Basic Education Program


July 1983 General Assembly directs State Board of Education to define and cost out a basic education program
October 1984 State Board of Education approves the Basic Education Program


Excerpt from the Introduction
The Basic Education Program for the State of North Carolina is just that: basic. The pages that follow describe the program, the purpose and the components. Because this program is basic, it does not describe an ideal education program. Rather, it describes a program of instruction which is fundamentally complete and which would give the student a thorough grounding in these areas: arts education, English Language Arts (communication skills), information skills and computer skills, second languages, healthful living, mathematics, science, social studies, and vocational education.

The premise that there is a common core of knowledge and skills which every child shall command when he or she graduates from high school is essential to the concept of a basic education program. As defined, a basic education program is not one dimensional. Indeed, it must address all aspects of a child’s development, from kindergarten through high school, or else it cannot properly be termed basic. The arts, for example, are an essential part of the basic program—as essential, for instance, as mathematics or second languages are to the development of well-rounded citizens.

Another distinguishing feature of the Basic Education Program is that it does not encourage learning in the content areas such as mathematics and social studies at the expense of instruction in areas such as library skills, which enable students to continue learning after their classroom days have ended. It is said that our knowledge about the world in which we live roughly doubles every 10 years. The child who is ill-equipped to continue learning after his or her formal education has ended will be far less able to adapt to changes at home and in the workplace.
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