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State SBA President comments on Common Core poll

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State SBA President comments on Common Core poll
By Matt Maccaro, MetroNews

CHARLESTON, W.Va. — A recent poll of county school board members shows division on feelings toward the Common Core teaching standards.

The survey was completed by 126 members, or roughly 46 percent, at a conference last month. West Virginia School Board Association President Greg Prudich said geography seemed to be a trend in how members responded.

“My observation is as you go north and north central (West Virginia), you see more opposition to Common Core. As you go south you see less,” Purdich said on Monday’s MetroNews “Talkline”.

Purdich said that coming to a consensus on Common Core and teaching standards is difficult because of the size and diversity of the members.

“There’s a lot of people in the organization; we have 275 members,” he said. “They’re spread all over the state. Like any organization that size you’re going to have a variety of viewpoints.”

One of the biggest concerns with Common Core standards is from parents who complain about not being able to help their children with their homework. Prudich admitted to having the same issue when his own children were in school.

“They’re saying, that’s not how we do it dad. That’s not what the teacher said. So I find myself scratching my head going I’m not sure how to approach this,” Prudich explained. “I relate this very much in my mind to the new math of decades ago and parents having the same complaint: I can’t help my child.”

Purdich thought that the many differing opinions would make it difficult to make wholesale changes in the system.

“We can try to improve the things people have issues with; repair and fix the things that we can make better going forward,” Prudich said. “But in terms of making a specific recommendation when it’s so close in terms of those who oppose and those who favor, it’s hard for an organization like ours to come down on one side or the other.”

WVSBA reports that of the 113 written responses, 77 “could be deemed as favorable toward or supportive of Common Core Standards.”  A central theme among those was a desire to “stay the course.”