CASPER, Wyo. -- A Wyoming-based, nonprofit conservative advocacy group and a Casper lawmaker are sponsoring an education roundtable in Casper Tuesday to clear up what they say is widespread confusion regarding the new Common Core State Standards.
Rep. Tom Reeder, R-Casper, is scheduled to moderate the discussion. It will feature input from a Wyoming teacher, a research fellow at a Chicago-based free market think tank, and a professor from Arkansas who served on the federal Common Core Validation Committee but refused to sign off on the standards as validated.
Reeder said he has fielded questions from constituents who are confused about Common Core, a set of standards for kindergarten through high school that has been ardently supported by the Obama administration but is facing growing opposition.
"I need to try to get answers back to them," Reeder said.
The discussion is about sharing information, he said, from experts who have researched Common Core standards.
"We don't believe it's a good thing, and we want to educate people on why," Amy Edmonds, a former Wyoming legislator now working with the Wyoming Liberty Group, said. Edmonds will moderate a similar roundtable in Cheyenne with the same panelists Wednesday night, according to the group's agenda.
Edmonds questions how much local control over education will remain after the Common Core standards become fully implemented. She also wonders why Wyoming, along with dozens of other states, signed off on the standards in the first place.
"I think there's a lot of people who don't know what these [standards] are, and what it means for their children," Edmonds said. "I hope they will be there to hear our concerns."