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Local Teachers Concerned About Common Core

Local Teachers Concerned About Common Core

Even though it's being implemented in the local school system, some teachers have many concerns about the Common Core Curriculum.

The Frederick County Teachers Association has not taken a formal stance on the new curriculum, but President Gary Brennan says members are worried about how they will present it in the classroom. "What teachers are mostly concerned about is having the time to do it right, and having the resources they need prepared and done to do it right," he says.

The Frederick County School System has introduced "Curriculum Now," which aligns itself with the Common Core standards.

The Common Core standards were developed by the National Governors Association and the Council of Chief State School Officers. It's intended to make sure all students across the country are ready for college and careers when they graduate. The local school system says its "Curriculum Now" doesn't tell teacher how or what to teach, but outlines skills that all students should master.

46 states have adopted the Common Core Standards. The ones which have not implemented it are Virginia, Alaska, Texas and Nebraska.

Brennan says any changes such as these will require some modifications on the part of the local school system. "We're going to have to change textbooks. We're going to have to change staff development for teachers. We're going to have to change materials of instruction," he says.

But one thing that won't change for a while is the High School Assessment tests. Brennan says the MSA are not in sync with the Common Core Curriculum, but they will remain in affect until a new test can be developed.

The Common Core Curriculum has generated a lot of controversy in communities where it has been implemented. Some conservatives call it "Obamacore" and believe it comes down from the federal government, which had no part in putting it together. Liberals says it's "corporate" reforms.

"I would like to see this whole process slowed  down a little bit," says Brennan. "It concerns me that we're changing the Common Core. We've not really piloted it. Nobody's really piloted it. We don't know what works with it; what's good; what needs to be changed; what do we need to slow down. What do teachers and students need if this is to be successful."

In the meantime, Brennan says teachers will be doing their best to try to make it work in the classroom. He suggests anyone who has questions or concerns about Common Core to take them to the Maryland State Board of Education, and the State Department of Education. "There's nothing in Common Core that says that the Maryland State Department of Education, the State of Maryland, and the State Board of Education give up their authority over our curriculum, over what's taught in Maryland and what we do in Maryland," says Brennan.


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