Military Officers Urge Lawmakers To Keep Common Core Standards

Jun 13, 2014

Retired generals from North Carolina urged state lawmakers on Thursday not to derail the Common Core standards.

A group of retired generals is advising lawmakers not to support legislation that would get rid of the Common Core academic standards.

The group Mission Readiness: Military Leaders for Kids says the standards will help ensure the success and strength of the military by better preparing students who choose to serve. Military officers say about 23 percent of graduates looking to enroll don’t pass entrance exams in math, literacy and problem solving.

“We want to graduate people from high school who will be able to go to any college in United States, be able to pass every military test, join any form of the service or go here to work in Raleigh, that's all we're asking for,” said Lt. Marvin Covault during a press conference on Thursday.

Legislators are currently debating bills that would change or drop the standards and replace them with new ones that are specific to North Carolina.

The Common Core standards were initially adopted by 45 states and introduced to North Carolina classrooms in 2012. They’re meant to replace a hodgepodge of state standards with one set of clear, consistent goals for what students should learn in Math and English at every grade level.

Opponents of the standards argue that they are not developmentally appropriate for children, were implemented too quickly and take control away from the state. 

The House and Senate passed bills last week that would create a commission to review North Carolina’s educational standards. The House bill recommends flat out replacing the standards, while the Senate legislation leaves open the possibility that Common Core, with modifications, could continue.

The North Carolina Chamber and other business groups also have urged lawmakers not to toss the standards, arguing that they prepare students for higher and critical levels of thinking that are essential for the workplace.

The House and Senate will need to hammer differences in their bills or pass either one before it can go before Governor Pat McCrory, who’s expressed support for the standards.