Education Forum Draws Comments on Common Core, Pre-K

As reported in the Southern Maryland News, a panel of teachers, professors and college administrators fielded questions from an audience of more than 200, at a “Better Choices, Better Results” forum highlighting progress and remaining work to be done toward the O’Malley administration’s 16 strategic goals. As described,

The forum centered around three key aspects of O’ Malley’s education goal — early childhood education, college and career readiness, and college completion and affordability.

According to the article, several participants voiced support for expanding all-day pre-K.

St. Mary’s County Schools Superintendent Michael J. Martirano said each school district in the state offers half-day pre-kindergarten programs, and most offer Head Start. “What we’re fighting for in the state of Maryland is universal pre-K, all day for every pre-K [student],” he said, drawing applause.

There was also a discussion of Common Core, with teachers sharing challenges of adapting to the new curriculum.

Several teachers noted the hardships they’ve experienced implementing new Common Core education standards. Panel member Rhonda Holmes-Blankenship, a Cecil County teacher named the state’s 2013 teacher of the year, said teachers want to be more involved in determining the curriculum they teach to students. “Many of us were hardcore before Common Core,” she said.

This forum was part of a five-part series.  Upcoming forums will focus on sustainability, security, and public health.

For more information, see the full story from Southern Maryland News and this informational website on the Better Choices, Better Results series of forums.