Charlie Troutner
Special to The Gardner News
A local group of parents, educators and legislators, known as “Coalition to Stop Common Core,” is hoping to educate the public about new standards used in local schools.
Common Core is being taught in 45 of 50 in the United States. Kansas uses the standards in its public school classrooms. The Kansas State Board of Education adopted the Common Core standards in October, 2010.
The Common Core standards were first introduced to the Gardner Edgerton School District in 2011 as a part of a pilot program. Originally it was used in a few classrooms at that time. Today, the standards are used in every classroom throughout USD 231.
According to Stop Common Core members, Common Core is meant to treat every child the same without allowing for individuality, and does not take into account the learning ability of each specific child.
Bill Boillot, Gardner, is leading the local Coalition to Stop Common Core group. Boillot said many parents and members of the public are not aware of, or do not understand the Common Core standards being used in the local schools.
The Gardner Coalition to Stop Common Core is one of many non-partisan, like-minded groups throughout the state of Kansas. The local organization formed a few months ago. There are also several other local individuals who are very instrumental in leading the anti-Common Core charge.
Local resident and parent Josh See said Common Core is unconstitutional and violates three federal statutes and the 10th Amendment of the U.S. Constitution.
One parent said Common Core standards frustrates children and make them feel inferior to other students.
A local teacher, who did not want to be identified, said the standards are difficult to teach.
Under Common Core guidelines, students are forced to pick a career choice in their freshman year of high school.
The curriculum also requires that every student’s personal information be available to study groups, research analysts, and anyone else interested in using the information for tracking Common Core results.
Students also have to take national standardized tests throughout the year that have nothing to do with their grade. The tests are given for comparison and tracking information. Parents can opt their children out of the nationalized tests, however, each school is responsible for providing academic alternatives the day of the tests for those students.
The Common Core standard initiatives are being funded by Bill and Melinda Gates and others.
Members of the local group against Common Core say the curriculum was never field-tested and was rushed into schools.
The group wants to educate the public about these standards, which in members’ opinions, strongly deter a student’s academic progress and makes children feel frustrated and confused.
A bill in the Kansas Legislature, House Bill No. 2621, would do away with Common Core standards in Kansas. Currently, the bill is in committee. In order to become law, it must still be approved by the House and the Senate. Coalition to Stop Common Core advocates hope that happens. Meanwhile, they will continue their fight against Common Core.
The local group will present an informational meeting to educate the public about Common Core at 7 p.m. on Friday, March 21 at Grace Baptist Church, 650 E. Madison.
Speakers will present a Power Point presentation about Common Core standards. Local legislators will also attend. The meeting will conclude with a question and answer session.
The local Coalition to Stop Common Core has a Facebook page at ccGardner. The group’s email address is [email protected]