HAGERSTOWN, Md. - Schools in Maryland are implementing Common Core State Standards this school year, which educators say are designed to increase the level of education for all students, but parents of advanced students at a Washington County middle school are questioning if the common core will lower their children's education.
With full implementation of Common Core Standards slated for the 2014-15 school year, Northern Middle School Principal Dr. Teri Williamson spoke to a group of parents about how plans are in motion to teach common core education. Williamson says administrators and teachers are in the beginning stages, but parents of merit students at Northern Middle are worried if their kids will reach their potential through the education.
"I'm lucky my kids do well in school, so my goal isn't to get to a minimum standard," said Merih O'Donoghue, a Northern Middle School parent. "My goal is to get the kids to excel, going to college, going beyond college. I want to go to a competitive school, go into competitive careers, I don't want them to have a average standard."
"I just want her to be challenged, I don't want her to get bored," said Lisa Norgard, a Northern Middle School parent. "She is a higher learning, I want her to get the best possible education."
Williamson says Common Core State Standards are about students learning topics of various subjects to the very root, and applying them to real world situations. She understands the concerns of parents, but says the system will better prepare students for college and into their careers.
"Make sure the kids have a deeper understanding and take the information that they learn at math and use it in science without have to reach it in science and to read technical information critically," said Dr. Teri Williamson, Principal of Northern Middle School. "We would learn how to read that technical information not only in a ELA class, we would also read it in the science class."
Another concern for parents of advanced students is their children would no longer be separated into merit classes. They say the students with issues may pick on the advanced kids, making their education experience miserable, but Williamson says officials will work to enforce stricter discipline, if a situation arises.
"The more we engage kids into learning and they are the hardest working individual in the classroom, the more discipline goes down," says Williamson "There is plenty of research, that says engage students and their learning give them authentic tasks to do and they will grow."
More than 30 parents attended the Common Core State Standard meeting at Northern Middle School.