On October 15, 2013, Dr. Melody Schopp was the guest speaker at a Sioux Falls School District Common Core forum. In this Argus Leader Editorial, local parent Dawn Krikke responds to that forum.
I attended the informational meeting on the evening of Oct. 15 at the Instructional Planning Center. The topic was the Common Core standards, by Melody Schopp. I had concerns going in.
Yes, I could have gone to school board meetings — what the board uses as its only defense. OK, guilty. I didn’t. I didn’t think I had to. We have always been pleased with our children’s education, overall. Because of this, I never felt the need to be present — I voted for the board to represent me; they have served our children well — until now. What I witnessed on that night was distressing. Audience members were sharing from their hearts how their children, who loved school, now came home crying, often because of the confusion and hours of homework for 8-year-olds. Love of learning is plummeting. Frankly, even if I had attended every board meeting, I might not have objected to the standards as written. Sometimes, it takes something getting used to realize its downfalls. That is what is happening now, and the powers-that-be are sticking their heads in the sand.
What I witnessed Oct. 15 was coldness to the plights of our children. I was shocked. Are they just being stubborn, or have they truly consumed the proverbial Kool-Aid? A parent expressed that teachers he has spoken with do not feel like they can speak out about Common Core. To this, the audience clapped. Dr. Pam Homan then rebuked the audience for doing such a thing (it made her “angry”) — of course, teachers have the opportunity to express any concerns they have about Common Core, she replied. Doesn’t everyone know that if you complain, you take a chance of losing your job, no matter what your job is? Let’s continue the dialogue, for our children’s sake.
Dawn L. Krikke