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Common Core Standards Issue of Local Campaigns

October 17th, 2014 by WCBC Radio

The often contentious implementation of the new Common Core curriculum standards in Maryland public schools has stirred wrangling in local board of education political campaigns across the state. The Common Core State Standards Initiative is an educational initiative in the United States that details what K-12 students should know in English language arts and mathematics at the end of each grade and seeks to establish consistent educational standards across the states as well as ensure that students graduating from high school are prepared to enter credit-bearing courses at two- or four-year college programs or to enter the workforce. At the request of a caller to WCBC’s “Dave Norman Show” , WCBC News asked each of the six candidates for Allegany County Board of Education for their opionion. By the end of the business day Thursday, three had responded. Candidate Bill Davis said the local board of education has very little influence on the matter, and that any changes would have to come from the federal or state level:

In an email response, incumbent Sara-Beth James echoed those sentiments saying there is little if anything the local board can do to influence the implemtation of the program. She added that common core is a “mixed bag” with some good and some bad elements. Candidate Lorelee Farrell also responded via email and said “the schools, teachers, supervisors, students and parents have all struggled with common core! It is also geared more towards the college bound students, which is not really fair to skills oriented students. The common core changes are very scripted which does not give the teachers flexibility in their instruction”. On the oither hand she adds, it  has raised academic rigor and to some degree raised teacher accountability. 

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