Common Core is really proposing and you will be ddumbfounded that we could even think of allowing our students to be subjected to that.

  • 3

    Ron Hardin
    Ron Hardin Sep 19, 2013 at 18:05

    When will everyone realize that education is a local issue, we need to keep the DOE out of our local issues.

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