Commone Core forum won’t be balanced for Hollis and Brookline

To the Editor:

Common Core Forum for Understanding sounds good…

But the impression that the Common Core Forum at the end of March will be “balanced” is misleading. The three confirmed speakers are well known anti-Common Core speakers. None of the invitees from the SAU 41, the New Hampshire Department of Education or State House Education Committee plan to attend.

Janet Hicks’ letter to the editor carefully stated “equal time has been offered to those on both sides of the issue,” but it’s pretty clear the organizers went out of their way to invite speakers with strong opposition to the Common Core and they did not reschedule or notify the public when the school officials saw the list, and declined. Though school officials gave various reasons for missing the event, several knew the confirmed speakers and said they are a “don’t confuse me with the facts” crowd, unconcerned with New Hampshire’s readiness to implement the new standards.

So the sides seem to be:

? Those responsible for bringing our schools up to the new standards and

? Those trying to stop the schools from making the new standards work

I’m all for airing our concerns and getting answers on what changing standards and new tests mean for our students, but a reasoned debate starts with respect for, and inclusion of, the people on the front lines. Bringing in a choir of nay-sayers confuses parent with fringe opinions that do not reflect New Hampshire’s reality on Common Core. Our teachers and our schools have worked long and hard to meet this challenge and they deserve our support.

Labeling forums where teachers and school administrators have spoken “political” implies our public school professionals have an agenda. Truth be told, they do: To provide the best possible 21st century education for our children.

The question remains: What agenda is served by the folks claiming loudly they have none?