Common Core is subject of parent meeting in Berwick
By JEAN L. KAESS
Parents concerned about Common Core State Standards plan to meet Sunday in Berwick.
Common Core, scheduled for full implementation during the 2014-15 school year, was adopted in 2010 by the state for English language arts and math.
According to the Louisiana Department of Education website, the new academic standards are based on research and were developed collaboratively by a coalition of teachers, school leaders and education experts from Louisiana and 45 states. The Common Core State Standards define what students need to learn in reading, writing and math in each grade to stay on track for college and careers.
“The Common Core State Standards are more rigorous, more focused and more relevant to the long-term success of students in school and beyond,” according to the website.
Four mothers — Brooke Falgoust, Loren Kinney, Leslie Beam and Amanda Boudreaux — say it’s a lot more than that.
Common Core is “rotten to the core. I feel like it’s an agenda of some type. I don’t feel like it’s higher education,” Falgoust said.
The meeting at 1 p.m. Sunday at the Berwick Civic Complex is designed to “get information out there and just warn parents what’s taking place and try to educate a little on it,” Falgoust said, but she wants parents to not just take them at their word.
“Go do your own research. … You owe it to yourself, and you owe it to your kids,” Falgoust said.
On Sunday, the meeting will be an open conversation, she said.
“We want to get a feel for what parents do know and what their biggest concerns are. I’m keeping it simple that night. I just want them to do their research. I just want to let them know it goes deeper,” Falgoust said.
While Falgoust declined to define Common Core, information from the school system indicates it is a curriculum designed to help all children learn the same skills, no matter who they are or where they live. To date, 45 states, the District of Columbia, four territories and the Department of Defense Education Activity have adopted the Common Core State Standards.
The “Parent’s Backpack Guide to Common Core State Standards” indicates the standards create clear expectations for what a child should know and be able to do in key areas: reading, writing, speaking and listening, language and mathematics.
Academic standards define the knowledge and skills that students are expected to learn in a subject in each grade. Louisiana defines academic standards for core subjects, including English language arts (reading and writing), math, science, social studies, foreign languages, physical education and health.
The more rigorous Common Core State Standards are internationally-benchmarked, ensuring Louisiana students are prepared to enter college and compete with their peers around the world for high-wage jobs in the increasingly competitive global economy, the state’s website indicates.
Louisiana is aligning state assessments and end-of-course tests to the new academic standards, phasing in additional common core test items each year, until completely measuring students’ achievement of the Common Core State Standards in English language arts and math in 2014-15.