Wednesday, June 4, 2014

NC Legislature & Governor Incapable of Listening to Reason

It seems the North Carolina legislature has found a new target after the North Carolina Senate targeted teachers with a budget that offers a bribe for them to give up due process rights or tenure in exchange for massive pay raises which are basically paid for by gutting other parts of the state’s education budget. What’s their new target? The Common Core State Standards. Today the North Carolina House voted to toss out those standards and create a commission of parents and educators to develop more rigorous standards for the state of North Carolina.  What is their primary reason for doing this? Here’s what former school administrator from the last century and current North Carolina State Senator, Jerry Tillman had to say"

“A lot of time and energy were invested in something we should never have gotten into the start with. We ought to own our own standards, and this will put them in our hands.” (See “House, Senate Takes Bites From Common Core Apple” from WRAL.)

Now, as I’ve posted before about the Common Core Standards, I am under no illusion that these have any power to improve education, nor do I step out here to defend them. If they are that great, then they need no defense nor marketing from me; they’ll stand on their own. But Senator Tillman’s statement I think captures more of a “how dare that federal government tell us what to do” attitude than any actual critique of the standards themselves. I would bet he’s most likely never read them, and that is fundamentally a problem with this state legislature.

This North Carolina government is incapable of listening to argument and reason because they are so ideologically driven. Even if one were capable to making a solid argument for Common Core, raising teacher salaries, or increasing funding for textbooks, it doesn’t matter. Our state legislature and even Governor McCrory are incapable of even having any open-mindedness to listen to arguments. That is North Carolina’s greatest danger right now; we have a government driven by ideology and if your ideology or ideas clash with that, forget it.

In the end, Senator Tillman’s objections to the Common Core aren’t based on logic or reason; it’s based on an ideology that blinds them to any level of reason and understanding, and unfortunately, I would say that doesn’t bode well for North Carolina Public Schools this year.

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