Shasta County parents push back against Common Core standards

Jan 20, 2015 8:07 PM by Charlene Cheng

This spring, California students will be taking assessment tests for the first time, following the adoption of a new set of standards that value analysis over memorization.

"It's trying to dissect how things work, instead of knowing the answer. They're trying to get them to figure out what it looks like before it becomes the answer," said Beverly Banghart, a retired Shasta County teacher.

You would think that encouraging critical thinking would be a good thing, but some parents feel that their kids are being tasked with overly convoluted assignments.

For example, instead of asking students a basic math equation, they're asked to understand the principles at work.

"It's just a different way of teaching math, which is unconventional, and it's really not necessary," said Richard Gallardo, who has a son in the public school system.

A Facebook group called "Shasta County Against Common Core" has popped up.

Members are concerned that the standards were developed at a federal level, and they're urging California to repeal the effort.

"As a group, we're trying to inform the local government that we want the federal government out of our educational system," Banghart said.

But according to the Shasta County Office of Education, this is just one of the many misconceptions that have come up.

Decisions on how to implement Common Core are made at the state and local levels.

"It was this idea of agreeing on benchmark of standards we need for each grade level, so therefore there could be a cross-platform of sharing practices for the states, as well as so we can be competitive in the world," said Chris Dell, Director of K-12 Mathematics & Technology for the Office of Education.


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