Critics question the sincerity of Superintendent Mark Johnson’s proposal to end Common Core. Could it be a political stunt?

State Superintendent Mark Johnson

State Superintendent Mark Johnson’s Common Core survey is getting panned on social media.

Critics contend the survey is politically  motivated and the questions too simplistic.

Educators are also complaining about receiving email and text messages with the link to the five-question survey.

“Shame on you for a disgraceful political stunt,” Phyllis Eubank West wrote on Johnson’s Facebook page. “If you were so interested curriculum, you would have initiated surveys etc. 3 years ago and not 3 weeks before a primary. BTW, the survey is poorly designed.”

Graham Wilson, spokesman for the N.C. Department of Public Instruction (NCDPI), said NCDPI received a handful of calls from people with complaints about the text messages.

“We remind callers that to opt out of receiving text messages from the NC Department of Public Instruction, they should reply STOP to the message,” Wilson said.

Common Core is a set of academic standards in mathematics and English language arts that define what K-12 students should learn by the end of each school year.

Johnson is a candidate for lieutenant governor. If elected, he could work from that post to rid the state of Common Core because the lieutenant governor serves on the State Board of Education.

“Opposition to Common Core from educators and parents is what I hear about the most across our state,” Johnson said in a recent statement. “I strongly disagreed with the State Board of Education’s decision to keep Common Core in place in 2017. But now there’s a clear path we can replicate in North Carolina to remove Common Core, and I encourage the State Board to closely examine this new option with us.”

The clear path runs through Florida. That state eliminated Common Core last week.

Florida Education Commissioner Richard Corcoran is expected to go before the State Board of Education this week to request adoption of new standards,  Florida Benchmarks for Excellent Student Thinking (BEST) Standards for English Language Arts and mathematics.

Meanwhile, Johnson’s survey ask takers to identify themselves as educators, parents or other. It also ask:

  • Are current education studandards in North Carolina providing an effective path to success?
  • Are you familiar with Common Core?
  • Should North Carolina public schools put more focus on teaching U.S. history and civics?
  • Should North Carolina public schools put more focus on teaching financial literacy?

Here is what critics on Twitter had to say about Johnson’s proposal:


  1. June

    February 11, 2020 at 4:22 pm

    Superintendent Johnson declared victory of defeating the Common Core when math and English Language Arts standards were change after he took office. Did he not read the changes or understand what was done? Is he asking for a replay of what he thought he did two or three years ago? Sad, sad, sad.

  2. Daniel Withrow

    February 11, 2020 at 7:39 pm

    The most serious flaw in his text–and in this article–is that North Carolina dispensed with Common Core in 2018. Either this is 100% a political stunt designed to capture the attention of low-information voters in the Republican Lieutenant Governor primary, or else Johnson is staggeringly ignorant of the state education policies he’s in charge of.

  3. Stewart

    February 11, 2020 at 9:04 pm

    I’m a teacher and he sent this stupid survey about this to my phone as a text message…in the middle of the school day. How does he even have my cell phone number? I get that he has access to my school email address (though I wish he’d quite it with the emailed propaganda), but how did he get my cell number and why does he think it’s okay to text me when I’m working? I must admit I can’t comment on the political intent of the survey because I did what most teachers probably di with the text…deleted it immediately.

  4. John Grooms

    February 12, 2020 at 10:24 am

    I’m surprised, and a bit dismayed, by the headline for this article. Is there doubt in anyone’s mind, even GOPers, that Johnson thinks he managed a slick move to help him in his Lt. Gov bid? Why beat around the bush? Johnson is a ridiculous, self-enamored toad with an ambitious streak, little knowledge and a shameless ethos. See, it’s not that hard to get right to the point.

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