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Grassroots group of parents speak-out against common core standards

Common Core discussions continue

POCATELLO, Idaho - The Idaho State Board of Education continued its talks on Thursday with university officials across the state during its two-day summit held at Idaho State University.

But, this doesn't come without some push-back from some parents who showed up at the start of the meeting early in the morning to voice their desire for the state to do-away with the new common core standards.

But, some parents feel as if the board isn't listening to their concerns.

"Why can we not ask questions of the board (members) and have them ask questions of us?" Idahoans Against Common Core co-founder and parent Stephanie Gifford asked. "It feels like they think so little of us that we can't just have a grown-up conversation and these are things that are affecting our children, and yet we don't have a part in the process."

Idahoans Against Common Core is a grassroots campaign effort that spreads across the state for parents who are against the new standards. Gifford said the group has reached over 450 members so far, and 25 of them from school districts across eastern Idaho came out to the meeting this morning to raise their voices.

Gifford, along with the other parents argue the new standards will be detrimental to their kids' education and feel as if they don't have a say in the curriculum being taught.

"We need to fight for a parents roll to be restored to education, because with the reforms we are seeing right now in Idaho, parents are being cut out of the picture and we are no longer allowed to have a role in curriculum choices," Gifford added.

State Board of Education President Emma Atchley said the state has conducted significant research showing these new standards will improve the way the curriculum is being taught in the classroom, and if parents want to change the curriculum, they have the right to vote for their local school district officials who are the ones who ultimately decide upon the curriculum.

"The board has been looking at data for a long time and we have noticed that pre-common core standards were not resulting in students receiving the quality of education the state board could be delivering to the students," Atchley said.

However, these parents say they just want the board to hear what they have to say and feel the decision to implement the new standards was made without any consent.

"It's not a grassroots effort like the board wants us to believe," Bonneville County school district parent Linda Holt said. "We can see the emperor and he's not wearing any clothes and so what are they going to do about it now? I would like to ask those who still believe what the board is saying where they want to be standing when that happens? Because it will happen. More and more people are finding out that common core is not going to be what it has been billed as."

This past year, a number of teachers have spoken-out in favor of the new standards, saying it expands creativity and allows students to think critically in order to arrive to a conclusion. Some teachers feel this will prepare students for the new Smarter Balance Assessment Consortium test they will take, replacing the ISAT. 
You can view more on this here, where teachers talk about the new standards and how it impacts students' homework loads:

But regardless of what parents want to see as far as curriculum goes, it all boils down to the fact that they just want to have a voice in process.

Atchley said education as a whole is an extremely large enterprise and we won't see results of the new standards until after they have been implemented for a few years.

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