House Education Committee Chair on Common Core: “We are failing our students”

MORGANTOWN, W.Va. — This weekend, Morgantown will host a town hall forum on Common Core education standards.

Educators are expected to raise questions about the transparency of the standards, how they’re implemented and their impact on students and teachers.

Schools in our region will begin, or have already begun, administering the Smarter Balanced Assessments, as some families in other parts of the state are attempting to opt out of those standardized exams.

Monongalia County Delegate Amanda Pasdon (R), chairwoman of the House Education Committee, is adamant that what she calls “nationalized education” is not benefiting West Virginia students.

“They are essentially a re-make of what we’ve had in WV in previous years. My question to the state board and department of education is ‘Why would you want to rehash a set of standards this is obviously not working for our students?'”, Pasdon remarked Tuesday on The Mike Queen Show on WAJR FM.

The standards, designed to improve education and compare student learning from state to state, require online testing. Statewide, teachers have said they don’t have the resources to administer the test. Pasdon questions the payoff of taking time out of the regular curriculum for testing.

“You know we talk about holding ourselves to a 180 calendar where students come in and out of the door 180 days. But, we’re losing quality instructional time when we’re taking weeks to test students, “argued Pasdon.

According to Pasdon, there are no state laws that force parents to allow their children to be tested. She said state board of education policies say schools systems must test annually.

“I think drawing a line in the sand and saying ‘Well if you don’t take the test, you’re suspended,’ is not the way to go,” Pasdon commented. “That is just more evidence of how we are failing our students in public education in the state of West Virginia.”

This is the first year of the Smarter Balanced Assessments. Next year, results are expected to be measured.

That Common Core Morgantown Town Hall Forum is Saturday April 25. It’s from 7:00 p.m. to 8:30 p.m. at the Marilla Center.