NC Department of Public Instruction Re-examining Common Core Standards and U.S. History Requirements

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NCDPI News Release

For immediate release

Feb. 6, 2020


NC Department of Public Instruction Re-examining Common Core Standards and U.S. History Requirements

Mark Johnson

State Superintendent Mark Johnson today announced that the North Carolina Department of Public Instruction will be re-examining the Common Core standards and U.S. history requirements in light of recent events. Johnson is opposed to the use of Common Core standards in NC schools, but the NC Board of Education controls whether or not Common Core is used in NC. DPI will conduct a survey of educators and parents as part of this process.


"Opposition to Common Core from educators and parents is what I hear about the most across our state,” said Johnson. “I strongly disagreed with the State Board of Education’s decision to keep Common Core in place in 2017. Many states, like North Carolina, were ‘changing’ standards by making tweaks to Common Core and then calling it by a different name. But now there’s a clear path we can replicate in North Carolina to remove Common Core, and I encourage the State Board to closely examine this new option with us."


Common Core is a controversial set of standards in mathematics and English language arts/literacy (ELA). The North Carolina State Board of Education adopted the Common Core standards for math and ELA in 2010 and re-approved Common Core standards for math and ELA in 2017, over the objections of State Superintendent Johnson. Recently, the Florida Commissioner of Education has taken action to remove Common Core entirely from Florida’s state standards and replace them with the new Florida’s B.E.S.T. Standards (Benchmarks for Excellent Student Thinking). One of the leaders of this effort in FL is Eric Hall, former Deputy Superintendent for Innovation at NC DPI.


"We will also be working to ensure that rigorous U.S. history requirements remain in place in North Carolina,” Johnson continued. “Recent efforts in support of better financial literacy have led to concerns that this might be a backdoor effort to diminish the importance of American history classes in North Carolina schools. We will not let that happen. I want to make sure our parents know that students will still be getting robust, rigorous lessons in our history and founding principles, and not only will we keep all America history standards, we will improve our efforts to teach the founding principles of our nation.”


Legislation passed in 2019 makes financial literacy a requirement for graduation and social studies standards in North Carolina public schools will be revised to add this new course, but State Superintendent Johnson has instructed DPI that no social studies standards are to be eliminated.