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Changes to Common Core standards on the horizon

Deputy State Superintendent Rebecca Garland unveiled hints of the potential consequences of changes to the Common Core State standards at today’s House Select Committee on Education Strategy and Practices.

She told the lawmakers that the Department of Public Instruction decided that some high school math courses must change.

“We have heard from the Standards Commission (Academic Standards Review Commission) that high school math seems to be the area where we needed the most attention,” she said. “The teachers in the field agree that the standards in high school needed clarification and needed to be divided different among the four courses in high school.”

She went on to say that the high school math standards were currently in the process of being rewritten.

See our coverage of the Academic Standards Review Commission final recommendations on the Common Core state standards. 

Garland said the changes to Math I will likely be relatively small. But for Math II and III, she anticipates heavy rewrites, which will require a change to the NC Final Exams for those courses. The NC Final Exams are used as part of the measure of educator performance.

She said the state will begin implementing the high school math changes next year, but because the NC Final Exams will need to be changed for Math II and III, those required tests will be suspended for 2016-17.

“The high school teachers would like to see those standards change, so we feel like by suspending the assessment we can move forward with high school mathematics as early as next year,” she said.

DPI plans for the changed standards, along with new NC Final Exams for Math II and III, to become operational in 2017-18.

Rewrites on K-8 math will begin in October, and the state will start looking at English Language Arts this summer.

“We’re moving ahead very quickly with high school mathematics, and the other revisions are following closely behind,” Garland said.

Garland told the lawmakers that the plan still needs to be presented to the State Board of Education before it moves forward. The Board will hear about the plan at its meeting in April.

See the whole video of Garland’s presentation below.

Alex Granados

Alex Granados was the senior reporter for EducationNC from December 2014-March 2023.