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Common Core concerns voiced

Last Modified: Tuesday, December 10, 2013 7:49 PM

By Kara Carrier / American Press

A public forum Monday night to discuss Common Core State Standards was hosted by the Louisiana Association of Educators at Lake Charles-Boston High Academy of Learning.

According to Terry Holden, unified service director at LAE, the forum’s purpose “was to give parents and teachers a voice regarding the CCSS and was held in honor of the National Education Association and LAE’s Day of Action.”

Holden said that he initially expected over 300 attendees for the two-hour forum, but Monday night only about 30 attendees sat in the near-empty auditorium. Holden cited bad weather as the contributing factor for the low attendance.

Those who did attend had the opportunity to voice their concerns about CCSS to a panel of public officials that included State Sens. Dan “Blade” Morrish and Ronnie Johns and state Reps. Brett Geymann and Michael Danahay. Lottie Beebe, state Board of Elementary and Secondary Education member, and R.L. Webb, Calcasieu Parish School Board member, also served on the panel.

Holden asked attendees to speak to the panel about how CCSS has affected their families or their classroom — the good and the bad.

Scott Winfrey, who has a child in third grade, addressed the panel about his suspicions regarding the CCSS. “Where did this come from and who developed it?,” Winfrey asked the panel. “It’s been implemented hastily, and it’s been said that some things are going to be changed. But who is going to change these things and what is the end goal?”

Beebe explained how CCSS was developed by the National Governors Association and acknowledged that there’s a lot of controversy surrounding it.

Geymann agreed and said legislators didn’t get to vote on CCSS, and that the National Governors Association is a private organization that’s not subject to open public meetings.

“To say it was state-led is reaching a little bit,” Geymann

said. “It didn’t come through the legislative body. We didn’t vote on it, and now it’s just showing on peoples kitchen tables and it’s a big concern for me. We need to be debating it like we are tonight. I think there will be legislative action. I can almost guarantee it.”

Second-grade teacher Vicky Johnston spoke to the panel about the frustrations she and many other teachers are facing. “Teacher are stressed,”Johnston said. “We haven’t been given a set curriculum. There is no ‘common’ in the CCSS.”

In contrast, teacher Rose Marie Thomas told the panel she supported the CCSS. “I’ve been teaching about 34 years, and I’m very excited about the Common Core. “This is what we’ve been doing since we’ve been teaching,” Thomas said. “We just haven’t named it. We’re getting students ready for college and career.”

Throughout the forum, Beebe and the rest of the panel all agreed that implementation has been a major issue with the CCSS in Louisiana.

Morrish said that CCSS in Louisiana is not the law. “It has been adopted by the BESE board,” he said. “We’re here tonight to hear your concerns and to tell you that we’re sure that there will be legislation concerning this. I don’t know where that legislation will go, but you’ll have the opportunity to address to legislators and hold them accountable.”

Posted By: Terry On: 12/12/2013

Title: Bad for our kids

None of common core is research based and was never proven to be as good or better than what was used before.........This is another part of the dictatorship that has come down from the Big government that has failed in so many other ways...........and Bobby Jindal accepted this so he and the state could get 40 million dollars......JIndal sold our kids and our schools down the river for some money...........that is why common core is here, because jindal needs money and does not care about the kids.... Geymann is right......common core is not law and does not need to be followed

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