Teachers, parents want better school standards - Valley News Live - KVLY/KXJB - Fargo/Grand Forks

Teachers, parents want better school standards

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Parents and teachers in Fargo are in uproar, trying to abolish a virtually untouchable set of national education standards.
A full house gathered at the Kelly Inn in Fargo Friday to learn more about the country's Common Core State Standards and how to get them out of our schools. Dr. Duke Pesta, Academic Director of FreedomProject Education, spoke to them about why this style of education may be hurting our kids.
Fargo is Pesta's 163rd stop on a tour around the country. He's paying a visit to communities everywhere because, he says, too many people don't understand how the Common Core Standards snuck into states, including North Dakota. He says lobbyist groups, who never consulted, polled or included teachers on how their students who should be taught are to blame.
"The people who wrote and copy-righted your standards, the standards that are transforming american public education, are utterly unaccountable to the taxpayers," Pesta said to a room full of people.
That's what brought Leah Peterson, a concerned parent, to find out why a national set of standards may not be the best option for her kids.
"I kind of started paying attention to things that are coming home from school and doing a little bit of research," Leah said about how she became involved in Pesta's message.
Pesta argues the national set of standards are impossible expectations for students everywhere to meet. 
"When you have these controlling tests that orchestrate everything, a lot of flexibility is lost for teachers, a lot of local control of what gets taught goes away and teachers find themselves having to teach to these prescriptive exams," He said on 6:30 POV.
2013-14 is the first school year North Dakota will be fully-implementing Common Core Standards to English and math.
"It's extremely important for me, as a parent, and for other parents who want the best education possible for our kids," Peterson said.
Pesta's nationwide tour is aimed at change. He's encouraging those who feel strongly about the issue to contact local and state representatives, because, he says, attempts to spark change at the federal level will be futile. 
"All Common Core is is an extenuation and a solidification of the failed methods of the past," he said.
To learn more about North Dakotans trying to stop Common Core Standards, click here.
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