Editorial: Landmark solution opportunity

Jul. 14, 2014 @ 11:21 PM

North Carolina lawmakers were already nervous. They didn’t need to hear a governor from Iowa use the term radioactive and feel even more push.

Terry Branstad’s language put a little ka-boom on a conference of governors over the weekend. Across the country, including in the land of the long leaf pine, Common Core is pushing buttons.

The set of rigorous standards for English and math structuring what students should know and when was welcomed five years ago. A measuring tool that could be utilized across the country was adopted by 44 states, including North Carolina.

With that came a significant amount of preparation for teachers and in curriculum. There was also significant agreement, in our state and others, that improving our students’ abilities when they reached college campuses had to take place.

This was the avenue we would take to get there.

Now feeling jittery, and the heat of influence from a group not fond of programs with federal links, the Republican-led General Assembly desires change. And the small sample size isn’t even part of the equation.

Politics are and, regardless of belief in Common Core or displeasure with it, that’s a failing choice for our students. North Carolina’s not alone either — we’re one of 27 proposing to delay or repeal Common Core.

Everybody wants strong standards. But thoughtful reasoning needs to rule over the politics, especially in a state with one education battle too many already consuming us and our state budget.

Gov. Pat McCrory, he who has caught his britches on a fence post a time or two already, has changed his vocabulary. In June, he said repeal was not a smart move.

This month he spoke of common ground, and he lamented current education woes getting linked to Common Core. He’s more right than wrong on both and with a better tone. Leading to the middle would be in touch with his moderate conservativeness.

Currently, via the budget debacle, McCrory can be heard in the ears of educators who have loathed most everything Republican since Reconstruction. That’s a resource he needs to capitalize on.

If he is indeed leading an economic comeback he hopes the nation notices, doubling down with a potential landmark education solution would make for an explosive summer success.