Voice of the Community | NevadaAppeal.com

Voice of the Community

COMMON CORE

FORUM: PRO AND CON

Presumably, men and women who are elected to the Board of Trustees for Churchill County School District are elected to watch out for the education of the children. Seems that would involve doing something as researching when there is an issue causing concern, such as Common Core.

On Wednesday, Jan. 14, a symposium was held in Fallon to address Common Core. Two professors came to Fallon give their perspectives on the subject. Both were on committees involved with writing Common Core standards. When it came time to sign off on the standards both refused. They felt the standards were not good enough.

Citizens of Fallon had an amazing opportunity to hear what these experts find objectionable in Common Core and ask them questions. Not having children of school age shouldn’t be a reason to not listen and learn about Common Core. This ultimately comes down to the future of our country. We should all be concerned enough to attend such an event, hear concerns of others and judge for ourselves. I applaud all those who did take the time to come.

With this important opportunity in Fallon, I thought more parents and concerned citizens would have turned out for it. However, what amazed me more was the lack of school board representation. Only two trustees were there. All trustees were well aware of the symposium and had plenty of time to make arrangements to be there. I can understand one, maybe two, having other commitments, but five? I can’t help but question the concern of any that were not in attendance who could have been. Common Core is a hot topic across the country, and it was a prime opportunity for the trustees to show those who elected them that they are doing their jobs.

Linda Hartweg

Churchill County

I attended the Common Core Forum Tuesday evening. In response to Deputy Supt. Canavero’s claim that teachers were silenced, I have never been to a debate where one side gets to call someone from the audience to respond to a question, rather than those on the dais. The moderator did allow Mr. Grossman (from the audience) to respond to a question, which was highly irregular. The second audience member was not allowed.

I resent the fact that the state is forcing students (and in essence, parents) to take the test this spring (First Amendment — Freedom of Association) and forcing them to provide personal information (possibly a violation of the Fourth Amendment).

As to the claim that public input was allowed in the adoption process, Common Core was stealthily approved. I would guess that there were at least two — one against/pro attendees (probably more). If the public (especially parents/grandparents) had known what we know now as the adoption process was taking place, I can almost guarantee that there would have been a much greater outcry, and there may not have been a legislative adoption

I would hope that the Legislature will severely amend or even drop Common Core in the current session. As Dr. Stotsksy stated, why should we accept standards that move us from 49th to 45th (or even 25th?) instead of using Massachusetts standards (first)?

David W. Carter

Carson City

One wonders if P. K. O’Neill was aware of the biased set-up in the “debates” on the Common Core standards that he allegedly sponsored. The organizing group, so-called “Citizens for Sound Academic Standards,” is led by Ann Bednarski, a failed candidate for the Board of Education and perpetual critic of organized education.

The bias of the “forums,” featuring out-of-state critics of the Common Core standards, was evidenced by the refusal to let our teachers speak on the issues. Apparently, the “Citizens for Sound Academic Standards” are among the growing mobs that blame all perceived failures in our educational systems on the teachers, the front-line troops trying to educate our children despite inadequate resources and political grandstanding. The so-called ‘debate’ about attempting to nationally raise the educational bar is just one more example as to why the United States continues to fall behind all other industrial counties in its obligation to educate our children for the challenges of the 21st century.

In the future, one hopes that Assemblyman O’Neill will lend his support for public debates on critical issues to more objective organizations.

Otherwise, such events are not “debates,” but rather political infomercials.

Jon Nowlin

Carson City

I read with interest your article about the symposium on Common Core in Nevada held in Carson City — particularly the last few paragraphs, in which it appears that teachers from our schools who were at the symposium were not allowed to speak on “procedural grounds” whereas retired professors from other states were and quoted as well.

My reaction to that is the critical information these esteemed professors had to share about how Common Core relates to Nevada must not be very credible if remarks from our own teachers who actually work with these Common Core standards in our schools are effectively censored.

David Fulton

Carson City