GENERAL ASSEMBLY OF NORTH CAROLINA
SENATE BILL 812*
Education Committee Substitute Adopted 6/4/14
Third Edition Engrossed 6/5/14
Substitute Favorable 6/23/14
Fifth Edition Engrossed 6/24/14
Short Title: Replace CCSS w/NC's Higher Academ. Standards.
May 21, 2014
A BILL TO BE ENTITLED
An act to EXERCISE NORTH CAROLINA'S CONSTITUTIONAL AUTHORITY TO REPLACE COMMON CORE AND ESTABLISH, PROMOTE, AND ASSURE HIGH ACADEMIC STANDARDS THAT ARE ROBUST AND APPROPRIATE FOR NORTH CAROLINA PUBLIC EDUCATION.
Whereas, the North Carolina General Assembly recognizes that we live in an era in which public education must prepare our students to be nationally and internationally competitive so that they can achieve academically and professionally; and
Whereas, the Constitution of the State of North Carolina, Article IX, Section 2(1), states that the General Assembly must provide for a general and uniform system of free public schools; and
Whereas, it is the responsibility of the State of North Carolina to establish academic standards that allow students to succeed academically and professionally; and
Whereas, North Carolina desires its academic standards to be among the highest in the nation; and
Whereas, the North Carolina General Statutes direct the State Board of Education to adopt and modify academic standards for public schools; and
Whereas, the State of North Carolina has the exclusive right to determine the appropriate statewide assessments that will measure how well students have attained North Carolina High Academic Standards; Now, therefore,
The General Assembly of North Carolina enacts:
SECTION 1.(a) G.S. 115C‑12(9c) reads as rewritten:
"§ 115C‑12. Powers and duties of the Board generally.
The general supervision and administration of the free public school system shall be vested in the State Board of Education. The State Board of Education shall establish policy for the system of free public schools, subject to laws enacted by the General Assembly. The powers and duties of the State Board of Education are defined as follows:
(9c) Power to Develop Content Standards and Exit
Standards. – The Board shall develop a comprehensive plan to revise content
standards and the standard course of study in the core academic areas of
reading, writing, mathematics, science, history, geography, and civics. The
Board shall involve and survey a representative sample of parents, teachers,
and the public to help determine academic content
standard standards that
meet and reflect North Carolina's priorities and the usefulness of
the content standards. A full review of available and relevant academic content
standards that are rigorous, specific, sequenced, age and developmentally
appropriate, clear, focused, and measurable, whenever possible, shall be a
part of the process of the development of content standards. The revised
content standards developed in the core academic areas shall (i) reflect high
expectations for students and an in‑depth mastery of the content; (ii) be
clearly grounded in the content of each academic area; (iii) be defined grade‑by‑grade
and course‑by‑course; (iv) be understandable to parents and
teachers; (v) be developed in full recognition of the time available to teach
the core academic areas at each grade level; and (vi) be measurable, whenever
possible, in a reliable, valid, and efficient manner for accountability
purposes. When revising content standards and the standard course of study
in English Language Arts and in mathematics, the State Board of Education shall
collaborate with the Academic Standards Review Commission, as established in G.S. 115C‑83.30
to maintain the independence of the North Carolina Standard Course of
Study and related student assessments and to ensure these standards are among
the highest in the nation.
High school course content standards shall include the knowledge and skills necessary to pursue further postsecondary education or to attain employment in the 21st century economy. The high school course content standards also shall be aligned with the minimum undergraduate course requirements for admission to the constituent institutions of The University of North Carolina. The Board may develop exit standards that will be required for high school graduation.
The Board also shall develop and implement an ongoing process to align State programs and support materials with the revised academic content standards for each core academic area on a regular basis. Alignment shall include revising textbook criteria, support materials, State tests, teacher and school administrator preparation, and ongoing professional development programs to be compatible with content standards. For English Language Arts and mathematics content standards, the Board shall consult with the Academic Standards Review Commission to complete the alignment process. The Board shall develop and make available to teachers and parents support materials, including teacher and parent guides, for academic content standards. The State Board of Education shall work in collaboration with the Board of Governors of The University of North Carolina to ensure that teacher and school administrator degree programs, ongoing professional development, and other university activity in the State's public schools align with the State Board's priorities."
SECTION 1.(b) G.S. 115C‑12 is amended by adding a new subdivision to read:
"(9d) The State Board shall ensure that no official, employee, agency, or board of the State shall enter into any agreement, memorandum of understanding, or contract with any federal agency or private entity which in any way cedes or limits State discretion or control over the development, adoption, or revision of the North Carolina Standard Course of Study and related student assessments in the public school system, including, but not limited to, agreements, memoranda of understanding, and contracts in exchange for funding for public schools and programs. Nothing in this subsection shall be construed to prohibit (i) implementation of the International Baccalaureate, Advanced Placement, or other nationally available educational programs or curricula or (ii) an official, employee, agency, or board of the State from seeking and being granted a waiver from federal law provided that the conditions for the waiver do not require the State to cede or limit its discretion or control over the development, adoption, or revision of the North Carolina Standard Course of Study and related assessments.
SECTION 1.(c) During the 2014‑2015 school year, the State Board of Education shall complete the following duties:
(1) As provided under G.S. 115C‑12(9c), conduct a comprehensive review of all English Language Arts and Mathematics standards and propose modifications to ensure that they increase students' level of academic achievement, meet and reflect North Carolina's priorities, and are age and developmentally appropriate and understandable to parents and teachers, and will be among the highest standards in the nation.
(2) Following the comprehensive review in 2014 and 2015, the State Board of Education, in consultation with the Academic Standards Review Commission, shall determine necessary changes, adopt those, and replace the current English Language Arts and Mathematics standards with standards determined by the State Board of Education to be at least as high as current standards.
(3) Maintain the independence of the North Carolina Standard Course of Study and related student assessments in the State, rejecting usurpation and intrusion from federally mandated national or standardized controls in violation of G.S. 115C‑12(9c) and G.S. 115C‑12(9d). Nothing in this subdivision shall prohibit benchmarking the North Carolina Standard Course of Study and related student assessments with those of other states or nations in order to allow comparison of the North Carolina Standard Course of Study and related student assessments with those of other states and nations.
(4) Remove the Common Core copyright and any references to the Common Core Standards from the North Carolina Standard Course of Study in English Language Arts and in Mathematics to ensure North Carolina's sovereign right to modify standards to best meet the needs of North Carolina's citizens.
SECTION 1.(d) Academic standards adopted by the State Board of Education under G.S. 115C‑12(9c) shall continue to be named and referred to as the "North Carolina Standard Course of Study," reflecting emphasis on North Carolina's needs and priorities.
SECTION 2.(a) Article 8 of Chapter 115C of the General Statutes is amended by adding a new Part to read:
"Part 1C. North Carolina Academic Standards Review Commission.
"§ 115C‑83.30. Establishment of the Academic Standards Review Commission.
(a) There is established the Academic Standards Review Commission. The Commission shall be located administratively in the Department of Administration but shall exercise all its prescribed statutory powers independently of the Department of Administration. To create an effective working group, assure continuity, and achieve staggered terms, the Commission shall be appointed as provided in this section.
(b) The Commission shall be composed of nine members as follows:
(1) Three members appointed by the President Pro Tempore of the Senate. The President Pro Tempore shall consider, but is not limited to, appointing representatives from the following groups: parents of students enrolled in the public schools; Mathematics and English Language Arts teachers; and Mathematics and English Language Arts curriculum experts.
(2) Three members appointed by the Speaker of the House of Representatives. The Speaker of the House of Representatives shall consider, but is not limited to, appointing representatives from the following groups: parents of students enrolled in the public schools; Mathematics and English Language Arts teachers; and Mathematics and English Language Arts curriculum experts.
(3) Two members of the State Board of Education, which includes the Chair or the Chair's designee and another member, as appointed by the Chair, representing the State Board's Task Force on Summative Assessment.
(4) One member appointed by the Governor.
Commission appointees shall be citizens of North Carolina who have demonstrated expertise in the development or implementation of standards or psychometrics, members of the business community, or members of the post‑secondary education community who are qualified to assure the alignment of standards to career and college readiness. Parents, teachers, and practitioners shall also have a strong presence on the Commission. The cochairs of the Commission shall be elected from the members by a majority vote of the members present at the initial meeting of the Commission.
(c) The terms of members appointed pursuant to subsection (b) of this section shall be as follows:
(1) The initial appointments of two of the members by the Speaker of the House of Representatives and the President Pro Tempore of the Senate shall be for six years.
(2) The initial appointments of the other members by the Speaker of the House of Representatives and the President Pro Tempore of the Senate shall be for five years.
(3) The initial appointment of the Chair of the State Board of Education shall be for six years, and the other appointment by the State Board of Education shall be for five years.
(4) The initial appointment by the Governor shall be for five years.
At the expiration of these initial terms, appointments shall be for five years and shall be made by the appointing authorities designated in subsection (b) of this section. No person shall serve more than two consecutive terms.
(d) The Commission shall do the following:
(1) Conduct a comprehensive review of the academic standards for English Language Arts and Mathematics that were adopted by the State Board of Education under G.S. 115C‑12(9c).
(2) Recommend new academic standards or propose changes to these academic standards to the State Board of Education. The academic level of the new and revised standards shall be at least as high as current standards and maintain the independence of the North Carolina Standard Course of Study.
(3) Collaborate with the State Board of Education to review any modifications to, or replacements of, the English Language Arts and Mathematics academic standards submitted to it by the State Board of Education in accordance with G.S. 115C‑12(9c).
(4) Recommend to the State Board of Education assessments aligned to proposed changes and modifications that would also reduce the number of high‑stakes assessments administered to public schools.
(5) Consider the impact on educators, including the need for professional development, when making any of the recommendations required in this section.
The Commission shall assemble content experts to assist in evaluating the rigor of academic standards. The Commission shall also involve interested stakeholders in this process and otherwise ensure that the process is transparent.
(e) The Commission shall meet upon the call of the cochairs. A quorum of the Commission shall be seven members. Any vacancy on the Commission shall be filled by the appointing authority.
(f) To the extent that funds are available, the Commission may contract for professional, clerical, and consultant services. The Commission may also contract with an individual who has an excellent national reputation in the area of school standards and assessments to facilitate the work of the Commission. Professional and clerical staff positions for the Commission may be filled by persons whose services are loaned to the Commission to fulfill the work of the Commission.
(g) The Department of Administration shall provide meeting rooms, telephones, office space, equipment, and supplies to the Commission and shall be reimbursed from the Commission's budget, to the extent that funds are available.
(h) To the extent that funds are available, Commission members shall receive per diem, subsistence, and travel allowances in accordance with G.S. 138‑5, 138‑6, or 120‑3.1, as appropriate.
(i) Upon the request of the Commission, all State departments and agencies and local governments and their subdivisions shall furnish the Commission with any information in their possession or available to them."
SECTION 2.(b) The Commission shall hold its first meeting no later than September 1, 2014, upon the call of the Chairman of the State Board of Education. The Commission shall report replacement standards for the English Language Arts and Mathematics standards to the State Board of Education, the Joint Legislative Education Oversight Committee, and to the 2015 General Assembly by March 15, 2015, and shall continue to work with the State Board of Education and the Department of Public Instruction to review academic standards during the regular review period implemented every five years as provided in State Board Policy GSC‑F‑012. Following each review completed at the closure of a five‑year cycle, the Commission shall report recommended changes to the English Language Arts and Mathematics standards to the State Board of Education, the Joint Legislative Education Oversight Committee, and to the General Assembly prior to convening.
SECTION 3. G.S. 115C‑174.11(c)(3) is repealed.
SECTION 4. G.S. 115C‑12(39) reads as rewritten:
"(39) Power to Accredit Schools. – Upon the request of
a local board of education, the State Board of Education shall evaluate schools
in local school administrative units to determine whether the education
provided by those schools meets acceptable levels of quality. The State Board
shall adopt rigorous and appropriate academic standards for
accreditation after consideration of (i) the standards of regional and national
accrediting agencies, (ii)
the Common Core Standards adopted by the National
Governors Association Center for Best Practices and the Council of Chief State
School Officers, the academic standards adopted in accordance with subdivision
(9c) of this section, and (iii) other information it deems appropriate.
The local school administrative unit shall compensate the State Board for the actual costs of the accreditation process."
SECTION 5. The State Board of Education shall report to the Joint Legislative Education Oversight Committee prior to the acquisition and implementation of a new assessment instrument or instruments to assess student achievement on the academic standards adopted pursuant to G.S. 115C‑12(9c). The State Board shall not include assessments developed by the Smarter Balanced Consortium Assessments or the Partnership for Assessment of Readiness of College and Careers (PARCC) in their consideration for nationally normed assessments of student learning. The assessments shall be nationally normed, aligned with the North Carolina Standard Course of Study, and field‑tested. Examples of appropriate assessment models would include, but not be limited to, the SAT, ACT Aspire, and the NAEP. The State Board shall not acquire or implement such an assessment instrument without the enactment of legislation by the General Assembly authorizing the purchase.
SECTION 6. Local boards of education shall continue to approve and use textbooks not adopted by the State Board of Education as well as provide for the efficient teaching of the course content required by the Standard Course of Study, as provided under G.S. 115C‑47(12) and G.S. 115C‑47(33a). The Standard Course of Study remains in effect until official notice is provided to all public school teachers, administrators, and parents or guardians of students enrolled in the public schools of any changes made in the Standard Course of Study by the State Board of Education.
SECTION 7. Article 29 of Chapter 115C of the General Statutes is amended by adding a new section to read:
"§ 115C‑401.2. Prohibition on types of data gathered.
No personally identifiable data on students' or their families' religions, political party affiliations, biometric information, or voting histories shall be collected, tracked, housed, reported, or shared with the federal government. No personally identifiable student data shall be collected for the purpose of the development of commercial products or services."
SECTION 8. Nothing in this act shall require the General Assembly to appropriate funds to implement it. Section 2 of this act becomes effective only if funds are appropriated by the Current Operations and Capital Improvements Appropriations Act of 2014 to support the work of the Academic Standards Commission.
SECTION 9. This act becomes effective July 1, 2014.