Why did North Carolina Lieutenant Governor Dan Forest just receive 40,000 sheets of paper in the mail?
In July, Forest sent the state’s Department of Public Instruction (DPI) a request for information on the Common Core national standards. DPI officials responded by asking Forest to send them 10,000 sheets of blank paper so they could answer the 67 questions. He obliged.
On August 2, he received his official reply: “12 boxes containing approximately 40,000 sheets of paper, with a cover letter that did not directly answer any of his 67 questions, but rather referred him to 134 separate websites, linking to over 100 separate pages, 320 separate reports, hundreds of original source documents, 40 presentations, 1 blog post and a thumb drive.”
This is government bureaucracy at its best. When an administrative body that is required to provide information to its board members fails to be forthcoming with the requested information it should raise a red flag.
The actions by the DPI and the amount of paperwork attached to the Common Core illustrate that this push for national standards and tests not only is a threat to educational freedom but fosters the same type of bureaucratic compliance mentality that has developed as federal intervention in education has grown over the years.
Forest is upholding his official duty to the people of North Carolina by questioning this very large and very expensive centralized initiative. He announced this week that he will mail a copy of the DPI’s letter to every member of the General Assembly, all 115 school superintendents, all elected county commissioners, and all local school board members statewide so that they will “understand the full scope of what is in the process of being implemented in their local communities.”
Forest is also demonstrating that it’s not too late for states to reconsider their involvement with Common Core and ultimately hop off the national standards bandwagon.