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Parents host Common Core meeting

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A meeting was held Tuesday night to discuss the concerns parents and teachers have regarding the new Common Core. Led by Teresa Cantrell, a parent with children in the Tipton County school system, the meeting raised questions about Common Core practices.
“We thought it was a great premise, it sounded good. We bought into it before we researched it,” said a teacher. “Many teachers haven’t looked into it and still think it’s great.”
More than 25 people attended the meeting, the majority of whom are against the Common Core.
A handout was given during the meeting regarding the Common Core. Below are some of the general facts, according to the handout, and response by John Combs, Director of Instruction at the Tipton County Board of Education.  

The handout:
Parents, teachers and local schools will have no say about their children’s education.

John Combs: “When the state adopts the standards we are going to abide by them, however we do have input and freedom as to how to teach those standards and how we instruct in the classroom. We have a great amount of freedom in how we teach these.”
We are going to use discretion. Ensure our students are not subjected to something that is harmful.”

The handout:
Math standards will have children two years behind international students the same age, by the time they are in seventh grade.

JC: “Everything that we have seen thus far is that this is more challenging through those grade levels. We see the math standards to be very challenging. And Tipton County is one of the leaders in math growth in the state.”  

The handout:
English Language Arts will lower reading levels to eighth grade for 12th grade students.

JC: “The Common Core Standards are to be a more accurate standard for ACT. The end result of all of this is to have our students more college and career ready.

“The whole drive is to get the kids prepared. This is more rigorous. Wait until we test with this. We haven’t had a Common Core test, yet. Even the writing assessment piece will be more difficult.”

Concern:
Education is the fastest growing business.

JC: “Education is a business, but it’s always been a business. The ACT has been around for years. It’s a standardized test that we pay for and hope our children get into college. The Common Core is to help our children succeed in life.”

Additional voiced concerns regarding the Common Core were as follows:

■ Allegedly, the government only received money for the state if the Common Core was signed, although the standards weren’t written yet.
■  As the Common Core is allegedly not research based, children are being used as guinea pigs.
■ The Common Core is allegedly a way of programming children instead of teaching.
 “They say it’s to bring children into technology, but what does Exxon have to do with education?” asked one parent.
“Our children’s futures are being predestined through this testing,” said another parent. “Computer eye tracking will track through the eyes to find how interested a child is. If no interest is shown, then the child will be moved towards skilled labor.”
■ Allegedly, young children rating teachers becomes popularity contest.
■ Testing should show need of child, not level of child. The Common Core allegedly will not do this.
■ Allegedly, the Pearson textbook company is afraid children won’t actually read books, that children won’t even read books in the future.
“We have become cogs in a national industrial system,” said one parent.

The group is planning to continue their exploration of the Common Core and are interested in meeting with the Tipton County Board of Education in the near future. For more information, contact Teresa Cantrell at tmcantrell@aol.com.

TELL US: What do you think of Common Core? Send us a letter to the editor with your opinion about this controversial subject. Letters can be sent to 2001 Hwy. 51 South, Covington, TN 38019 or emailed to news@covingtonleader.com.

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