Memo to parents: Get educated about what’s in Common Core

I am writing, hoping that other parents who are concerned about the new Common Core Standards adopted by the Ohio Department of Education and our area schools will join the conversation and voice their experiences. So far, local schools have adopted the only standards that have been completed, those for English language arts and math. However, I understand newer standards for science and human sexuality are also being written.

As far as I have been able to learn, our local school board did not vote to bring in Common Core. The state legislature did not vote to bring in Common Core. It seems to have all been done through the Ohio Department of Education with no opportunity for review on the part of legislators, parents, teachers, etc. Whatever happened to the idea of local control in education? If the local school isn’t answerable to local parents and taxpayers then we have totally lost control of our schools. Where do parents go if they are not happy with the Standards that have been imposed on our kids?

As a parent who wants the best for my kids and as a taxpayer who expects the best from our schools, I am worried especially with what I have seen regarding the new method for teaching math. I understand defenders of the program are saying Common Core is just a set of standards and not a curriculum, but I have seen a big change in the methods being used to teach my kids math.

I’ve also read that the amount of testing will increase under Common Core and that the school will be able to release personal information about the kids without parental consent. Our kids are already tested to death. Are we going to take away more class time that should be used for learning just so we can test more? I thought we had a law that protects the privacy of student information called FERPA. Is that no longer being followed? There are a lot of questions that need to be answered about these new Common Core Standards. I urge other parents to do their own homework and speak out now since we were not given a chance to do it before these changes were made.

Angela Feathers