Full house for Common Core town hall meeting

Published: Sep. 29, 2014 at 10:08 PM CDT|Updated: Nov. 28, 2014 at 11:08 PM CST
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MOSS BLUFF, LA (KPLC) - The grass roots effort against Common Core is growing. Parents and teachers had their say at a town hall meeting in Moss Bluff Monday night.

More than 700 people filled the gym at Sam Houston High School. They wasted no time getting down to business. Those with questions, comments, and stories about Common Core came on down to the open microphones.

"I'm like I can't help my son. This math - he's not going to use this," said a concerned mother.

Their concerns are nothing the panel of experts haven't heard before.

"Your courage is what's going to change all of this. This is the exact story that all of us are hearing," said Jane Smith, BESE member at large.

The conversation quickly got heated and not just because it was in a school gym.

"Why is my son having to pay for somebody else's mistake? And you tell me you cannot stop it in the middle? I don't believe that," said a concerned mother.

While School Board members sympathize, they said there is a lot to do before things can change.

"I'm asking you to accept it as what we have to work with today. Let's work together with it," said Bryan LaRocque, Calcasieu School Board Member.

It's not just parents who are frustrated with the new material. Teachers are also having a hard time in the classroom.

"Crying professional grown women. Totally ridiculous! They're upset. They're mad because they can't do their jobs. Not because of the standards... they can't do their jobs and that's all they want to do. It's been taken away from them," said a husband of a teacher.

A Moss Bluff 4th grade math teacher told the crowd she's double teaching. "Every day when I go into my classroom and I have to deliver these strategies... I actually deliver the traditional methods on the side just to make sure my kids can get it first. And that's never even assessed."

She's in the minority. Other teachers are afraid to speak out against Common Core.

"They are being told at faculty meetings that they cannot say anything negative and that is wrong because teachers know this is wrong," said a concerned parent.

Newly appointed Calcasieu School Superintendent Karl Bruchhaus was in the crowd. The group also caught the ears of those wanting to be their next school board members.

"Again, I proposed this last year. We just didn't have the momentum right here. Now that we have this, I think that the legislators are going to be listening," said State Representative Brett Geymann.

Rep. Geymann encouraged everyone against Common Core to contact they're legislators.

"They're going to have to continue to push. They are going to have to stay behind during this whole entire legislative session in the spring. It's really our only opportunity that I see for us to get out. It's going to have to happen in the spring and we are going to have to stay engaged from now until then to get it done," said Geymann.

The next opportunity they'll have to publicly speak out against Common Core is at the CAE School Board candidates forum -- a week Monday, October 6 at LaGrange High School. They're also encouraged to attend the Calcasieu Parish School Board meeting on Tuesday, October 7th.

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