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DPI's Response to Lt. Gov. Forest's 67 Questions about Common Core

DPI's Response to Lt. Gov. Forest's 67 Questions about Common Core

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Published by Daniel J. Forest
Lt. Gov. wrote a letter to the Department of Public Instruction this past July with 67 questions that concerned North Carolinian's, parents, teachers, local administrators, and himself have surrounding the Common Core State Standards. On August 2, 2013 he received 12 boxes containing approximately 40,000 sheets of paper, along with this cover letter. In this letter, as you will see, DPI did not directly answer any of his 67 questions, but rather referred him to 134 separate websites that each link to over 100 separate pages, more than 320 separate reports, hundreds of original source documents, over 40 presentations, 1 blog post, and a thumb drive. When broken down, DPI’s reply took close to 597 pages to answer each single individual question submitted. Yes, 597 pages for each individual answer. This is government bureaucracy at its best.
Lt. Gov. wrote a letter to the Department of Public Instruction this past July with 67 questions that concerned North Carolinian's, parents, teachers, local administrators, and himself have surrounding the Common Core State Standards. On August 2, 2013 he received 12 boxes containing approximately 40,000 sheets of paper, along with this cover letter. In this letter, as you will see, DPI did not directly answer any of his 67 questions, but rather referred him to 134 separate websites that each link to over 100 separate pages, more than 320 separate reports, hundreds of original source documents, over 40 presentations, 1 blog post, and a thumb drive. When broken down, DPI’s reply took close to 597 pages to answer each single individual question submitted. Yes, 597 pages for each individual answer. This is government bureaucracy at its best.

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Published by: Daniel J. Forest on Aug 21, 2013
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02/01/2014

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OFFICE OF THE STATE SUPERINTENDENT
June St. Clair Atkinson, Ed.D.,
State Superintendent 
| June.Atkinson@dpi.nc.gov6301 Mail Service Center, Raleigh, North Carolina 27699-6301 | (919) 807-3430 | Fax (919) 807-3445
 AN EQUAL OPPORTUNITY/AFFIRMATIVE ACTION EMPLOYER 
 
August 2, 2013The Honorable Dan ForestOffice of the Lt. Governor 20401 Mail Service Center Raleigh, North Carolina 27699-0401Dear Lt. Governor Forest:In your 20-page letter dated July 18, 2013, you requested that I answer 67 questions with multiplesubparts. Except for the opinion questions you posed, the answers are found on one or more websites,which I have listed on the pages that follow. However, at your request, we have made hard copies for you to read. I am also providing you with a flash drive, which contains feedback during the development phase of the Common Core. In a few cases, I am unable to answer the questions because it wouldviolate the privacy rights of students, parents, or teachers.The answers are organized by the following topics on the attachments.
 
Development of Standards
 
Cost
 
Technology
 
Standards and Student Impact
 
Federal Government’s Role
 
 
Data Collection
 
Contracts and RttT GrantsAs you review the multiple websites and the materials I have provided, please keep the following inmind:1.
 
The State Board of Education spent many months deliberating about what students should know and be able to do as a result of attending public schools. They, in good faith and with extensive input,adopted the Common Core State Standards in 2010.2.
 
Standards, by themselves, are just one part of the journey to ensure that students are career, college,and citizenship ready.3.
 
The 2012-13 school year was the required year of implementation of the new standards in all 115school districts although many districts transitioned to the new standards over the past couple of years. Regardless of the standards a state uses, whether they are those in place during 1995, 2000, or 2005, schools have the same type of fixed costs - - teacher support, instructional support materials,and assessment alignment.
 
Lt. Governor’s Response
 August 2, 2013Page 2
4.
 
Admission to most colleges and universities requires students to take the ACT or SAT. The ACT andSAT tests are aligned to the Common Core (see their websites). You may want to review
5.
 
An essential provision of the first bill Governor McCrory signed into law requires the use of Common Core for students to receive career, college, or both endorsements on their diplomas.6.
 
The State Board of Education has statutory authority over the
state’s
standards, not a federal or national entity. The General Assembly may also address standards to be taught in schools asevidenced by three recent bills passed by the General Assembly that set specific details to theStandard Course of Study.7.
 
The conversation about adding 15 percent is irrelevant now. As I explained to one of your staff members, the 15 percent clause was included at the beginning to ensure that a state did not indicate ithad adopted the Common Core, and yet make extensive changes. North Carolina teachers have the flexibility to add more content, and the St
ate Board of Education’s
adoption of mathematics went beyond the standards in the Common Core, for example, with theinclusion of a high school math advanced functions and modeling course and other mathematicsopportunities for high school students.Thank you for your interest in the history of State Board of Education policy development.Sincerely,June St. Clair AtkinsonJSA:mwAttachmentsc: SBE Members and Board Advisors
 
 
Lt. Governor’s Response
 August 2, 2013Page 3
I. Development of Standards
For answers to questions 1-4 and their 32 subparts, please review thefollowing websites.(Also, read materials in the boxes.)1.
 
www.ncpublicschools.org/acre/
 
ACRE
 – 
Reports 2009, 2010, 2011
 
2008, 2009, 2010
 NC Standard Course of Study
 
Superintendent’s Advisory Committees (principals,
teachers, superintendents
 – 
2008, 2009, 2010)
 
State Board of Education agendas, meeting materials, andminutes for Globally Competitive Students (GCS). ReadACRE summary
 – 
6/2/10
 – 
See boxes of SBE materials.(Please return the Board materials, which are the
Department’s file copies.)
 
State Board of Education policies
 – 
Globally CompetitiveStudents (GCS)
 
Curriculum Reference Guides2.
 
 North Carolina General Assembly and review EducationOversight Committee summaries for 2008, 2009, 2010. Alsoreview G.S. § 115C-81.3.
 
 – 
review webinars and business committees4.
 
 – 
Common Core5.
 
 – 
See appendix list of researchcitations6.
 
 – 
Common Core7.
 
 – 
Common Core and ACT8.
 
 – 
Common Core and SAT, AP9.
 
115 school district websites10.
 
 – 
See NC History of Archives for historical items transferred for 2008, 2009, and 2010.Typically, we transfer historical documents after two or threeyears.11.
 
www.TIMSS.org (The 2007 data you quoted is not the mostrecent.)12.
 
 
Virginia Department of Education and refer to the CommonCore alignment with Virginia standards
II. Cost
For answers to questions 5-10 with 41 subparts:1. Refer to State Board of Education agendas, minutes, andattachments for meetings occurring in 2009, 2010, 2011, 2012,
2013. Please see my superintendent’s report to the State Board
of Education July 2013 for costs associated with implementingnew standards.(www.ncpublicschools.org) 
Board materials after June 2012 are located on the State Board’s

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