Common Core: New school curriculum causing controversy

Common Core causing controversy

CHARLESTON, SC (WCSC) - The way all students are taught is changing drastically. A new way of teaching, called Common Core, will be used in every classroom, in every school statewide.

However, not everyone thinks Common Core makes common sense.

The State Board of Education, along with the Education Oversight Committee, approved the adoption of Common Core. It's set to be implemented in schools statewide by next fall.

Common Core's goal is to have students cover fewer topics, at a deeper level but the new way of learning is not adding up for everyone.

"In Common Core, you have to draw a matrix and the matrix is almost a crossword puzzle," said Roger O'Sullivan, member of Greater Charleston Parents Involved in Education.

English Language Arts and math will be applied to real world issues in an attempt to prepare students for college and the global workforce.

"I think a lot of the fear of Common Core is just not knowing how its going to affect what students do in the classroom," said Besty Reidenbach, Director of Instructional Support for Charleston County School District.

Students are trained to not only get their answer, but explain why, according to Reidenbach.

"Mathematics has now become a reading puzzle, as well as a math puzzle, so a student that was not so good at reading but very good at math will now fail both," said O'Sullivan.

Reidenbach acknowledges that and says math students will need to have more of an understanding of reading.

"I like that idea that concept but we can do that with our own state standards," said Elizabeth Moffly, Charleston County School Board Member.

Moffly strongly opposes it and she's got some of the community on her side. Moffly says there is a huge movement across the state. With a quick search, Live 5 found several websites and social media sides have set up pages urging parents to protest Common Core in their schools.

"The problem that you have is teachers have to relearn the curriculum and the standards in which they've been implementing," said Moffly.

Not all school board members are opposed to it. Mike Miller tells Live 5 he likes the idea, but wants to ensure that teachers are properly trained.

Miller adds that there needs to be an adequate way to evaluate students skills, and if this standard can do it, he is for it.

"They are still standard, they're standards like we have always had in our state for many , many years were just asking our students to learn to be better thinkers," said Reidenbach.

Reidenbach encourages parents are interested in learning more to go directly to your childrens' teachers.

The fate of Common Core in South Carolina will be up to our lawmakers. Committee hearings are scheduled for late January for a bill in the house and one in the senate (S-300 & H-3943). Both that are specifically aimed at repealing Common Core education statewide.

Other school districts, including Dorchester-2 and Berkeley County, tell Live 5 that they have already introduced Common Core, at some level.

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