Common Core standards under fire in Annapolis

Lawmakers want to repeal new educational standards

Opponents of the new "Common Core" standards in Maryland public schools have a bill in the House of Delegates that would repeal them.

Maryland is one of 45 states and Washington D.C. to implement Common Core.

Last year in Harford County we saw an example of one of the changes:  The current MSA test includes a question asking third graders to shade 3/4 of a rectangle.

Under Common Core the new question would ask third graders whether 4/5, or 5/4 is closer to 1 on the number line.

The answer, by the way, is 4/5. .

After school started this fall, problems with Common Core surfaced.

Parents protested outside the State Board of Education.

And in a town hall meeting in December, teachers in Baltimore County said they hadn't been given enough help in implementing Common Core.

"We're frustrating these children. When you frustrate a person just as you're frustrating us as teachers, what happens? We turn off," said teacher Jerry Wooden at that meeting.

Now Del. Michael Smigiel of Cecil County has introduced a bill that would roll back the Common Core standards and return curriculum decisions to county school boards.

"The teachers and the parents both are saying this is wrong," he said.

The State Board of Education says the state -- not the federal government -- developed Maryland's version of Common Core.

A portion of the board's on-line explanation of common core reads: "Having consistent standards also provides students, parents, and teachers with a clear understanding of what students should be learning in each grade level."

And also that:  "The development of Maryland's new standards was informed by the academic standards from a number of high achieving countries, such as Japan and Singapore."

But Del. Smigiel says it's nothing but a case of the federal government getting involved where he believes it should not.

"The question is, show me anywhere it's ever worked," he said.  "Why should our children be an experiment? If it hasn't worked anywhere, why do we want to experiment?"

A hearing on the bill will be held in the House Ways and Means Committee on Wednesday at 1:00.

 

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