AMITE — Tangipahoa Parish educators voiced their concerns Tuesday about the education standards movement known as Common Core.
Teachers spent two hours before a School Board committee, raising issues about the speed of Common Core’s implementation and a lack of information about the standards.
The comments came at the curriculum committee’s forum about Common Core.
The committee decided to discuss the matter again at its next meeting after running out of time Tuesday.
The Common Core State Standards Initiative is a nationwide movement setting more-rigorous standards for each grade.
Standardized test scores are tied to that progress.
Louisiana’s Board of Elementary and Secondary Education voted in 2010 to adopt the standards, which are set to take full effect next school year.
Kevin Crovetto, president of the Tangipahoa Parish Federation of Teachers and a teacher at Ponchatoula High, criticized what he called Common Core’s “one-size-fits-all” model.
Crovetto said teachers don’t have enough information about how to implement the standards. He said he routinely receives calls from teachers frustrated about developing Common Core-influenced lesson plans.
“How can we work this plan? It hasn’t been planned,” Crovetto said.
Julie Jackson, a Natalbany Elementary teacher, said she and her fellow teachers are overwhelmed with trying to implement the new standards.
“Common Core takes a lot of time out of your school and personal schedule,” she said. “We are constantly at school.”
Larry Morgan, a Kentwood High social studies teacher, told board members he couldn’t tell if Common Core was good or bad because he had not received enough information about the program’s social studies standards.
“I don’t mind following orders, but I need to know what the orders are,” he said.
Carolyn Waller, an English teacher at Ponchatoula High, said teachers aren’t able to use their old lesson plans and have to start fresh.
Waller said she and her fellow teachers favor higher standards but are worried about the new standards being implemented too quickly.
“I just can’t understand — why are we on this bullet, this train?” Waller said.
Amy Brumfield, a parent who frequently attends School Board meetings, asked the board to adopt a resolution, similar to one adopted by the St. Tammany Parish School Board, requesting to withdraw from the Common Core standards.
Board member Brett Duncan said such a resolution would be nothing more than a political stunt. He said the board instead must continue to speak with its teachers and support them as they redraw their lesson plans.
“They (St. Tammany) will still be held accountable to the same standards that the rest of us will be held accountable for,” Duncan said.