Common Core concerns voiced

By 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.”