Superintendent Mark Johnson said Thursday that 78 % of people responding to a N.C. Department of Public Instruction survey want Common Core removed from North Carolina standards.
More than 71,000 people completed the controversial survey, Johnson said in a news release. That means 55,380 of them indicated they oppose Common Core.
“These results affirm what I have been hearing across the state for years,” Johnson said. “Most North Carolinians do not want Common Core used in our public schools.”
Johnson was criticized after he sent the survey to hundreds of thousands of parents and educators in text messages and email messages.
Charlotte educator Justin Parmenter and others filed ethics complaints against Johnson with the N.C. Ethics Commission. They contend Johnson’s email blast and text blast were politically motivated.
Johnson is a Republican candidate in a crowded field for lieutenant governor. He has voiced opposition to Common Core on the campaign trail.
The primary election is March 3.
“Mark Johnson’s fake Common Core outrage message to hundreds of thousands of parents and educators is nothing more than an attempt to swing uninformed voters his way in the primary for lieutenant governor,” Parmenter said. “It’s unethical for any elected official to use state resources for personal gain.”
Chelsea Bartel, a school psychologist who lives in Durham, also filed an ethics complaint against Johnson.
“I believe Mr. [Mark] Johnson’s mass email and text sending on Feb. 11 constitutes a violate of the State Government Ethic Act, specially the part that prohibits use of public position for private gain,” Bartel said.
Bartel was critical of the quality of the survey. The survey would not be approved for research purposes, she said.
Johnson said North Carolina should consider following Florida, which eliminated Common Core earlier this month.
“There is a path forward, and we are carefully reviewing the process followed by the Florida Department of Education to ensure any review of standards dedicates sufficient time for diligent review and includes the views of all stakeholders.,” Johnson said. “I think it is well past time that education leaders in Raleigh listen to all educators and parents on this important issue.”
The State Board of Education in Florida has adopted new Benchmarks for Excellent Student Thinking (B.E.S.T.) Standards for English Language Arts and Mathematics to replace Common Core.
The new standards will apply to students in grades K-2 beginning with the 2021-2022 school year. They will apply to all students the following year.
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.
The North Carolina State Board of Education adopted the Common Core standards for math and English language arts in 2010 and re-approved revised standards in 2017.
Some educators argue Common Core is mostly removed from North Carolina standards.
“Many states, like North Carolina, were ‘changing’ standards by making tweaks to Common Core and then calling it by a different name,” Johnson said in a Feb. 6 statement.