Photo: Sara Caldwell/The Augusta Chronicle/

Photo: Sara Caldwell/The Augusta Chronicle/

A North Carolina legislative committee has just recommended that the state drop Common Core and replace it with a new set of learning standards that will “meet North Carolina’s needs.” The state’s general assembly will now decide the fate of the Common Core standards in the upcoming legislative session.

Lieutenant Governor Dan Forest (R) has led the opposition to the national standards in the state, encouraging lawmakers and education officials to reclaim state educational decision-making authority.

In June, Forest—who also sits on the North Carolina Board of Education—released a video explaining his opposition to his state’s rush to adopt Common Core national standards and tests and lending his support to the board’s decision to review the standards.

Then in July, Forest sent the state’s Department of Public Instruction a request for information on the Common Core national standards. Officials responded by asking Forest to send them 10,000 sheets of blank paper so they could answer the 67 questions. He obliged. They responded by sending him back “40,000 sheets of paper, with a cover letter that did not directly answer any of his 67 questions, but rather referred him to 134 separate websites, linking to over 100 separate pages, 320 separate reports, hundreds of original source documents, 40 presentations, 1 blog post and a thumb drive.” As Forest said, there’s a difference between information and answers.

Last week Forest issued a statement praising the committee vote:

Today is a great day for education in North Carolina. The General Assembly listened to the voices of thousands of parents, teachers, administrators and concerned citizens about the issues with Common Core.… This legislative action allows North Carolina to develop its own rigorous standards, created by its own teachers, school administrators, business leaders, and parents.

North Carolina has an opportunity to follow Indiana’s example by exiting Common Core and asserting responsibility for their standards and to lead the way on life after Common Core.

To date, 15 states have halted or downgraded involvement in the national standards. North Carolina’s rejection of the national standards would bring that number to 16.

As Heritage education policy fellow Lindsey Burke writes:

National standards will further expand Washington’s role in education and will remove parents from decisions about the content taught in local schools.… States and local school districts can have success improving their standards and assessments without surrendering control to Washington.

Brandon Hershey is currently a member of the Young Leaders Program at The Heritage Foundation. For more information on interning at Heritage, please click here.