Program educates parents about Common Core

Published 3:00 am Wednesday, September 17, 2014

Speakers Gabriel Smith, Lisa Harris and Luca Bocci prepare to speak at the Stand in the Gap event Tuesday. (Messenger Photo / April Garon)

Speakers Gabriel Smith, Lisa Harris and Luca Bocci prepare to speak at the Stand in the Gap event Tuesday. (Messenger Photo / April Garon)


Concerned parents and other members of the community came to learn more about Common Core and a group taking a stand against the education reform Tuesday night at the “Stand in the Gap” event in Troy.

Stand in the Gap, which is touring across Alabama, is a Christian-based group that aims to inform and impassion parents to be a voice for their children in the newly reformed education system.

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“I want to inform parents of what they don’t know, dispel misconceptions and myths being put out by the Alabama State Department of Education,” Lisa Harris said.

Harris was one of the featured speakers at the event. She is a retired teacher and has researched the issue of Common Core and its impact in Alabama.

“My biggest concern is that these are untested, unproven standards,” Harris said. “Over 500 child psychology experts have deemed the them age inappropriate.”

Two concerned parents who attended the program, Frank and Diana Cole of Goshen, said their children’s attitudes about school have changed since Common Core has been implemented.

“They used to love to go to school,” Diana Senn said. “Now they hate it. The stress is unbearable. It’s hurting them mentally, physically, and setting them up for failure. It’s not set up for kids with ADHD or other special needs — you catch on or they leave you behind.”

Jennifer Macomb and her son Matt were among the speakers at the event. Macomb chose to homeschool her son after Common Core implementation because of stress he was experiencing.

“I have always loved learning and was excited about school,” Matt said. “I was excited to be a fifth-grader but quickly learned it wasn’t going to be a great year. I lost confidence in my abilities and had fears of failure and anxiety about school.”

Luca Bocci, an Italian journalist, was also a speaker during the event. Bocci specializes international affairs, geopolitics and finance and grew up during implementation of educational reforms in Italy. He says those reforms are very similar to Common Core. He said he wanted to focus on how this educational reform affected Italy and how it could affect America as a whole.

“The name is different, but the principal is the same,” Bocci said. “You can comply, say what they want you to say and get a good grade, or stand up and say you have a problem with the system.”