Saturday, September 20, 2014
FAIRFIELD-SUISUN, CALIFORNIA
99 CENTS

Educational establishment faces sea change, Polk says

School

Diane Ferrucci, coordinator of Elementary Education for the Fairfield-Suisun Unified School District, talks about the Common Core State Standards with the Fairfield-Suisun School District board of tustees in Fairfield, Monday. (Adam Smith/Daily Republic)

By
From page A5 | October 02, 2013 |

FAIRFIELD — Common Core will alter how schools in the Fairfield-Suisun School District and the rest of California have operated, the school board president says.

“We’re looking at probably a sea change in the way we deal with the educational establishment,” Perry Polk said Monday.

He spoke near the end of a two-hour study session on the new educational standards that have brought state funds of $4.3 million to the Fairfield-Suisun district and $1.2 billion in California to implement Common Core.

Kris Corey, district superintendent, said trustees during the session – which included their breaking up into smaller discussion groups – used skills the new standards are intended to spur.

“You collaborated. You communicated. You were creative. You were critical thinkers,” she said.

Trustee Dave Gaut said after the session that a 56-minute webcast that the school board and public was asked to view before the meeting was very dry, very technical and filled with educational jargon.

“I’m scared,” he said during the meeting.

Sixty percent of the adults in Fairfield wouldn’t understand the webcast or find it engaging, Gaut said. He also wondered about the reaction to more rigorous standards in Common Core.

“That’s not what I see when I walk out into the community, or California or the United States,” he said of what he called a dumbed-down American culture.

The California School Boards Association said the 56-minute webcast involves the “radical changes in teaching, learning and testing” of Common Core but an assistant executive director of the Sacramento-based school boards group has said “transformational” would be a more apt description than radical.

George Guynn Jr., president of the Central Solano Citizens-Taxpayers Group, said at the start of the meeting that the school district is about to spend a lot of money for an effort that probably isn’t going to turn out well. He compared Common Core to the federal No Child Left Behind program and said school officials need to get away from “top-down type government.”

A you’ve-got-to-like-it approach isn’t the way things should be when the public is paying the bills, Guynn said.

Reach Ryan McCarthy at 427-6935 or rmccarthy@dailyrepublic.net.

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