Common Core opponents speak out at Carroll meeting

Opponents of the Common Core criticized the new educational standards and suggested Carroll County Board of Education members resign Wednesday night if they can't follow requests from constituents.

"You guys were elected to do things here in this county, not to be followers just because the state said so," Westminster resident and Tea Party activist Michelle Jefferson said before suggesting that board members resign if they don't stand up against the Common Core.

Jefferson was one of four county residents to criticize the board during public comment for implementing the Common Core State Standards despite opposition from some county residents.

School Board President Barbara Shreeve said afterward that she appreciates the concerns, but doesn't understand the belief that the Board of Education doesn't have to follow state law.

"I don't know where they're coming up with that," she said.

The Common Core are education standards required by state law that are intended to increase student performance in math and language arts. Common Core standards have been adopted by 45 states and the District of Columbia.

Common Core has been a hot topic in Carroll County over the last month.

Carroll Values Education, a parent advocacy group unrelated to Carroll Values Educational Freedom and Excellence, hosted a Common Core informational night Sept. 19 with representatives from the school system and Maryland State Education Association.

The event, advertised as a nonpolitical forum, was aimed at educating parents on the Common Core without political influence.

Carroll County Commissioners President Doug Howard announced Sept. 17 that he would be forming a citizen study group to examine concerns and the impact of the Common Core curriculum on county students.

Howard said that he formed the group to separate facts from misinformation being spread about the common core.

While Howard formed a citizen study group, the Board of County Commissioners voted against forming an official work group of the commissioners on Sept. 26.

The work group was intended to "study the impact and effects of Common Core on education autonomy" in the county.

Commissioners Richard Rothschild and Robin Frazier voted for the work group.

Carroll Values Educational Freedom and Excellence has tentatively scheduled a forum on Common Core Nov. 4 in room K-100 at Carroll Community College. The forum is expected to start at 7 p.m., according to a news release from the organization.

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