Cumberland Times-News

October 22, 2013

Common Core

Schools informing public about what it is


Cumberland Times-News

— The public school systems in Allegany and Garrett counties are to be commended for hosting a local information session on the Common Core State Standards being implemented in Maryland schools.

In September, we complained that the closest public forum being held in the state was at South Hagerstown High School. We were afraid that not many parents from Allegany and Garrett would travel to Hagerstown for a night session to discuss the new standards.

Now the Allegany and Garrett systems have announced that the Maryland State Department of Education and the Maryland PTA will hold a session closer to home. It will take place Nov. 14 from 7 to 8:30 p.m. in the Compton Science Center, Room 226, at Frostburg State University.

The evening will include remarks from Dr. Lillian Lowery, Maryland State Superintendent of Schools; Dr. David Cox, Allegany County Superintendent of Schools; and Ray Leone, Maryland PTA president.  Additionally, attendees will have the opportunity to hear a teacher’s perspective on Maryland’s new academic standards.

The audience will also have the chance to participate in a question and answer session facilitated by Dr. Cox.  All questions are to be printed on index cards which will be collected and read aloud during this portion of the forum.  Question and answer index cards will be distributed at the beginning of the event.

Common Core, a federally-backed program, has been several years in the planning process and is now being taught in pilot classrooms. Beginning  in the 2014-15 school year, the curriculum will be taught in all schools. Nearly 7,000 educators from across Maryland took part this summer in the state’s third and final round of Educator Effectiveness Academies, which have helped put a classroom focus the new standards. Teams from every Maryland school — including principals — were involved in this unique professional development effort.

Parents and educators are certain to have plenty of questions about the new system. By making it more convenient for Allegany and Garrett county residents, the state and local educators are helping to make everyone part of the process.