Wyoming education board stands firm on Common Core

2013-10-09T13:24:00Z 2013-10-16T17:45:06Z Wyoming education board stands firm on Common CoreThe Associated Press The Associated Press
October 09, 2013 1:24 pm  • 

CHEYENNE, Wyo. — The state Board of Education is sticking with new statewide K-12 education standards in English, language arts and math despite critics who say the standards erode local control.

"The state Board of Education's position of being in favor of the Common Core has been reaffirmed," board Chairman Ron Micheli said. "And it will stay that way until there is a change in the position of the board."

Wyoming is among about 45 states that have adopted the Common Core State Standards.

Members of the board heard a presentation Tuesday from Amy Edmonds with the Wyoming Liberty Group, which opposes the new standards.

"We cannot afford to continue down this path of adopting every new 'it' idea proposed as the silver bullet in education improvement," Edmonds said. "Wyoming's citizens, our communities and our mineral wealth all afford us with incredible opportunities to create a system that is world class. We simply need the courage and the vision to do it ourselves."

Edmonds asked the board to consider stopping the rollout or ending the use of the Common Core and returning to a system that better allows for local control.

The state should put a group of Wyoming experts and parents together to create a new set of standards, she said.

She also criticized the state board for how it adopted the standards. She said the public didn't know what was happening at the time.

Members of the board asked no questions of Edmonds.

Others expressed support for the new standards.

"When I first read (the standards) I remember thinking to myself, 'I'm going to have to learn some more math. I don't know that I know all this stuff,'" math teacher Jayne Wingate said.

The new standards can challenge teachers and students, Wingate said.

Fellow educator Michael Hays also spoke in favor of the standards as they apply to English and language arts.

"The Common Core really asks kids to get deep into their literacy skills; it really asks for quite a bit," he said.

Board member Pete Gosar said the standards have a lot of support in the state.

"We've heard from the school boards association in Wyoming, the superintendents association ... the curriculum developers . teachers and the (Wyoming Education Association). By and large they are in support of the Common Core State Standards," Gosar said.

Copyright 2014 The Associated Press. All rights reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten or redistributed.

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