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Response to Open Letter to Senator Glover

By Tina Clark

Dear Senator Glover,

My name is Tina Clark. I am a mother living with Common Core/College and Career Ready Standards in a public school in Alabama. I have first hand experience with the struggles and stress of my 2nd grade son under Common Core/College and Career Ready Standards.  I applauded your effort as well as the other Senators in sponsoring Senate Bill 101 and hope for the sake of my child as well as all the children of Alabama Common Core/College and Career Ready Standards are repealed.

I would like to respond to the opinion from Ann Marie Corgill on Common Core/College and Career Ready Standards found on March 09, 2015.

Contrary to what Mrs. Corgill says, NOT repealing common core is what would be detrimental and destructive to the children across the state.  Mrs. Corgill teaches 4th grade. In my school system current 4th grade students are scoring the lowest on standardized testing compared to their peers of upper and lower grades. The plan for my 2nd grader is to opt out of standardized testing in 3rd grade and on. She says teachers are not teaching standards is a lie. Her statement that teachers are not teaching the standards is disproven by my son’s experience. Why is it that on my 2nd graders work pages you will find a standard printed on the top right corner? Why does my school system use a standard based report card if teachers are not teaching to standards?

The teachers are required to administer the STAR test 5 times a year to determine progress. It is hard to determine progress without this STAR test. So far the last 3 years of my son’s experience with school has included CCRS. I am not impressed in comparison to the education my older son got under a different curriculum. Just for those who are not aware of what STAR testing is here is a link.

The STAR test is based on standards so to say the teachers aren’t teaching to standards easily disproven. Teachers know that their jobs will soon depend on students’ performance on the assessments based on the standards so what choice do they have?

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Mrs. Corgill wrote: “In reading and re-reading SB101, two extremely important words are missing from the document: teaching and learning.”  I don’t believe it is the job of the Alabama State Legislators to write a bill on how to teach or learn but rather to direct, protect and intervene on behalf of the citizens of Alabama if our children are not on the right paths. I as well have read and re-read the bill. It may not be perfect but it does put Alabama’s Children back on the right track and out of CC/CCRS.

Also, teaching  methods are driven by CC/CCRS which in fact drives the curriculum. The 2nd grade class my son attends forces him to work in groups of 4. A lot of the time he comes home upset because the group of 4 causes him confusion and pulls down his desire to want to attend school for the purpose of learning. It is also interesting that when I meet with his teacher which I did just yesterday to talk about how he is doing and how he can better be served I am told there is not much that she can do. Don’t get me wrong, I love his teacher.

The ACT suite of assessments that Alabama uses is aligned to the Common Core/College and Career Ready Standards.

As a matter of fact, Alabama is doing more ACT testing than many other states.

And ACT is a federal contractor. All it takes is a little research to disprove the claims of most who support Common Core. The Federal Government is tying funding to CC/CCRS and is directing Alabama education through its No Child Left Behind waiver requirements.

In conclusion, I do not believe in Common Core/College and Career Ready Standards more than I believe the Easter bunny is real. When does the madness end? The Federal Government is directly little by little trying to force control out of the hands of parents, local school boards and State School Boards by dangling money. Sen. Glover’s bill (SB101) to return education to local and state control is a giant step to counter this shift of power while restoring sound education practice for Alabama children.

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