Community Education Meeting Wrap-Up Part 1

Last night, CURE was present and live-tweeting from the Community Education Meeting Co-Sponsored by the Washington-Centerville Library and Centerville City Schools. Approximately 100 members were in the audience. Superintendent of Centerville City Schools (CCS), Dr. Tom Henderson, opened the meeting commending CCS on the results of the Third Grade Reading Guarantee.

Within CCS, only 10 children failed to pass the Third Grade Guarantee. 9 of those children had exemptions such as English as a second language.

Dr. Tom Lasley of Learn to Earn spoke next and gave some background on why the Common Core State Standards (CCSS) are being implemented in Ohio. He emphasized that the future of the United States depends on a skilled and educated population and that in order to have a useful community discussion “we need to set aside politics and offer a sufficient skill set to students. We need to engage thoughtfully and critically.”

Senator Peggy Lehner began by emphasizing how the U.S. is facing an “education crisis threatening the future of our country.” She stated that “American students are falling behind” in the international workforce.

Senator Lehner addressed several members of the audience as people she has seen before who oppose Common Core. Lehner stated that the development of the CCSS has been happening for years and that the state of Ohio alone held 18 hearings regarding its development.

Rather combative she added, “teachers have been learning about CCSS for years and out of the blue there is now an anti-Common Core movement.”

She stressed that state standards are not the same thing as curriculum and that “there is nothing wrong with the Common Core that we can’t fix,” and said that the CCSS implementation time-line in Ohio has been extended because “we expect scores to drop while we all adjust.”

She finished by suggesting that “we are seriously threatening years of work and millions of dollars spent by schools because of the political arguments about the Common Core.”

During the Question and Answer segment after the presentations, a CURE member asked Senator Lehner why the state isn’t footing the bill for the Google Chromebooks required for state mandated testing, but instead is passing that bill onto Ohio schools? In Centerville’s case, PTO’s have then been asked by Principals to fund some of the burden.

Lehner responded by suggesting that because the Chromebooks are useful technology that will be utilized in environments other than for state testing, the state was not necessarily required to provide them.

Following Senator Lehner was Vice-President of the Ohio Department of Education, Tom Gunlock. Gunlock stressed again that state standards are not the same thing as curriculum and that he firmly believes in the Common Core. He was adamant that curriculum belongs to the local school districts, “have concerns about the standards? Call me.”

We encourage you to do so:

Tom Gunlock

10147 Putterview Way

Centerville, Ohio 45458

Phone: (937) 609-6951

E-mail: Tom.Gunlock@education.ohio.gov

 

Part 2 of our wrap-up will focus on CCS Director of Curriculum, Jeremy Miller, and his presentation regarding the Third Grade Reading Guarantee, it’s components, and assessments.

 

 

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One thought on “Community Education Meeting Wrap-Up Part 1

  1. Excellent wrap-up, CURE. I look forward to Part 2 and also look forward to accessing Jeremy Miller’s PowerPoint which he said will be available. Perhaps you can send us a link when you find it is available. As a Centerville parent and teacher (in another district), I feel that Tom Gunlock and Jeremy Miller presented us with very informative information. We are privileged to have a central office staff and school board who work well together and who make strong research-based decisions about our finances and curriculum needs. Many issues that some districts may face due to state mandated changes will not be issues for us. What is an issue that was not addressed in this meeting at all is how these state changes and especially added assessments and added reporting to the state are affecting our teachers and our students. Now that I understand better what “Common Core” means (that it is a list of standards that school districts will follow in English Language Arts and Math only and that curriculum and textbook decisions are made by the school district, not the state and not the common core), I do wish that a second local community meeting occur to address our parent questions about stress on teachers, our students and about our true technology needs.

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