Local grass roots effort fighting Common Core

Published: Sep. 23, 2014 at 2:41 AM CDT|Updated: Nov. 22, 2014 at 3:41 AM CST
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LAKE CHARLES, LA (KPLC) - As the fight over Common Core continues at the state level, there's a grass roots effort in Calcasieu Parish that is gaining momentum to do away with the controversial teaching methods. The group is made up of concerned parents, teachers, and citizens, who say Calcasieu is now leading the fight against Common Core in Louisiana.

"As a concerned parent I've done my research. I encourage other parents to educate themselves and get involved," said Tiffany Guidry.

Guidry's concerns started when she noticed her niece struggling in second grade. She now has a kindergartner of her own and said the basic foundation is not being laid for the students to be successful. Guidry formed the group "Parents Against Common Core" three weeks ago. She said they have a little over 1,000 members.

"We are very concerned. Kids aren't made to think uniformly and there's no differentiated instruction - meaning you can't teach to the child's unique thinking style. So we are teaching at one style, making everyone fit into that box," explained Guidry.

Guidry has joined forces with Barry Badon, creator of "Calcasieu Against Common Core."

"We're starting at the School Board, then we're going to take our fight to the Legislature next," said Badon.

Together they hope to be heard at the October 7th Calcasieu School Board meeting. They've made application to be placed on the agenda and started an online petition, which has nearly 1,300 signatures.

"We didn't have to do a petition, but we wanted to show that we aren't the only ones against Common Core. It's a message that is coming from people across Calcasieu Parish," said Badon. "My message to the Calcasieu Parish School Board is we understand you can't do away with Common Core. That has to be done on a state level. What you can do is control the curriculum that my child is using to learn those standards."

Jim Crumling also spoke to the group. Crumling is from Lafayette and has been speaking out against Common Core across the state since 2011. He believes more teachers need to speak up.

"I do understand why they don't... it's there jobs. And that's the bad part about it. Why should they be worried about their jobs if they want to speak up about the concerns they have about what they are teaching in the educational system," said Crumling.

They encourage everyone to find out where the candidates for School Board stand on the issue and most importantly show up at the public forums.

"We are pro teacher, pro school, and most importantly a pro children group. We just feel we are concerned where our education system reform is going and we would like a voice in it," said Guidry.

The group is encouraging people to show up at the following meetings:

Town Hall Meeting:
Monday September 29th, 5:30 p.m.
Sam Houston High School Gym

CAE Forum:
Monday, October 6th
LaGrange High School
Audience has a Q&A session with the candidates and current members of the School Board.

Calcasieu School Board Meeting:
Tuesday, October 7th

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