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School board leader calls for open mind about Common Core

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From page A3 | December 12, 2013 | 20 Comments

FAIRFIELD — California appears to be ahead of the country in putting Common Core in place, according to the new Travis School District board president, who attended a San Diego conference that included workshops about the education standards.

“I’m just going to ask the community to keep an open mind,” Ivery Hood said.

Hood said he made a day trip Friday to attend part of the Annual Education Conference and Trade Show conducted by the California School Boards Association. The event took place Dec. 5-7 at the San Diego Convention Center.

The trip cost $845 for airfare, conference registration, taxi and mileage to the airport, according to the school district.

Hood spoke at the Travis School District board meeting Tuesday and noted concerns about the education standards. Hood said communication from school board members to the community will be critical for Common Core.

Vacaville resident Colleen Britton, spokeswoman for CA Common Core Concerns, which questions the new standards, said of Hood’s request, “I’m all for an open mind.”

“But an open mind is open to everything,” she said.

“They need to look at all sides,” Britton said of school officials. “Not just the rosy picture.”

A lot of money is being spent to promote Common Core, she said. “It’s being sold,” she said.

“We’re lowering our standards and compromising academic excellence for something that hasn’t really been proven,” said Britton, a retired teacher.

CA Common Core Concerns hosted a Sept. 25 town hall in Vacaville, where Williamson Evers of the Hoover Institution in Palo Alto spoke about the failure of new math in the 1960s and the collapse of an effort similar to Common Core during the Clinton administration.

But Daly Jordan-Koch, a fourth-grade teacher in Vallejo and former chairman of a California Teachers Association curriculum committee, spoke at the town hall about Common Core as an incredible opportunity for California.

George Guynn Jr., president of the Central Solano Citizens-Taxpayers Group, has compared Common Core to the federal No Child Left Behind program and said school officials need to get away from “top-down-type government.”

Fairfield City Councilwoman Pam Bertani has spoken about attending a Common Core presentation and said she is excited and thankful for the curriculum. She said schools will emphasize writing and analysis – an effort that follows complaints by colleges that students can’t write, Bertani said.

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

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Discussion | 20 comments

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  • innovationinstitutellcDecember 12, 2013 - 6:09 am

    Interesting =)

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  • The MisterDecember 12, 2013 - 6:35 am

    "Keep an open mind"? Are you smokin'?! You want parents and the community to stand down while you experiment on the kids? Compared to so many other countries, our kids are, by and large, academic failures... because your experiments on our kids so far have been failures! Insult to injury... you are spending untold tax-payer money, again, to conduct this baseless experiment! Keep an open mind? How about you do the job you're paid to do, do it well, or find another line of work!!

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  • MadelineDecember 12, 2013 - 10:36 am

    I feel very sad for both parents and teachers today because it is far too late to try to catch up. 34 yrs ago my son started kindergarten I was appalled at the little that was asked. I had come from Connecticut and things are different. I home schooled my son along with public until I could afford private at 6th grade for the rest of his educational experience. From what understand the 'core thing' is to match the west coast with the east coast? Well good luck to all because the east coast teaches toward admittance to ivy league colleges and the west coast has been catering toward the weakest link.

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  • George Guynn, JrDecember 12, 2013 - 11:05 am

    The Mister, I agree with your comment. It is no wonder that a lot of other countries produce better educated students! It is not an accident that home school students do better, either. Madeline, I agree with your comment too and am glad that you took charge and got you son out of the failure system. Too bad more parents don't follow your lead. Mr. McCarthy, thanks for the great articles.

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  • KBDecember 12, 2013 - 12:04 pm

    For too many people, having an "open mind" means their brains fell out.

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  • Meg NorrisDecember 13, 2013 - 12:15 am

    It is amazing to me that so many parents buy into this. Anyone who truly looks at international scores knows the US has maintained a top five presence for decades. The true issue in education is the 24% of kids living in poverty in this country. As for the Travis SB president, it sounds to me like he has been drinking the Kool-Aid. Great teachers are leaving the classroom in droves. Student responses to the standards have been well documented by child psychologists already. Common Core is a disaster and the longer we keep it the more damage we do to our kids. It was not designed by one single teacher. The TWO teachers who were asked to sign off on the standards REFUSED. One company, that had employees on the committee writing the standards now owns 90% of all academia publishing. How convenient when every state will have to buy new text books. Do your research. Common Core is a nightmare. Parents need to stand up and get Bill Gates and his money and friends OUT of the classroom before it is too late. Mr. Hood is pushing child abuse if he stands for keeping Common Core. If you want to be like China, who generally does outscore the US, we are well on the way. The number one killer of kids ages 15-24 in China is suicide. Common Core is suicide promotion.

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  • TTDecember 13, 2013 - 6:11 am

    Common Core is socialism in disguise and would need an upgrade to become ASININE!!!

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  • CD BrooksDecember 13, 2013 - 8:38 am

    This is absolutely among the most idi*tic of all comments against Common Core ever. "Drinking the Kool-Aid?" That pretty much tells us your background! "Great teachers are leaving the classroom in droves?" And then of course there’s the "Child abuse" thing. Wow, where in the world do you get this stuff? I shudder at the thought you might actually have children. UGH!

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  • Candy CriderDecember 13, 2013 - 1:05 pm

    We get these "things" from the letters of teachers who are quitting, we see the turnover in our schools of teachers and the reports of the child psychologists trying to put our children back together over the feelings of failure drummed into them by this constant testing and age inappropriate lessons they are being forced to deal with.

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  • Stacey K.December 13, 2013 - 6:06 am

    It's the open mind that got us trusting enough to allow this federal indoctrination program in the first place. Children can not be guinea pigs. They will not get these precious impressionable years back. Common core needs to go. Period.

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  • CD BrooksDecember 13, 2013 - 7:07 am

    Wow, look at all this anger! Amazing, no wonder kids are screwed up. I hope your efforts at denying Common Core don't disrupt your involvement in working with your children and helping them succeed. One doesn't work without the other, but we all know that all ready don't we.

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  • AJTDecember 13, 2013 - 8:56 am

    WOW! That comment was awesome Brooks...I'll have to write that down. Common Core is about POWER, MONEY and CONTROL and the sooner people realize that the better. These standards were created by big businesses with their goal being for all 50 states to be on the same page and for all to have the same standards. It is NOT meant to improve education and that should ALWAYS be number one. Now get some fresh air!

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  • CD BrooksDecember 13, 2013 - 9:05 am

    AJT, seriously? You should reread your own post and explain to me again why Common Core is a problem. Everybody on the same page striving for the same high standards equating to success. Why is this so difficult for you folks? I assure you, my mind is crystal clear. It is definitely you that is in need of fresh air.

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  • @ CD BrooksDecember 13, 2013 - 9:11 am

    Answer this question Who was behind the original push for Common Core?

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  • Colleen HustonDecember 13, 2013 - 10:02 am

    CD Brooks, you seem to be the most nasty and angriest person on this thread. Why the HATE? None of your comments hold any validity. There just mean. Meanwhile you are being schooled by educated people who do get it and ARE taking their children's education very seriously and Are spending that extra time it takes to not only protect the kids from this CC nightmare but to provide them with a bright hope in their future by completely stopping this onslaught of Unconstitutional reckless experiments they are trying to implement on our kids. Make some points that back up what you say. Don't just sit there and bash people because you don't have an intelligent legitimate piece of information that supports your opinion! Madeline & Meg.... Great points!!! Your awesome!!

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  • Colleen HustonDecember 13, 2013 - 10:07 am

    The Mister, I think your great too!

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  • CD BrooksDecember 13, 2013 - 5:10 pm

    Ms. Huston, I am not angry at all. But everyone else sure seems to be! I have researched Common Core spoken with others and discussed it here at length but I get the same responses so I may be a little testy. It is obvious we will not arrive at an agreeable conclusion. AJT, we also have a handicapped daughter and dealt with that mess of a system for twenty years before we got any real help so yes, we DO know the drill. I disagree 100% with all the negatives surrounding this issue, and we have no choice but to wait and see how it works out. We certainly can't let our discomfort affect the kids. Meanwhile, this is the future in education the "tech world" as some call it so we must stop complaining and dive in. We work with our grand kids every day on school work. It is not the same world and we have to remind ourselves that this is the way they are taught and work through it. If they don't get the basics, they're done. It is imperative we work with the tools provided and help them through this. There is really nothing more I can offer.

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  • CD BrooksDecember 13, 2013 - 5:18 pm

    Ms. Huston et al, and I won’t tolerate the silly mind-numbing comments that are so far removed from reality it is impossible not to speak out on them. No, sometimes it aint nice sorry, that’s life.

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  • AJTDecember 13, 2013 - 10:33 am

    I don't need to read my comment again. I know what I wrote and I know what are FACTS! Having EVERYONE on the same page is absurd. Children with special needs of ANY kind will be COMPLETELY lost. If you need an explanation of why CC sucks out loud, maybe you want to ask the social worker who's business has boomed since CC...Or maybe the 8 year old who is so afraid of exams that she has to be medicated just to go to school. Ask the 4th grader I read about who throws up each morning cuz he is certain he is “the stupidest kid in the class.” As for where the "push" came from, take your pick...Achieve, NGA, Bill Gates, our current yet crappy Administration (Just ask David Axelrod) - And if you REALLY want to dig, trace it all the back the United Nations. It doesnt matter...Its here and it needs to GO! But thank you, that fresh air sure helped. You can have the last word but I won't be checking back to see what you will spew out next because arguing with someone as blind as you is like trying to convince a parent that their 2 yr old is not cute! Buh-Bye :)

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  • apieceofworkDecember 13, 2013 - 11:20 pm

    How can California be ahead of the country in putting Common Core in place when we are at least two years behind the rest of the country in implementing it? Also, most of California, including Travis School District, has not even purchased Common Core textbooks for the students which puts them in violation of the Williams Settlement Act. In fact, every school district in California which is implementing Common Core is in violation of the Williams Settlement Act. How can you teach new standards without any textbooks? This is illegal. California is fortunate that we are implementing Common Core later than the rest of the country did because if we are smart, we will learn from this disaster that has unfolded across the country and the teachers and parents will band together to get rid of it before they suck every last dime out of our education system.

    Reply | Report abusive comment
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