Perdue Reassures Schoolkids While Preparing To Exempt NC From No Child Left Behind

Governor Bev Perdue

WEAVERVILLE — In a room full of 7th and 8th graders, Gov. Perdue asked,” Does anyone know someone who lost a job?”

The sea of hands that shot up proved the point: North Carolina must help its students prepare to be competitive in a global economy.

Gov. Perdue visited North Buncombe Middle School, on the second day of classes, and took questions from students at an assembly. Questions covered the basics — “How old are you?” as well as finer points of public policy.

Gov. Perdue’s visit comes as she is fighting to ensure that legislature does not slam the door on at-risk 4-years-olds. The legislature cut funding to the pre-kindergarten program formerly known as More at Four. A Superior Court judge has ordered the state to serve children who qualify for the program and Gov. Perdue says she intends to follow that order.

Gov. Perdue told the students that her administration has worked to guarantee that they will finish high school career or college ready. Gov. Perdue reminded the students that they represent North Carolina’s future.

Perdue confirmed last week that North Carolina will join other states in asking the federal government to waive No Child Left Behind requirements for its public schools – 72.3 percent of which didn’t make Adequate Yearly Progress in 2010-11 under the statute’s grading system.

The Obama administration is looking to grant qualifying states waivers to No Child Left Behind’s requirements because Congress has not passed a bill to reform the law.

Last year, N.C.’s State Board of Education adopted the Common Core State Standards to be rolled out in fall 2012. On Thursday, Perdue said using these standards rather than the No Child Left Behind’s will help “ensure excellence in education” in North Carolina.