Wednesday, March 12, 2014
At their regularly scheduled meeting on Feb. 24, Dorchester School District Two board members chose to table the decision to implement the Common Core State Standards (CCSS) initiative into the school system.
The subject was revisited at Monday night’s board meeting and this time board members chose to un-table the decision, but did not make any move on whether to implement or not implement the CCSS.
The CSS for English Language Arts and for Mathematics were adopted by South Carolina as its standards in English Language Arts and Mathematics in July 2010. The standards were chosen to be implemented into the 2014-15 school year.
At the February meeting Assistant Superintendent Sean Alford informed the board that a survey response from educators within the school system leaned in favor of implementing the CCSS.
In his talking points Alford explained the CCSS serve “as a cornerstone for advancing critical thought, collaboration, creativity and communication within classrooms across our nation, state and community.”
DD2 had originally been asked to provide a written statement expressing their position on implementing CCSS. For that February meeting a written statement expressed DD2’s position on the matter, and explained that as teachers are incorporating CCSS into their classroom instruction, they are adjusting to a more “demanding” expectation for all students, including the integration of modern instructional technologies. Overall, the standpoint at the time was that CCSS helped better prepare students for college and career success.
Currently the national school board and the state school board have not taken a stance on the matter.
Board member Tanya Robinson was not present at Monday night’s meeting but wrote in her thoughts on implementing the CCSS: “If the national school board has chosen not to take a stance on CCSS, and our state board has also decided not to take a stance in light of new information, then I feel as a local district it would be best for us to do the same until everything else is nailed down better.”
Chairwoman Gail Hughes said she agreed full-heartedly with Robinson. “We don’t know what’s going to happen with it at this point,” Hughes said. “I don’t think it is something we should do at this point.”
Therefore, board members agreed to take it off the table, and chose not to vote on whether they were for or against it since that would mean taking a stance.
Also present at the board meeting was honorary board member Gavin Williams, a fourth grade student at Beech Hill Elementary. He is a member of the Beech Hill Drumline and participates in the Unicycle WERD Club.
At the end of the board meeting Hughes asked Williams to share his experience with serving as an honorary board member. He said he already had some familiarity with CCSS.
“In the morning we do Common Core sessions in our notebook,” he said.