Common Core back in spotlight - Coeur d'Alene Press: Local News

Common Core back in spotlight

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Posted: Tuesday, July 23, 2013 12:00 am

COEUR d'ALENE - The Common Core standards will be in place in Idaho schools this fall, but the controversy over them appears to be far from over.

A pair of Washington-based anti-Common Core activists spoke Monday to about 70 people at Candlelight Christian Fellowship.

"If you have concerns, do something about it," said speaker J. Wilson, following his part of the presentation, "Common Core - the Next Step."

Wilson is an advocate with Truth in American Education, an organization that describes itself as "a nonpartisan group of citizens concerned about the centralization of education through the Common Core State Standards, Next Generation Science Standards, Assessment Consortiums and Data Mining."

The Common Core initiative, led by state education leaders and governors, created academic standards designed to be more rigorous than existing standards, and aligns those standards among states that choose to adopt them. Idaho signed on to the effort in 2009, and the state adopted the Common Core standards in 2011. There are now 45 states that have adopted the standards.

Wilson and the other speaker, Sharon Hanek, criticized the way the standards were developed and discussed how they anticipate the standards will be presented in the classroom. Each said the standards present a loss of local control in education.

They both provided information that was often at odds with information that has been provided by the state Department of Education and Idaho Superintendent of Public Instruction Tom Luna, a proponent of the standards.

Hanek, who calls herself the "Research Mom," was a Republican candidate in Washington for State Treasurer.

Earlier in the day, before the meeting, Sen. John Goedde, R-Coeur d'Alene, said he was invited, but that he would not attend the two-hour talk.

Goedde, a supporter of the standards, said he was, however, considering attending a meeting the group was holding at 5 p.m. at the church for legislators.

"It's always good to know what the opponents of something you believe in are saying about it," Goedde said.

The presentation at the church was hosted by a group called the Friends of Idaho, introduced by Sage Dixon. Dixon said Friends of Idaho is a newly formed non-governmental organization focused on preserving and maintaining Idaho's sovereignty.

Coeur d'Alene School District Trustee Terri Seymour was one of three of that district's school board members to attend the presentation.

Tom Hearn and Dave Eubanks also attended.

Last week, Seymour asked Coeur d'Alene Superintendent Matt Handelman to forward an invitation to attend the Common Core talk to all school district employees.

Seymour told The Press Monday afternoon that she wasn't promoting the presentation, and that she doesn't have an opinion on the standards yet.

"Because I don't know enough about it. I want to hear everything there is to hear about it," Seymour said. "For a trustee, that's my job, no matter what the issue is."

She said she is not hosting the event, and acknowledged that she had Becky Funk help her set up a Facebook event so she could invite her friends to attend the talk.

Seymour said she wants everyone, including the teachers, to be familiar with all sides of the issue.

"I want them to be able to make their own decisions about it," Seymour said.

Trustee Christa Hazel told The Press she did not attend because she did not think the presentation would be objective. Hazel said she has discussed the topic at length with Sen. Goedde and with local teachers. She attended the state's Education Task Force meeting last spring, and said she supports the standards.

"I look forward to an opportunity when an objective discussion representing both sides of this issue can occur in our community," Hazel said. "I believe our interested parents deserve to hear factually correct information in an unbiased manner. I think most people prefer information over rhetoric when it comes to our children."

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  • MockingJay posted at 7:15 am on Thu, Jul 25, 2013.

    MockingJay Posts: 68

    Who is "we" --- the group hosting this event? Please give more details on the Who, What, When & Why?

  • Law Abiding Citizen posted at 10:23 pm on Wed, Jul 24, 2013.

    Law Abiding Citizen Posts: 3

    For those interested, we are holding a public event Aug 1st with Tom Luna. We are a group studying Common Core and the concerns around it. We consider it a top priority problem we are facing. Tom Luna has agreed to come speak because the concerns are legitimate and because we can present the actual documents showing the break down. Don't get us wrong there are good parts to CC but why does it have to be a "national" program where Idaho only gets 1 vote on any changes? Or why is the bad aspects voted out by congress for "no child left behind" added to the Common Core Curriculum? Where are the funds coming from? It throws out all the old tech, books, and many teachers say it's too "confusing". Join us CDA Library Aug. 1st at 10:30 - 11:30 am

  • Humanist posted at 12:15 pm on Wed, Jul 24, 2013.

    Humanist Posts: 3207

    Yes. No.

  • ChasWilliam posted at 8:43 am on Wed, Jul 24, 2013.

    ChasWilliam Posts: 1

    I often see comments that claim the Common Core State Standards were created by teachers yet I have never been provided with or been able to find a list of teachers people are referring to. The only list of people involved that I have found is the official list of people on the Work Teams (writers) and Feedback Groups. That list can be downloaded at this URL:

    This does not appear to be a list of teachers. Of those listed for math, I have been able to identify only one person who is actually a teacher of any grade K-12 and he is a middle school math teacher.

  • Catching_Fire posted at 11:46 pm on Tue, Jul 23, 2013.

    Catching_Fire Posts: 14

    hmmm.... Were did you get that this was created by teachers? I have read that very few teachers and parents were actually involved in the creation of these standards.

  • will-- posted at 5:46 pm on Tue, Jul 23, 2013.

    will-- Posts: 1194

    "don't hold it at Candlelight Christian Fellowship."

    Afraid you'll get cooties just walking in the building? How about the Crock Center? cooties there too, they have a cross on the building.

  • Humanist posted at 12:18 pm on Tue, Jul 23, 2013.

    Humanist Posts: 3207

    First thought on this: if you want more people to attend your discussion on curriculum's, don't hold it at Candlelight Christian Fellowship. Unless, of course, there is a shared agenda. Naw, that couldn't have anything to do with it.........

  • dtsinidaho posted at 9:23 am on Tue, Jul 23, 2013.

    dtsinidaho Posts: 249

    I think I will always default to what the actual teachers and administrators at schools want in the way of programs for education excellence. Maybe I am mistaken, but since this was created by teachers to create a nationwide standard of education that is more reachable than the crippled "no child left behind" program. Common Core has the support of a wide variety of intelligent people. I am glad to see Tom and Dave go to a meeting that they knew going in was going to be a one sided presentation. I can also see why Christa, with all of her experience in the REALITY of common core skipped it. Sometimes you just don't want to listen to the ignorance of others that do not have your experience on a subject.

    Plus, she could always ask Dave or Tom what they thought.

  • parent posted at 9:13 am on Tue, Jul 23, 2013.

    parent Posts: 347

    mister d
    I know many educators who either do not know enough or they realize that there are serious concerns but they are not willing to come out and hear the information because then they would have to be responsible. Educators are afraid to become informed ! WHERE WERE THEY LAST NIGHT?????

  • jake1776 posted at 8:37 am on Tue, Jul 23, 2013.

    jake1776 Posts: 71

    Why is it that bureaucrats and school board members are somehow "objective" in determining whether standards are good or bad --- but a group of concerned citizens are somehow narrow minded, uninformed folks with a bias?

  • mister d posted at 8:05 am on Tue, Jul 23, 2013.

    mister d Posts: 1531

    Seymour is a Trustee and doesn't know enough about the standards yet to form an opinion - where the heck has she been all year while teachers in the area have dedicated many many hours studying these standards, adapting curriculum, and preparing for implementation? Her history on the Board tells me she has a definite opinion and it is one that is detrimental to our students as they try to prepare for employment in the world, not just CDA.

  • SmallMinds posted at 8:02 am on Tue, Jul 23, 2013.

    SmallMinds Posts: 31

    "Eden agrees with Christa Hazel?!? I'm shocked!" said no one ever.

    Rolling eyes

  • Sunshinegirl posted at 6:59 am on Tue, Jul 23, 2013.

    Sunshinegirl Posts: 79

    I agree wholeheartedly with Trustee Hazel's quote.

  • parent posted at 5:31 am on Tue, Jul 23, 2013.

    parent Posts: 347

    Thank you Ms. Seymour for wanting to be fully informed on all sides of the issue. I appreciate the open minded and tolerant attitude.There are valid concerns about Common Core and to be willing to listen to those concerns is commendable.

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