School Board Member Marcia Andrews and Common Core

It was a packed room to hear District 6 School Board Member Marcia Andrews at Wellington’s Total Wine & More on Monday.

The Common Core Standards are an attempt to unify K-12 education across the nation around a set of grade-specific core skills, ostensibly aimed at raising the worldwide competitiveness of American students. Unfortunately, the devil is in the details, and much anecdotal evidence has surfaced that when the standards are translated into curricula, they represent a “fundamental transformation” that many would argue is not needed or wanted.

Implementation of the standards in Florida was mandated by then Governor Charlie Crist in 2010 and has been rolled out in kindergarten and first grade, with movement to the higher grades about to begin. As they roll out, opposition has been growing across the state, prompting Governor Scott to reject the assessment part of the program called PARCC (Partnership for Assessment of Readiness of College and Careers), leaving open the question of how assessment in the state will proceed. This, and the move to slow things down while the debate continues, shared by Ms. Andrews and others on the School Board and in the state-wide Florida School Board Association, has the possibility to create chaos in K-12 education as teachers are trained, materials are adopted and the rollout continues in the face of a groundswell of opposition.

Ms. Andrews and District Director of Secondary Education Diana Feldman gave the group an overview of history and plans for Common Core in Florida, and fielded many questions from the floor regarding required reading lists, data collection on students, the autonomy of local teachers to shape the curriculum in their classroom, and other hot-button issues.

Although few who have formed positions regarding Common Core would have been swayed by the session, it was informative and gave us the impression that the School Board is listening.


One Response to “School Board Member Marcia Andrews and Common Core”
  1. Bev4FairTax Bev4FairTax says:

    I oppose Common Core. The standards were developed without input by teachers, parents, school officials, state legislators or local education officials. Under the General Education Provisions Act; the Department of Education Organization Act, and the Elementary &Secondary Education Act of 1965 the involement of the federal government in guiding the educational curriculum of the states is prohibited. As a retired special education teacher, I am appalled that in Jan. 2012 the US Department of Education altered the Family Educational Rights and Privacy Act without Congressional approval. Under Common Core, data such as family history, income, health history, religious affiliation, disciplinary history – over 400 data points – can be disseminated without parental consent. While claiming to have rigorous standards, the curriculum experts who reviewed the standards say the standards only prepare students for a community college. Dr. Sandra Stotsky, Professor Emerita at the University of Arkansas revused to sign off on the English language arts standards even though she served on the Common Core Validation Committee. She believe the standards will prepare children to read only up to the seventh grade level. Math standards fare no better. Dr. James Milgram of Stanford University refused to sign off on the math standards claiming that by eighth grade, students will be two years behind students in high performing countries. Finally, the cost of the program according to “National Cost of Aligning States and Localities to the Common Core Standards” will be clost to $16Billion over the next seven years.

    I have attended multiple programs concerning Common Core Curriculum. Everything that I have learned about Common Core makes me oppose this program. Concerned Women for America 1-800-458-8797 has excellent resources available.

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