Impact of Common Core town hall topic

By Emily Crowe
Staff writer
ecrowe@cnjonline.com

Common Core State Standards have been a part of Clovis Municipal Schools for nearly two years, but some teachers and parents still question the true benefits of the system.

In a move to share information and encourage open dialogue, the New Mexico Public Education Department will hold a town hall meeting in Clovis this evening to discuss Common Core Standards and their impact on students in the community.

According to PED spokesman Larry Behrens, the meeting will begin with a general session to provide basic information on Common Core, followed by smaller breakout sessions on topics such as Common Core in elementary schools and what Common Core means for college and career preparation.

The statewide set of standards in mathematics, English language arts, social studies, science and technical subjects was developed by teachers and other experts to foster a deeper understanding of critical concepts and the practical application of that knowledge.

The standards are recognized in 44 states and the District of Columbia.

Teachers in Clovis began implementing Common Core Standards for kindergarten through third grade in 2012, and for fourth through 12th grade in 2013.

Kris Nielsen, a former teacher, national speaker and vocal opponent of Common Core, will be in Clovis May 8 to talk about his views regarding the system.

In his book “Children of the Core,” Nielsen argues that Common Core is causing teachers to burn out and leave the profession, state cutbacks on already-low education budgets and school closures in mostly low-income neighborhoods.

At this evening’s meeting, Deputy Secretary Leighann Lenti and Policy Manager for Common Core State Standards Karina Vanderbilt will represent NMPED, Behrens said.

Free childcare, as well as translation services, will be available during the meeting. Dinner will be served following the event.

Fast facts
What: NMPED Common Core State Standards town hall meeting
When: 5:30-7:30 p.m. today
Where: Arts Academy at Bella Vista, 2900 Cesar Chavez Dr.
Information: 769-4300