Parents Voice Concerns About Common Core

By Jeff Saperstone
|  Wednesday, Mar 12, 2014  |  Updated 9:19 PM EDT
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State lawmakers held a public hearing regarding concerns over Common Core standards.

State lawmakers held a public hearing regarding concerns over Common Core standards.

More than 150 people came to Hartford to share their thoughts on Common Core standards with state lawmakers Wednesday.

The controversial education standards were put into place in 2010 and most schools in Connecticut are in the process of implementing them.

But parents and teachers have been upset that they haven't been included in the process.

West Haven parent Jessica Chiong said her three elementary-aged kids come home from school frustrated.

"Specifically my older daughter, she has special needs, she has a math learning disability and she struggles," said Chiong.

She and other opponents of Common Core want the state to opt out.

"I'm not quite sure how you would do it," said Stephen Cullinan, superintendent of Ellington Schools.

Before Wednesday's legislative hearing, Cullinan and other administrators stood in support of Common Core. Cullinan said reversing course now would hurt students more.

"That creates confusion," said Cullinan. "The exact opposite of what we're trying to do."

State lawmakers spent more than six hours listening to concerns.

Parents and teachers said they've had little input throughout the process, prompting a movement at the State Capitol to slow down Common Core's implementation.

"We need to be responsive to those who we represent," said Rep. Larry Cafero, Republican Leader of the House of Representatives. "We need to listen to their concerns and at this stage we, as a legislature do need to get involved."

Gov. Dannel Malloy is putting together his own Common Core task force to examine the rollout.

The task force includes 25 members, 12 of whom are teachers.

For two years, the state will also hold off on linking the new teacher evaluation system to the Common Core standards, State Education Commissioner Stefan Pryor told the Education Committee on Wednesday.

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