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Say 'No' to Common Core

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Letter to the Editor
Friday, Aug. 2, 2013, 8:57 p.m.

I am a Pennsylvania resident, wife, parent, grandparent and a retired high school teacher, having taught 38 years in Pennsylvania schools.

A couple of weeks ago I attended a meeting about the Common Core Education Standards sponsored by the Indiana-Armstrong Patriots. Peg Luksik spoke on the topic. Luksik has read and studied both the national and state standards and found them to be exactly the same — just in a different order. Being an educator, I found this to be a very interesting topic since we already have standards in place and our current textbooks address these standards.

Here are some points I would like to make about Common Core National and State Standards:

1. Are they needed? Standards are already in place.

2. Shouldn't the school districts (school boards, educators, parents, residents) be in control?

3. Before putting “tons” of money into this, shouldn't there be a pilot program?

4. When standardized tests are given, valuable instruction time is lost. I understand that there need to be evaluations but not weeks at a time.

5. Common Core wants to track students from the time they enter school until they are in a career. Isn't this “Big Brother”?

6. Teachers have 180 days to teach. They must get their subject material taught, practiced and reviewed for the “test.” But ... some students do not perform well on tests, some students cannot master the material, some students do not care about the tests, and some students are special needs students and will not do well on any test.

7. Ask your congressional representative, governor: Can you vote on standards that you have not read and studied?

8. Can we state residents afford their implementation? Common Core Standards implementation costs over the next several years in Pennsylvania will be textbook and materials, $115 million; technology, $280 million; professional development, $250 million, for a total of $645 million.

Contact your representative and the governor and say no to Common Core Standards.

Saundra Smith


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