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WUNC's American Graduate Project is part of a nationwide public media conversation about the dropout crisis. We'll explore the issue through news reports, call-in programs and a forum produced with UNC-TV. Also as a part of this project we've partnered with the Durham Nativity School and YO: Durham to found the WUNC Youth Radio Club. These reports are part of American Graduate-Let’s Make it Happen!- a public media initiative to address the drop out crisis, supported by the Corporation for Public Broadcasting and these generous funders: Project Funders:GlaxoSmithKlineThe Goodnight Educational FoundationJoseph M. Bryan Foundation State FarmThe Grable FoundationFarrington FoundationMore education stories from WUNC

Governor McCrory Signs Bill To Rework Common Core

Students at McDougle Elementary.
Chapel Hill-Carrboro City Schools

  Governor Pat McCrory has signed a bill designed to review and potentially replace the Common Core academic standards.

McCrory referred to the bill as a “Common Core review bill,” despite lawmakers who say that the legislation will work to replace the standards.

“It does not change any of North Carolina’s education standards. It does initiate a much-needed, comprehensive and thorough review of standards,” McCrory said in a statement. “No standards will change without the approval of the State Board of Education. I especially look forward to the recommendations that will address testing issues so we can measure what matters most for our teachers, parents and students.”

McCrory has been vocal in the past about his concerns with repealing Common Core, calling it “not a smart move.” But he has also said, above all, that he supports high standards and admitted that a few of them may need to be reviewed or corrected.

The Common Core standards, initially adopted by 45 states, set Math and English goals for K-12 students across the country. Supporters of the standards say they raise the bar in terms of what students should know.

But North Carolina, along with many states, has seen a big Common Core backlash, driven by parents, teachers and legislators who argue that the standards were implemented too quickly, place too much pressure on teachers and take control away from the state. 

"If you adopt national standards, that triggers everything else," said Republican Senator Jerry Tillman earlier this year. "It triggers your textbooks, your tests and your teaching methods. If you believe in Common Core, they own it all, and North Carolina owns nothing."

Critics of the bill, including teachers, legislators and parents, argue that major changes will be unnecessary and costly. North Carolina has spent tens of millions of dollars implementing Common Core over the last four years. 

Reema Khrais joined WUNC in 2013 to cover education in pre-kindergarten through high school. Previously, she won the prestigious Joan B. Kroc Fellowship. For the fellowship, she spent a year at NPR where she reported nationally, produced on Weekends on All Things Considered and edited on the digital desk. She also spent some time at New York Public Radio as an education reporter, covering the overhaul of vocational schools, the contentious closures of city schools and age-old high school rivalries.
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