Bzik is right: Look at Common Core facts

To the Editor:

I was pleased to see that Diane Bzik, of Bedford, was wearing her critical thinking cap while reading the Bedford Journal’s piece on BCTV’s programming.

What I believe she was trying to highlight was the nature of the announcement, which clearly favored one side of the debate on the Common Core state standards over the other. I, too, was dismayed by the announcement. Even in this short coverage of the BCTV program, the Journal dedicated more than 20 lines to describe the anti-Common Core movement, and only three lines signifying why state governments and education professionals across the nation support it. While it wasn’t a news story, the coverage did little to provide the people of Bedford with a balanced understanding of the dispute.

The debate over these standards is growing considerably in the Granite State, with the ultra-conservative Cornerstorne Action Group at the helm. The group has mobilized an angry and vocal subset of the population in the state and has inundated local papers and television programs with its message. In education research and policy circles, Sandra Stotsky, the BCTV guest for this program, is known as an ultra-conservative, anti-standards pundit. These may be people with whom some Journal readers identify. That is their prerogative, of course.

However, I encourage everyone else to look past this organization’s deafening roar, and to investigate the facts for themselves.

It is within a democratic public’s role to question and weigh in on school curriculum and policy debates. While most education policies have some flaws, Common Core does have merit, including its effort to encourage and elicit the very critical thinking skills Diane Bzik displayed in her observations on this piece in the Journal. We should remember that we live in a community that is consistently ranked among the top 10 in the state by most indicators of educational excellence, and that the teachers and administrators in Bedford schools work extraordinarily hard in our children’s interest, and for our community. I, for one, believe that the intentions of these professionals are both genuine and informed.

The standards are available online at www.corestandards.org/the-standards.

Go to the website, choose “Math” or “Language Arts,” choose your child’s grade band from the drop-down menu and see the standards for yourself.

DIANNA GAHLSDORF TERRELL

Bedford