Parents take part in Common Core curriculum protest

DeQuincy event
DeQuincy event
DeRidder event (Source: Jessica Hyatt)
DeRidder event (Source: Jessica Hyatt)

DEQUINCY, LA (KPLC) - An effort to raise awareness on the controversial Common Core took place Monday in Southwest Louisiana and around the country.

Participating parents kept their children home from school and met at locations to educate themselves on the pros and cons of Common Core.

Parents say the "one-size fits all" approach does not work because many students have different learning styles.

There is also concern about how much homework the kids are given.

In Calcasieu, parents met at the DeQuincy Railroad Museum.

They discussed personal stories involving their concerns. Local organizer Tessa Bennett said Common Core's priorities aren't what they should be.

"It's not about education," said Bennett. "It's about money. It's about the people who have invested in education. When our children fail, they make more money."

Bennett also told parents about a book called The Bluest Eyes, which is implemented by Common Core and is said to include "explicit" and "pornographic" material.

Sylvia Simmons, mother of two and education major at McNeese, said her first-grader is given too overly complex math questions for an elementary level math student.

"There is not teacher that will say they are against higher standards," said Simmons. "Every teacher wants high standards. Every teacher wants high standards. They want their kids to learn. But when the standards are developmentally inappropriate so the kids' brains are not developed enough to be able to understand what you're trying to teach them. My son knows 2+2 is 4, he knows it's not 5 but he doesn't know how that one got to that."

Bennett said when she met with locals; some of them did not want to be involved questioning what their opinions will do.

"I felt like the same," said Bennett. "What is my voice going to do? It's literally a drop in the Mississippi River. We're the ones that make this country flow. So, if we're having issues with what our children are being taught, it's only our right to stand up. It's not the teacher's job to protect my child. It's not the educator's job to protect my child. It's my job."

The Calcasieu Parish School Board released a statement saying, "While discussions on the standards among educators and the general public are a part of a healthy dialogue, we feel strongly that students be in class while the dialogue occurs."

Jill Moore, another concerned parent, asks why didn't Louisiana continue with the plan of this school year being a 'transitional' year, with full implementation planned for the '14-'15 school year.

Amy Guidry has a son who is autistic. She worries that he won't get the extra help he needs.

Regina Connor said if teachers cannot understand Common Core, she doesn't see how parents and students can understand it either.

The meeting for Allen, Vernon and Beauregard parishes took place at P.W. West Park in DeRidder.

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