MD Speaker Hears Complaints About Common Core from Teachers, Parents

Maryland Speaker Michael Busch (D) heard complaints from the Teachers Association of Anne Arundel County and one major complaint was Common Core. Busch admitted he does not know how Common Core was implemented.

“To tell you the truth, I don’t even know how we adopted Common Core,” Busch said. “But I think it’s always good to review.”

Retired teacher Lois Nicoletti told Busch she spent too much time on testing and collecting student data she did not actually teach. She did not know what to teach. Another teacher told him it has not been as hard to be a teacher mainly because of Common Core. One teacher was too emotional.

Richard Benfer, TAAAC’s president, told Busch that before the meeting he asked one teacher how she was doing. She got so emotional she had to walk away, Benfer said.

A teacher in the audience began to sniffle.

“It’s kind of ridiculously crazy,” Benfer said.

On December 19, The Washington Post reported that Maryland Governor Martin O’Malley (D) took on Common Core as a favor to President Obama. They “inherited” the Common Core contract from Florida.

Maryland’s three-member Board of Public Works approved a contract on Wednesday that gives it fiscal responsibilities for the Partnership for Assessment of Readiness for College and Careers (PARCC), one of two multi-state consortia that — with some $350 million in federal funds — promised to develop standardized tests aligned with the Core.

However, teachers made their concerns over Common Core known. In November, a survey of 745 Maryland teachers found 65% of them did not feel prepared to implement Common Core, and 88% at the time felt there were still challenges to understanding the new system. The Teachers Association of Baltimore County filed a grievance because the teachers were working too many hours just to implement Common Core.

Parents are also speaking out against Common Core. Robert Small, 46, was removed and arrested at a Maryland Board of Education Common Core meeting. He wanted to tell them about his concerns, but the format only allowed pre-submitted questions. When he rose to protest Common Core, Baltimore County School Superintendent Dallas Dance told a security guard to escort Small out of the room. Small asked for a badge and after the guard showed him, he grabbed Small’s arm.

The officer pushed Small and then escorted him into the hall, handcuffed him and had him sit on the curb in front of the school. He was taken to the Towson precinct and detained. Small was charged with second-degree assault of a police officer, which carries a fine of $2,500 and up to 10 years in prison, and disturbing a school operation, which carries a fine of $2,500 and up to six months.

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