Education

Oct 3, 2013 6:18 PM by Chris Welty

State Superintendent Defends Common Core Curriculum

State Superintendent of Education John White is continuing his statewide tour.

Today, he stopped in Lafayette Parish at Truman Montessori and N.P. Moss Prep. The goal of the tour is to highlight innovative teaching and to get feedback from educators on what's working in the classroom. White spoke about the importance of early childhood education.

Though that was his main focus, we asked about common core curriculum. Teachers and parents have been outspoken on this issue.

Common core is a set of uniform national standards for public school testing. Supporters say it will better prepare students for college and will change the way teachers instruct their students. The curriculum has sparked debates across the state.

Last weekend in Baton Rouge, more than one hundred people rallied in front of the Department of Education. Despite the protests, State Superintendent of Education, John White says the curriculum is here to stay.

"We've been working on these expectations the last three and a half years. We're not going to just put the brakes on and put it in reverse going back to lower expectations," said White.

He says the standards put Louisiana students on a level playing field with the rest of the nation.

"I think when it comes to the new standards, first and foremost, we've got to realize Louisiana kids are just as smart, just as capable as any children in America."

Some teachers and parents are concerned. Teachers have contacted KATC saying their common core curriculum isn't complete.

"Actually, most teachers have the curriculum guidance they need. 2,000 teachers trained here in Lafayette this summer to make sure they're ready to plan. Is change hard? Absolutely and the textbook publishers are changing with us. I think our educators have the tools because we put the decision making power in their hands to make the adjustments they need to make," said White.

The State Board of Elementary and Secondary Education will discuss common core during its October 15th committee meetings. Board member Lottie BeeBe says she placed the discussion on the agenda to answer some of the concerns of her constituents.

The meeting will take place at the BESE headquarters and is open to the public.

Chris Welty
cwelty@katctv.com

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