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Common Core Meeting

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Hundreds of community members attend a meeting on Common Core guidelines. Montanans Against Common Core held the meeting to provide another side to the new standards in Montana schools.

This group says the standards will set our students behind because they change the curriculum and the standards are less rigorous. The Montana Board of Public Education adopted Common Core with the goal to raise education standards in math and English language and arts. However, some say because common core is still in a trial period, it's putting students at risk.

"It's a new nationalized program where we aren't even sure what's going to happen," said Debra Lamm, the event's speaker. "So why are we taking everybody at one time and putting everybody at risk for a program that may or may not work. Montana I think could be very good at doing their own set of standards."

They also say the standards will prevent parents from getting involved in their children's education.

"We're hearing lots of reports that the standards are inappropriate for grades K through 3 especially," Lamm said. "It is killing their spirit and their individuality and to do that at such a young age I think is really destructive."

"They absolutely are not a part of a federal initiative," said Dennis Parman, deputy superintendent with the Office of Public Instruction. "There are concerns that it will have a greater requirement for data, that we will collect on students and again that's completely, patently, not true."

But the Office of Public Instruction says for traveling parents, like military families, the standards will allow students to receive the same level of education across state lines.

"These new standards raise the bar even higher and we're always looking to do what we can to improve the quality of education and focus on the future of the students that are in our schools today," Parman said.

"If all schools are striving to do better and develop a good standard so we can compete with one another across state lines I think everybody will rise to that challenge," Lamm said.

Organizers say the purpose of the meeting is to continue the conversation about Common Core.