Nashville School Board Candidates Wander All Over The Map On Common Core

It's been primarily conservative groups protesting Common Core. This is a photo from a Sacramento protest. Many see the standards as a federal take over of the education system. Credit: Steve Rhodes via Flickr

It’s been primarily conservative groups protesting Common Core, though liberal organizations have also criticized the standards. This is a photo from a Sacramento protest. Many see the standards as a federal take over of the education system. Credit: Steve Rhodes via Flickr

Common Core has become a clear differentiator in Nashville’s school board races. Incumbents are confident in the new education standards adopted by most states. Challengers range from confused to fed up.

WPLN asked all the candidates for Metro school board if they have reservations about Common Core. Pam Swoner – who is running in the McGavock High School cluster – says she’s ready to scrap Common Core because it’s too confusing to kids.

“We need to be go back to a basic structure where there is fundamental information given to the children and give them some time outside so they can run and play and make them happy.” 

Board candidate Bernie Driscoll in the Overton cluster goes the other way, saying Common Core isn’t hard enough.

But all of the incumbents said they have no doubts.

Cheryl Mayes is the current board chair running for reelection.

““I’ve visited classrooms where I’ve seen children who are in a math class in fifth grade and they are asking one another about how they come up with the answer as opposed sitting down, reading the answer on the board and moving on to something else,” Mayes says.

Common Core is meant to encourage a deeper understanding rather than rote memorization. Mayes says those who question the standards “don’t really understand it.”

Early voting in school board elections runs through Aug. 2. Election Day is Aug. 7.

In this video, Metro Schools tries to boil down what Common Core is.

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