Baltimore County teachers railed against Common Core at town hall meeting

OWINGS MILLS, Md - There was more push-back against the new "Common Core" standards that have come to your kids' classroom. This time not from children or parents, but from the teachers.

Nearly 200 Baltimore County teachers met with the superintendent Thursday night in Owings Mills to voice their concerns, their frustrations – and in some cases, their good-byes.

Teachers say in the first three months of the school year, the new standards have forced them to put in more hours, for what they worry might be questionable results.

"We're frustrating these children. When you frustrate a person just as you're frustrating us as teachers, what happens? We turn off," said Jerry Wooden, a kindergarten teacher at Winfield Elementary School in Randallstown.

Superintendent Dallas Dance listened to the comments in the forum.

After 31 years as a teacher, Stephanie Foy of Villa Cresta Elementary School said Common Core will send her into retirement at the end of this school year.

"The reason that I'll be gone is because I will have 31 years, and after the experience I've had this first marking period it is time for me to go," she said.

Dance said that's tough to hear.

"It's disheartening; I think it mirrors across the country you have a lot of things being done at the same time," he said. "You have new standards being implemented, new assessments being implemented, and you have a new evaluation system."

He said his priority is getting the new curriculum right, by providing guidelines on Common Core and sample lessons – but not micro-managing inside classrooms.

"Our teachers are frustrated because they want to do the best they can for the kids, and they don't think they're doing that right now," he said.  "My message to them was, you are."

The superintendent is also trying to work more time into the teachers' schedules for professional development.

There will be another meeting with Baltimore County teachers this Spring, in the Eastern portion of the county.

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