Lawmakers Hear From Anti-Common Core Teachers

Oct 17, 2014 by

An Ohio House committee held a rare evening hearing to once again discuss a controversial bill that would repeal the state’s education standards — known as the Common Core.

A panel of lawmakers have heard and received testimony from about 200 people regarding the effort to repeal the Common Core.

Lawmakers scheduled the meeting at night to get the perspective from teachers.

But while the hearing was set to begin after school hours they only took testimony from opponents of the standards.

Karen Wenning is an eighth grade math teacher at Coldwater Middle School in Mercer County. She claims the standards are not age appropriate—and put too much burden on students.

“The Common Core is pushing Algebra I on these eighth graders that Coldwater Schools determined was not ready to take Algebra I,” she said.

The result—according to Wenning—is that students are moving forward without ensuring they know the basics such as percentages.

“The foundation of mathematics that these kids used to learn in middle school—that foundation isn’t going to be as strong anymore because they are starting high school topics and it’s too soon,” she said.

Vicki Brusky an intervention specialist from Lorain County, says—along with the higher standards—there’s also an over-reliance on testing.

“There’s a lot of stress on the teachers,” said Brusky. “My colleagues are wonderful teachers, but when they have to perform because they’re going to be assessed, or they’re going to be in trouble, perhaps lose their job and then the principal is being assessed, the district’s being assessed, the kid is the one that loses. The student is the one that loses.”

Deciphering what’s true and what’s false is the big issue that stands in the middle of the Common Core debate.

For example, Greg Harris is with the education reform organization StudentsFirst, which is part of a coalition supporting the standards. Harris says that over-reliance on testing would be happening with or without the Common Core.

“A lot of the people who are frustrated with the Common Core are really frustrated about things that have nothing to do with Common Core,” he said. “That’s something that in some ways these hearings are irresponsible because they’re perpetuating myths.”

As for the level of difficulty—Harris notes that some opponents of the Common Core have said the standards are too hard while others have claimed the standards are dumbed down.

He adds that many students who learned using the old set of standards ended up needing remedial courses in college.

via Lawmakers Hear From Anti-Common Core Teachers | StateImpact Ohio.

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