A visitor to the Tyler County Board of Education's meeting on Sept. 3 questioned the curriculum program called Common Core.
Fred Dailey discussed concerns that he and his friends have about a curriculum program called Common Core. Dailey is a Pleasants County resident and a member of a group called Constitutional Advocates. He stated he spent most of his working life in Tyler County and has many friends here.
"There are a lot of things that concern us going on today," said Dailey. "With the NSA spying on citizens and the IRS after conservatives who believe in the constitution."
He expressed concern that Common Core was a step toward "nationalizing the education system." He said that his group would like to have the representation of officials to stop this from happening.
"We don't want an outside agency or the federal government, even the state government, meddling in the business which we believe is the community's business."
He encouraged the board to look into the other side of Common Core. Although acknowledging that there are some good things in the program, he said that particular aspects of it are disturbing.
"Our governor signed a memorandum that basically signed up the state to Common Core and basically gives away the state's rights to a consorting group to develop the standards which we the state would adopt, without necessarily having anybody in the state necessarily involved.
"When we met with West Virginia Board of Education, Gayle Manchin stood up afterward and said that the teachers in West Virginia helped develop the standards. Not true at all. There were no teachers in West Virginia that helped develop those (standards). In fact, two weeks later in the legislative meeting, one of the board members corrected that statement and said they (W.Va. teachers) reviewed them. Our teachers never had a chance to get involved in Common Core."
As well as the consorting group, Dailey said that the program would also be used to collect data on students.
"In that letter the (state) superintendent sent you all, it said the data won't be shared. Our governor signed a legal contract that said it will be. It will be shared with the other states, and they have a contract that says they will share it with the federal government and third parties."
He suggested that a law can be enacted to prevent that data from being shared with other states. However, he stated that this collection of data is what drives Common Core.
Dailey spoke highly of the reputation of the Tyler County school system, saying he would hate to see it "diluted" over time. He asked the board to look into the cost and data aspects, as well as the decisions that would be taken out of their hands if the program was implemented. He asked that a discussion about Common Core be placed on the agenda for the Sept. 30 meeting, at which time he said another representative could more fully explain the issues.
"Thank you for coming," said School Board President Linda Hoover. "We appreciate it."
Other board members also thanked Dailey and members of Constitutional Advocates for coming to the meeting.