Some educators baffled over 'Common Core' outrage

Some educators baffled over 'Common Core' outrage »Play Video

BEAVERTON, Ore. – There's a growing movement here and in other parts of the country that's saying "Common Core" isn't fair, but that has some educators scratching their heads.

Both Oregon and Washington are using the new program, which is a new way of testing students.

The contentiousness of the issue from across the country was on display in Maryland when a parent there got so angry with the Common Core curriculum he was thrown out of a school board meeting.

Beaverton parent Jason Schmidt, who KATU interviewed for a story Wednesday, was far more measured in his displeasure.

"They're going to be teaching even more to the tests now," he told a reporter.

But chief academic officer for the Beaverton School District, Maureen Callahan, is a bit baffled by the outrage. She says Common Core prepares kids for the real world and real-world problem solving.

"They have increased the challenge of being able to think critically, so how do you analyze text? How do you pose an argument and support it with evidence?" she said Thursday.

Oregon and Washington are among 46 states that volunteered to use Common Core. Washington tests start this spring. Oregon starts a year later. Both began preparing kids in 2011.

Under Common Core, tests are given every year, kindergarten through twelfth-grade, instead of every few years.

Some parents say Common Core doesn't account for creativity and it will be too hard for some students and too easy for gifted kids.

"I think that is one of our challenges, how do we communicate the changes in standards?" Callahan said. "Based on kids being college and career ready, and we've changed them based on what we know about how human beings learn."

Some critics note there's federal financial incentives for school districts to use Common Core. And some parents are worried local districts don't have enough say in how the test works.

The Beaverton School District is hosting its third parent meeting next Thursday night.