A state commission reviewing the Common Core academic standards for public school students met for the first time on Monday.
The politically-appointed commission has until December 2015 to look over the English and Math standards, and possibly make recommendations to the NC State Board of Education.
The review comes after months of complaints from parents and teachers. Many of them say the math and English standards are developmentally inappropriate for younger children, while others have equated Common Core to a federal takeover of education.
Bill Cobey, the chairman of the state's board of education and a member of the commission, told the 11-member group that he wants the standards to be “clear, concise, rigorous, measurable and age-appropriate.”
“My hope is that we will objectively evaluate these standards and make modifications where needed and do it on the basis of facts and research, and not emotions,” Cobey said.
The standards were developed by organizations made up of governors and school officials. The two groups insist that the development of the standards was state-led and included insight from educators and experts.
Commission members on Monday agreed that they need to gather more expertise and knowledge from stakeholders.
“I think if we do hear from the folks that are using the standards and putting them in place every day…then we might be able to pinpoint where we need to start,” said co-chair Jeannie Metcalf.
Republican Senator Jerry Tillman urged members to go beyond minor revisions and to not simply rename the standards, as other states have.
“If we didn't want something done different, we wouldn't need y'all in this room today,” said Tillman.
North Carolina was one of the first states to sign onto Common Core a few years ago. Officials say any changes to the standards would not go into effect until 2016, at the earliest.
Andre Peek, an IBM executive, is co-chair of the commission. He and other said that next steps include surveying stakeholders and collecting insight from education and content experts.