Common Core State Standards discussed in public forum - WAFF-TV: News, Weather and Sports for Huntsville, AL

Common Core State Standards discussed in public forum

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Source: MGN Online Source: MGN Online

Educators and school officials with the state gathered to discuss the set of nationally recognized standards for schools, also known as the Common Core State Standards.

Officials agree that the issue is controversial but they said the public forum was a model of how people with different views can come together and hear each other out and hopefully come to an agreement.

"This is a first for Alabama of having opponents and proponents coming together to talk about an issue that important to everyone," said Mary Scott Hunter, Alabama Board of Education. 

It was standing room only in the Jackson Center in Huntsville Wednesday night. Everyone in attendance had their opinion on the Common Core State Standards. 

"Alabama has its own standards and those standards are unique to us," Hunter said. "We are able to change them and do what we need to do with them and they are high and they are rigorous and they are requiring a lot of parents and students and of teachers."

Those against it said Common Core would allow the federal government to dictate what's taught in Alabama schools.

"The biggest concern is federal over reach and we need to do whatever we need to do to ensure that it doesn't happen," said State Superintendent Tommy Bice.

Those for it say it may not be the easiest form of education for the teachers to teach, but it is an easy way for the children to learn.

"This isn't about the grown folks," Bice said. "This is about the children. Teaching in this new way teaches children how to collaborate and solve problems. It is a very different teaching method than a lot of teachers were taught how to teach. What we are hoping is whatever comes out of this will be something that can replicated in other places around the state."

Common Core just finished its first year in mathematics, the coming year will be English and language arts.

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