North Carolina’s Governor and Common Core

Photo credit: Mr. TinDC via Flickr (CC BY-ND 2.0)

North Carolina was one of the many states to adopt the Common Core State Standards in 2010. Similar to other states, implementation in North Carolina occurred with little to no training or resources the following year.  

When Common Core first came on the scene in the state, Governor Pat McCrory had not yet been elected. Former Governor Beverly Perdue was in the Governor’s mansion at the time and it is her signature that was on the Race To The Top application a full six months before Common Core was even released, much less adopted by North Carolina.

After being elected in fall of 2011, Governor McCrory took up Perdue’s mantle on Common Core. In various engagements, McCrory praised the standards and regularly delivered some of the now familiar Common Core talking points.  

But in McCrory’s first year as Governor, the Common Core push back began as citizens began flooding the legislature with complaints. There were online petitions, many groups drew up resolutions opposing the standards, and parents were angry. The media was starting to take notice as well, but McCrory stuck to the script – Common Core is a set of ‘high standards’, it’s ‘good for business’, it has ‘rigor’.  

Echoing these sentiments was McCrory’s aide on Education, Eric Guckian.

When asked about the mounting opposition to the standards, Guckian at one point made the blanket statement that Common Core ‘would not be going anywhere’ under McCrory’s watch. Guckian has since left the McCrory administration to take a post at Teach For America’s political arm, Leadership for Educational Equity. Continue Reading