McCrory signs Common Core changes into law, creating new education standards for NC schools


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RALEIGH, North Carolina — North Carolina has begun a rewrite of the Common Core education curriculum.

Republican Gov. Pat McCrory signed legislation Tuesday that includes the review and revision of the state's reading and math curriculum in K-12 schools. Four other states have also passed laws to rewrite the standards.

The law directs the State Board of Education to rewrite the Common Core standards based on recommendations from a new 11-member standards advisory commission.

Common Core, which schools began testing two years ago, would remain in place until the new standards are completed, possibly for the 2015-16 school year.

The commission can choose to integrate parts of the current Common Core into the new curriculum.

The law initiates a "much-needed, comprehensive and thorough review of standards. No standards will change without the approval of the State Board of Education. I especially look forward to the recommendations that will address testing issues so we can measure what matters most for our teachers, parents and students," McCrory said in a statement last week.

Indiana was the first state to replace Common Core and direct its State Board of Education to create new standards last summer. Oklahoma and South Carolina followed suit earlier this year and last week, Democratic Gov. Jay Nixon of Missouri signed legislation to also re-write the standards.

Common Core was created by the nation's governors and school system leaders and adopted by the Boards of Education in more than 40 states. School systems around the country have spent the last four years implementing them in the classroom and training teachers.

"To replace those standards is a real sea change in terms of the work that's done on the local level," said Daniel Thatcher, a senior policy specialist with the National Conference of State Legislatures. "It's become a boiling point at this time just because it's taken a few years to percolate to the top."

About 400 bills tweaking Common Core in a variety of ways were introduced in legislatures nationwide this year, Thatcher said.

McCrory attended the National Governors Association meeting earlier this month, and Common Core was discussed by both Republicans and Democrats. There has been opposition to the benchmarks on both sides of the aisle with complaints from teachers, parents and conservative advocates that the standards are causing confusion and leading to the use of curriculum that is age-inappropriate.

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