North Carolina schools chief pitching to end Common Core

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RALEIGH, N.C. (AP) — North Carolina's schools chief wants a review of the state's K-12 Common Core standards — with a goal of ending them — and aims to ensure U.S. history classes remain robust in light of new graduation requirements.

State Superintendent Mark Johnson said this week that his Department of Public Instruction will survey teachers and parents about the language arts and math standards that comprise Common Core.

Johnson said he opposes Common Core, which was first approved by the State Board of Education in 2010 and reaffirmed in 2017. So any change would still require the reversal of the board, which now includes many appointees of Democratic Gov. Roy Cooper.

Johnson, who is running for the GOP nomination for lieutenant governor in the March 3 primary, said he still hears a lot of criticism about Common Core from the public, The News & Observer of Raleigh reported. He pointed to Florida, where elected officials are replacing Common Core with new standards.

"Now there’s a clear path we can replicate in North Carolina to remove Common Core, and I encourage the State Board to closely examine this new option with us," Johnson said in a news release Thursday. The lieutenant governor is also a state education board member.

Common Core was started by top education officials and governors across the nation. Opponents decried them as a nationalization of education policy and standards.

Johnson also said his department would review U.S. history requirements in light of recent board action to eliminate one of the two required high school U.S. history courses that's been needed to graduate. The change was made to comply with a new General Assembly mandate that incoming high school students pass a new financial literacy course to get a diploma.


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