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  Comments (2) Total Thursday Apr. 24, 2014
LETTER: Students will Benefit from Common Core Standards
Public school students in Montana under the direction of Denise Juneau, state superintendent of public instruction, are moving forward into the 21st century to implement Common Core Standards. After years of slowly slipping behind in student achievement, compared to other countries, Juneau not only worked with colleagues on this process, she also wanted to make sure it would be right for Montana students. Whether statewide or nationwide, American public education has served us well. However, now is the time to make it better to compete with the rest of the world. Juneau has been working with Montana teachers setting rigorous benchmarks, which will result in moving even the best state standards to the next level.

What are the Common Core Standards? As stated on the Montana’s Office of Public Instruction website: The standards are not curriculum. They are a clear set of shared goals and expectations for the knowledge and skills students need to each grade level in Math and English Language Arts and Literacy. Local educators will have the freedom to tailor appropriate curricula to achieve the Standards. Montana's public educational system, as supported by our State Constitution is for all students where ever they are, with a goal of quality education to empower all to be active and productive citizens, now and in the future.

Political "anti common core standards" groups are promoting false, fear tactics. They have created their own imaginary problems with the standards and a platform whereby they want the school districts and government to offer more choices. Unfortunately, these "anti" groups' common objective is to siphon off public money for their "choice" private schools, using Montana tax dollars for their own agendas and self interests. Their unannounced goals are a selective enrollment, selective curriculum which is narrowly focused, and relaxed requirements for teachers. Fortunately, every community already has choices to engage in a variety of private educational opportunities. Private schools are not required to adopt the standards, however many will be.

The simple truth is Montanans have a history of protecting and supporting a quality public educational system for all. The trail to school choice will not lead to utopia, but to constant conflict over our public school funding sources. Let's be real! Montana school districts do not have the means, the money, to subsidize private educational programs. Private and Christian education need to be free from state and local interference and government funding. Their financial support will come from scholarship programs, tuition, and fundraisers, as in the past. Montanans will look forward to the improvements the Common Core Standards will bring. Students will benefit. It is the honorable and stately thing to do for our students.

JoLynn Yenne
On 12-03-13, Gators commented....
WSJ article today 12/3 had the math scores of world and usa is way on the bottom.  Good job gov’t bogging this down to….but we can handle health care!!!
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