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Southwest Louisiana ,

Common Core letter gains national attention

Last Modified: Friday, July 18, 2014 10:51 AM

By John Guidroz / American Press

A letter written by three Southwest Louisiana teachers who have voiced strong opposition to the Common Core State Standards was recently featured on a website that has received tens of millions of views.

“What is Wrong with the Common Core Standards” was featured July 6 on the blog of Diane Ravitch, a research professor of education at New York University and former U.S. assistant secretary of education. The website — — has received more than 13.3 million hits.

The letter was written by Deanna Russell, an English teacher at South Beauregard High School; Leslie Truax, a social studies teacher at Sam Houston High School; and Marla Baldwin, a science teacher at Gillis Elementary. It stated several issues associated with implementing Common Core, with one being that parents are “alienated from helping children with their homework.”

“Parents look at these convoluted methods that are required, and there’s frustration at the kitchen table,” Truax told the American Press on Wednesday. “As a teacher, I feel it’s my moral and ethical responsibility to stand up for the parents. I have not had one parent approach me and say they were pleased with Common Core.”

Since the letter was featured on Ravitch’s website, Truax said they have received responses “from all over the country” from people who share their views. “It’s a national debate for a reason, because it affects everyone,” she said.

While state lawmakers shot down legislation this year that would have scrapped Common Core, Baldwin said she believes “the tide has turned” since the regular session wrapped up in June. “Now, I’m a lot more confident we are going to be able to get rid of this,” she said.

Gov. Bobby Jindal announced in June that he wants Louisiana to get out of Common Core and the Partnership for Assessment of Readiness for College and Careers, or PARCC, exams. After his announcement, Truax said she and eight other parents met with Jindal on the issue.

“We don’t care about Jindal’s political ambitions,” Baldwin said. “The focus should be on the kids.”

All three teachers said they were pleased with Louisiana’s Grade-Level Expectations before the Board of Elementary and Secondary Education approved Common Core in 2010, but said there is room for improvement.

“We can add rigor to our standards,” Truax said.

Louisiana is one of more than 40 states that have adopted Common Core.

Posted By: Paul Ringo On: 7/21/2014

Title: What about accountability?

I'm with these teachers in their opinions about Common Core. My question for al to consider is 'what about accountability'? How can we measure teacher accountability and student progress in a useful way without "common' standards that compare schools between (or within) states?

Posted By: Gerald Cuvillier On: 7/19/2014

Title: Mr.

Like I have been saying, get involved people. It is your country and it is being taken away from us. One man can make a difference.

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