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Host: Scott LaMar

RST: PA Sec. of Education Carolyn Dumaresq on new Core Standards

Written by Scott LaMar, Smart Talk Host/Executive Producer | Sep 12, 2013 1:06 PM

What to look for on Radio Smart Talk Friday, September 13, 2013:

students taking tests 300 x 170.jpg

The State Board of Education approved the new Pennsylvania Core Standards on Thursday.

Pennsylvania's Acting Secretary of Education Carolyn Dumaresq will appear on Friday's Radio Smart Talk to explain and answer questions about the standards.

The Core Standards will require students to prove they are at grade level in several subjects by passing a series of standardized tests.  It is the first time Pennsylvania students will have to pass an exam in order to graduate.

The idea behind the Core Standards is that there are young people graduating high school who are not ready for college, the military or the workforce.  Core Standards is designed to ensure graduates have earned a diploma and are at grade level.

Critics say the curriculum is a national one and weakens local control of education, puts more emphasis on test-taking, and will be expensive.

Pennsylvania Core Standards still face further government scrutiny before being given final approval.

The class of 2017 would be the first to affected by the new rules.

Listen to the show:


Acting Education Secretary Carolyn Dumaresq

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  • Radio Smart Talk img 2013-09-13 08:29

    Cora from Enola emails:

    The host questioned why a child would be passed to the next grade if he/she has not reached grade level. Not all children grow physically at the same rate. They do not improve academically at the same rate.

    For example, a 2nd grader may improve by 5 months or 2 years in reading in a single school year. It would not be fair nor feasible to retain a 7 year old who was doing his or her best in school but did not achieve grade level in reading.

    Dr. Dumaresq was instrumental in starting the 4 year old 1/2 day and full day 5 year old kindergarten when superintendent of the Steelton-Highspire School District in the early 1980's. How does she feel about the dismantling of this early childhood program in that and other school districts. Does the state plan to assist districts in keeping early education?

  • John Orris img 2013-09-13 08:42

    The more test the system comes up with, the more students don't care.

    We're testing students into not caring about education.

  • Radio Smart Talk img 2013-09-13 08:46

    Michael emails:

    Why is there an assumption that everyone should graduate high school? Meaning, what is the purpose of schooling? If a degree signifies that one has accumulated a given skill set is it not a given that some won't make it? After all, why should society lower the bar simply to include more members?

    My point, these individuals need to find their calling and move on as sitting in a classroom is not for everyone.

  • Radio Smart Talk img 2013-09-13 08:49

    Matt from Mt. Joy emails:

    I understand that teachers are just testing the students on what they learned, but how are we teaching our kids to think critically?

    They are just told to memorize facts and spit them back out. I rather have a high school student be able to respond and be wrong than just spit back facts. I don't think tests are the answer.

  • Radio Smart Talk img 2013-09-13 08:51

    Angela emails:
    I hate when politicians develop standards for educating our children! They have no concept of what's going on.

    There are so many things that affect the education of our children and no one seems to care about being homeless, abused, neglected or hungry, under these circumstances how can you insure that ALL children will graduate having what they need to be productive citizens.

    We need to look at our Domestic Relations System which revenges and destroys the lives of so many families and the hardest hit are our children.

    Most of the children who are classified as special needs have the following things in common:
    1) poverty
    2) single parents household
    3) uneducated parents (drop-out or no education beyond high school)
    4) emotional or psychological problems

    Please tell me how the core standards will fit into the lives of these children? Teachers educate children 8 hours per day and they are cutting educational funding. Which leads to over-crowded classrooms and less qualified teachers?

  • Radio Smart Talk img 2013-09-13 08:56

    Michael emails:

    Which schools will be held to these standards… Public only, private? Charter? If only public, why? If we are funding vouchers shouldn't standards apply across the board?