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Rancho Santa Fe School District hears Common Core concerns

By Karen Billing

This 2014-15 school year is the year when schools across the country will adopt the new Common Core State Standards, but at least one Rancho Santa Fe School District parent is asking, “Why do we have to do what everybody else does?”

Parent Ann Golden approached the school board at its Aug. 21 meeting to start a discussion about why the district has to change its “well-implemented, established” curriculum, which has worked, to the new Common Core and whether it really is the best thing for students.

“We’re a one-school district, which allows us to be very unique and independent,” Golden said. “Adopting Common Core held us back and slowed us down. We didn’t meet some of our benchmarks last year.”

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Golden suggested the district look at the top-performing schools, both private and public, and see what they are doing. She said the district needs to demand the toughest curriculum available and the school should be No. 1 in the county.

“Let’s do what’s best for kids and make our standard really high, even higher than Common Core,” Golden said.

RSF School District Superintendent Lindy Delaney said she sent a letter home to parents this week as the district is looking to discuss these types of issues in a forum setting.

Board trustee Todd Frank said they consider the standards to be “just the entry point”— he said they want to educate and prepare students the best they can, regardless of what another organization is telling them to do.

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“We demand that they (district teachers) teach beyond the standards,” said trustee Marti Ritto.

Parent meetings have been scheduled to discuss the standards of the math and English Language Arts curriculum:

• Sept.  23 at 8:05 a.m. K-5 mathematics curriculum overview and Q & A for parents and K-5 mathematics classroom visits led by Principal Kim Pinkerton and mathematics specialist Phyllis Slotnick

• Sept. 30 at 8:05 a.m. 6-8 mathematics curriculum overview and Q & A for parents and 6-8 mathematics classroom visits led by Principal Garrett Corduan and mathematics specialist Lori Edwards

• Oct. 14 at 8:05 a.m. K-5 ELA curriculum overview and Q & A for parents and K-5 ELA classroom visits led by Principal Pinkerton and ELA specialist, Lindsey Conley

• Oct. 21 at 8:05 a.m. 6-8 ELA curriculum overview and Q & A for parents and 6-8 ELA classroom visits led by Principal Garrett Corduan and ELA specialist Darcy Gleisberg


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