Friday, January 31, 2014
Opposition to using Common Core State Standards in state schools is growing, according to Sheri Few, head of S.C. Parents Involved in Education.
Few has been to Georgetown County twice in recent weeks, speaking at meetings of the Waccamaw Neck Republican Club and the county Republican Women’s Club.
According to its website, Common Core State Standards are a “single set of clear educational standards for kindergarten through 12th grade” in math and English that will be taught in every state.
Few started campaigning against Common Core about a year ago. At the time, she said, very few people knew what the problems with Common Core were.
But Few has been traveling across the state as she and her organization try to rally residents against Common Core.
Some of Few’s objections are: an “experimental approach to geometry”; the federal government using the program for “intrusive data mining”; the “psychological harm” the program inflicts on K-3 students; and the emphasis on non-fiction, informational texts instead of classical literature.
Judy Clarke, chairman of the GOP Women’s Club, called Common Core “the dumbing down of America.”
This year is “an important time in this battle,” Few told the Women’s Club, for two reasons: Common Core State Stands for math and English are scheduled to be fully implemented next year, and this year is an election year.
She urged the Women’s Club members to contact their state senators and representatives to support two bills currently in the state Legislature, S300 and H3943, that would prevent the Common Core standards from being adopted in the state.
State Rep. Stephen Goldfinch, who represents District 108, is already on H3943.
“Sen. [Ray] Cleary is the one we need on the [Senate] bill,” Few said.
Randy Hollister, chairman of the county Republican Party, pointed out that four seats on the School Board are up for election in November: two at-large, one on the Waccamaw Neck and one in the western part of the county.
He urged the Women’s Club members to get involved if they don’t like the direction education in the state is taking.
“This is an opportunity this year to serve and make a difference at the local level,” Hollister said.
Few said many school board members she’s met with across the state have told that as long as Common Core is the “law of the land,” they have to follow it.
Clarke would like to invite a few county Georgetown County School Board members to a future Women’s Club meeting to discuss Common Core.
Camille Noonan, who is co-chairman of the local Pee Dee chapter of S.C. Parents Involved in Education, has also been meeting with local legislators and local GOP groups.
“We probably have a big fight on our hands and we need all the help we can get,” she told the Women’s Club members.
Few’s fight against Common Core has inspired her to run for state superintendent of Education.
She also said she is motivated by the “liberal bias in curriculum content,” and vowed to review textbooks for bias and inaccuracies if elected.
On a positive note, Few said the Common Core controversy has people taking a closer look at what is being taught in schools.
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