The Intersection

Rising to the Common Core Challenge

September 30, 2013


North Carolina Superintendents Dr. Mark Edwards,  2013 National Superintendent of the Year, and Dr. Heath Morrison, 2012 National Superintendent of the Year, share their views about the importance of the Common Core in The News and Observer article, “Common core Essential to Student Growth.”

Over the centuries, public education has been a great equalizer, serving as the foundation upon which we’ve built an upwardly mobile society that is a melting pot of diverse people from every part of the world.

Today our nation is engaged in a debate focused on how best to educate every American child. As educational leaders, our delight at seeing this national conversation take place is tempered by the knowledge that it is often waged with misinformation and factual distortions, even though all sides of the debate are passionately committed to what they believe is in the best interest of our children.

Parents, public officials, legislators, educators, businesspeople, citizens and taxpayers alike recognize the increasing sense of urgency that we must do a better job of preparing our children to succeed. Few generations of Americans have faced as much economic and job prospect uncertainty as the current one. As the challenge increases for every successive generation, so must we continue to improve how we educate every generation of students.

Historically, public education was locally controlled, with every community in America organizing into school districts that autonomously determined not just what that community’s children would learn, but how they would learn.

In today’s world, where a child in Mooresville or Charlotte is likely to compete for a job with a child in Madrid, Spain, or Chandigarh, India, it is imperative that we set a minimum standard of education.

The Common Core standards – which have been adopted in our state and around the country following years of public debate among educational leaders and policymakers – bring an essential level of rigor into our public schools, setting the bar high for all our children. These standards will ensure that our students master not just the basic skills but also higher-level competencies such as problem-solving and critical thinking.

North Carolina must remain committed to the Common Core standards, which are supported by national business and education leaders. As with all changes, these more rigorous standards will no doubt bring initial discomfort in schools and in homes, and may well result in a temporary drop in test scores. With deliberate urgency, our teachers and students will rise to the challenge.

Read the full article here


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