Yesterday the North Carolina House passed legislation (HB 718) that directs the Joint Legislative Education Oversight Committee to study Common Core Standards. Included in the bill was language to study “the short and long-term educational, economic, and regulatory impact of those changes on our teachers, administrators, schools, parents communities and state” as well as study the “fiscal,educational, and legal consequences of State withdrawal from CCSS [Common Core State Standards] and /or the SMARTER Balanced Assessment Consortium.”
OK, so far so good. Even though in my opinion the study bill is not the best option for addressing Common Core, it is an option and better than doing nothing. My goodwill, however, evaporated when I read the final line (Section.3(b) of the relevant section:
“The Committee shall report its findings, together with any recommended legislation, to the 2015 General Assembly upon its convening.”
2015? 2015? When the legislature places a date for a study report two years out, they are not serious about dealing with the issue or the ramifications. Placing a date two years out is a good way to tamp down opposition, ensure a new program is implemented and virtually eliminate any chance of it being killed.
The difference in reporting requirements between the initial legislation (HB 733) and the final study bill (HB 718) is also noteworthy. HB 733 required an interim report to the 2014 General Assembly; an interim report to the 2015 General Assembly and a final report to be filed with the 2016 General Assembly.
The new study bill, HB 718 calls for no interim report. Only one final report is required to be filed in 2015, two full years after Common Core Standards have been implemented. All the other studies included in the study bill have requirements to file reports to the legislature in 2014. The only exception to the one-year reporting requirement is the Common Core Standards Study, with a 2015 reporting date.
This is theater of the worst kind. Republicans and Democrats are trying to to tell you they’re serious about studying Common Core. And at the same time, they’re making sure — in the mean time — Common Core Standards are fully implemented.
Implement; then study. To most of us, the pattern makes no sense. Unless you want to ensure you get a program in place before people find out what it’s really about.
Now you know.
This post appeared on earlier today on StopCommonCoreNC blog.