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Common Core defended at public hearing in Dunwoody
by Christine Fonville
August 26, 2014 09:51 AM | 1780 views | 0 0 comments | 7 7 recommendations | email to a friend | print
Staff / Christine Fonville / Barbara Hampton listens to DeKalb residents during a public hearing last week at Dunwoody High School.
Staff / Christine Fonville / Barbara Hampton listens to DeKalb residents during a public hearing last week at Dunwoody High School.
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At a public hearing last week held by the state Board of Education at Dunwoody High School, Barbara Hampton, the sixth district representative for the board, listened to parents, teachers and administrators’ ideas and concerns regarding performance and public education.

Hampton said the purpose of the listening session was to hear comments about Common Core in regards to mathematics and language arts for the upcoming formal evaluation of the standards by the board.

Each DeKalb residents’ testimony was recorded so that, Hampton said, the rest of the board would be able to view the footage and consider the district’s opinions and ideas.

Many citizens spoke in favor of the current Common Core standards.

DeKalb resident and former county teacher Jennifer Young said she believed the standards were positive for both students and teachers.

“I believe in Common Core because I believe that children, through no fault of their own who move from state to state, have the opportunity to be on the same educational level as their peers,” she said. “Also, as an educator, I’ve read and understood what these standards ask of me, which is to make sure my students left my classroom with specific knowledge, which is every educator’s job.” Dunwoody resident and co-founder of Georgians for Local Area School Systems, Erika Harris, said she uses the Common Core standards as a guide when homeschool teaching her children.

“I am a former educator and moved to DeKalb County from California,” she said.

“I use Common Core as a standard guide for my kids and I do not view it as a race to the top, but rather a guide to ensure our children have a baseline of needed knowledge that will be taught to them by the end of the school year.”

Harris said she hopes the state can continue to embrace Common Core and provide teachers with flexible curriculum to help meet those standards, but also let them be the guide in their own classrooms and figure out what works best for their students.

The potential formation of independent school systems and charter schools throughout the county was also a topic of discussion for many parents and residents. Dunwoody parent and City Councilwoman Lynn Deutsch said while she supports small school systems, she did not think the state board should approve a charter system application from the county.

“I support formation of small school systems and I think if we drill down in the data, we see that children in large urban school systems do far worse than children in small rural systems with far fewer resources than systems like the one DeKalb County has,” she said.

“We need decentralized management, however, I implore you not to approve the charter system application from the county that will come before you in the next year or so because the county school system has no ability to give true autonomy to its local schools.”

For more information, visit www.gadoe.org.

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