#NCGA: Tillman defends Senate bill from criticisms by Common Core opponents

Senator Jerry Tillman (R-Randolph), that chamber’s majority whip and leading voice on education policy, has stepped up in defense of anti-Commontil Core legislation he shepherded through the Senate.  Tillman told us his commitment to killing off Common Core — and that of the Senate Republican caucus — has not wavered:

Common Core is not in the best interest of our state and its children’s education.

Both Senate Bill 812 and House Bill 1061 repeal *G.S. 115C-174.11(c) which directed the State Board of Education to continue to develop Common Core. I strongly believe that repealing this statute repeals the Common Core because the State Board will no longer develop training or other supports based on the Common Core standards.

Both of the bills also direct the State Board and the Academic Review Commission to review the current standards which are based on Common Core, and make changes so that a new set of standards would do the things that the Common Core standards cannot do: increase student achievement, reflect NC’s priorities, be age-level and developmentally appropriate and understandable to parents and teachers, and be among the highest standards in the nation.

There has been mention of a concern with Section 5 of Senate Bill 812 as it relates to Smarter Balanced Consortium Assessments, etc.  The language specifically states that the State Board of Education shall report to the Joint Legislative Education Oversight Committee prior to the acquisition and implementation of a new assessment instrument…and that the State Board shall not acquire or implement such an assessment instrument without the enactment of legislation by the General Assembly authorizing the purchase.” 

In other words, the Standards Commission will recommend what assessments are to be used, and the legislature must approve any of the assessments that the Standards Commission recommends.

 

 

3 thoughts on “#NCGA: Tillman defends Senate bill from criticisms by Common Core opponents

  1. Tillman says: “Both Senate Bill 812 and House Bill 1061 repeal *G.S. 115C-174.11(c) which directed the State Board of Education to continue to develop Common Core. I strongly believe that repealing this statute repeals the Common Core because the State Board will no longer develop training or other supports based on the Common Core standards.”

    Problem #1: SB 812 does NOT repeal 115C-174.11 (c) – that is an outright lie. It repeals 115c-174.11 (c) (3). Tillman leaves out the 3, which makes a BIG difference in the accuracy of his statement. Tillman’s statement implies that it repeals the entire section of testing mandates. Here is the specific language directly from SB 812: “SECTION 3.(a) G.S. 115C-174.11(c)(3) is repealed.” The difference in that statement is that it leaves aspects in our statutes such as: 115c-174.11 (c) (1), which states: “The State Board of Education shall adopt the tests for grades three through 12 that are required by federal law or as a condition of a federal grant.”
    Also leaves 115c-174.11 (d) which states: “Except as provided in subsection (c) of this section, the State Board of Education shall not require the public schools to administer any standardized tests except for those required by federal law or as a condition of a federal grant. The State Board of Education shall adopt and provide to local school administrative units all tests required by federal law or as a condition of a federal grant.”

    Tillman says: “Both of the bills also direct the State Board and the Academic Review Commission to review the current standards which are based on Common Core, and make changes so that a new set of standards would do the things that the Common Core standards cannot do: increase student achievement, reflect NC’s priorities, be age-level and developmentally appropriate and understandable to parents and teachers, and be among the highest standards in the nation.”

    Problem #1: Proponents of Common Core already claim that the standards meet all of this criteria. A provision this vague is not suitable for us to place all of our hopes into expecting it to do away with the standards that are in place now.
    Problem #2: The bill doesn’t actually authorize the new academic review commission to make ANY changes to the standards. NONE. They are only charged with making SUGGESTIONS to the State Board of Education.

    Tillman says: There has been mention of a concern with Section 5 of Senate Bill 812 as it relates to Smarter Balanced Consortium Assessments, etc. The language specifically states that the State Board of Education shall report to the Joint Legislative Education Oversight Committee prior to the acquisition and implementation of a new assessment instrument…and that the State Board shall not acquire or implement such an assessment instrument without the enactment of legislation by the General Assembly authorizing the purchase.”

    Problem: Section 5 is almost identical to a provision that was ALREADY passed by the legislature. It didn’t stop us from using common core tests then, either…. ?

    Language from SB12: SECTION 5. The State Board of Education shall report to the Joint Legislative Education Oversight Committee prior to the acquisition and implementation of a new assessment instrument to assess student achievement on the academic standards adopted pursuant to G.S. 115C?12(9c), including the Common Core Smarter Balanced Consortium Assessments and the PARCC Assessment developed by the Partnership for Assessment of Readiness of College and Careers. The assessments shall be nationally normed, aligned with the North Carolina Standard Course of Study, and field tested. Examples of appropriate assessment models would include, but not be limited to, the ITBS, the SAT, ACT Aspire, and the NAEP. The State Board shall not acquire or implement such an assessment instrument without the enactment of legislation by the General Assembly authorizing the purchase.

    Language from the 2013 fy budget:
    “SECTION 9.2.(b)
    Notwithstanding the provisions of G.S. 115C – 174.11(c), the State Board of Education shall report to the Joint Legislative Education Oversight Committee prior to the purchase and implementation of a new assessment instrument to assess student achievement on the Common Core State Standards, including the Common Core Smarter Balance Consortium Assessments. The State Board shall not purchase such an assessment instrument without the enactment of legislation by the General Assembly authorizing the purchase.”

    (Also of note is that the ACT and SAT are apparently being aligned to the Common Core, SB812 does not remove the SAT/ACT mandates from our statutes, either.)

    Aside from these things, the STANDARDS themselves are NOT the biggest problem that Common Core opponents have, and the fact that Tillman seems so far removed from this fact indicates that he was not LISTENING to parents and constituents when we shared our concerns about things such as the data sharing. Tillman’s bill does nothing to address that, the House version with Pittman & Speciale’s amendment does at least attempt to address the data aspect. Tillman’s answer to that seems to be to revert to Barefoot’s data bill. Barefoot’s bill only puts us in compliance with FERPA laws- NEWS FLASH: we are ALREADY in compliance with FERPA laws; FERPA was changed in 2010 to allow for data sharing with private corporations who have an “interest” in education. Pittman/Speciale amendments also PROHIBIT the State Board of Ed from ceding our sovereignty over education to the federal government in exchange for money in the future, while Tillman’s bill further mandates that we WILL comply with federal grant mandates.

    The difference is clear, and if Tillman is so opposed to common core, as he claims, why would he work so hard to defeat amendments that do MORE to address the problems related to Common Core (and the race to the top agreement that got us into Common Core in the first place)?

    Here is video from the house education meeting yesterday in which Tillman says that his version of the bill was vetted by McCrory and the Chamber of Commerce, both of whom, he claims, oppose Common Core. Not true, both have been vocal PROPONENTS of Common Core.
    http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=KLgUpSyeRcI

    1. Hmmm! Sounds like Tillman is carrying water for the Chamber of Corruption . . . err. . . Commerce.

      Tillman has outted himself as a Judas Goat. The real heros for the citizens are Pittman, Speciale, and their crew in the House. And lets give the devil his due. Tillis tightly controls what goes on in the House, and the House would not have been permitted to stand firm as they have without his say-so. Now the key will be Tillis appointing solid and dependable conservatives to the conference committee on this bill.

      Conservatives should call Tillman’s office and let him know they are thoroughly disgusted with his performance on this issue. Also call Berger’s office and tell him to stand for the NC GOP platform and against Common Core.

      Heck, even the Republican National Committee has passed a resolution denouncing Common Core.

    2. Thank you Nikki for your post. As a former educator you nailed it on the head. Keep up the good work. This monstrosity needs to be repealed in its entirety.

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