The McDonough County Voice -
By Lainie Steelman
A group of parents in the Bushnell-Prairie City School District are rallying together against Common Core, the controversial, state-by-state initiative that sets new learning standards in English and math at each grade level.
Illinois joined more than 40 states in adopting Common Core learning standards. Rebecca Taylor, who has three children in elementary school, junior high and high school, initiated the group last month and started a Facebook page, “Stop Common Core in our school.”
The group plans to hold a meeting at 6 p.m. Wednesday at Bushnell’s VFW Park and to attend the Wednesday, Oct. 15, B-PC Board of Education meeting.
Taylor’s goal is encourage the school district to “opt out” of Common Core so that other school districts around the state can follow suit.
Taylor said she decided to band together parents opposed to Common Core after noticing Facebook comments about how children and parents alike were struggling with understanding math homework.
Under Common Core, children learn higher-level math at earlier grade levels. They’re also asked to think deeper, solve problems in more than one way and to explain how they know an answer.
State-standardized testing under Common Core has also changed. This year, students will take the PARCC, or Partnership for Assessment of Readiness for College and Careers, an online assessment designed to test students on Illinois’ new Common Core-aligned learning standards.
“The high schooler, he’s not affected by it yet,” Taylor said of Common Core. “My other two children, they don’t like it. They are struggling with it. They were both in high level math classes last year, but this year has been tough. I think it’s hard to throw in something completely new when they’ve been doing it one way for so long.”