State education commissioner's Common Core presentation brings skeptics out to Bedford
But school board members, educators and parents from the Greater Manchester area also showed up for the meeting.
Some in the audience, including Manchester Mayor Ted Gatsas, who chairs the city's Board of School Committee, said Barry's presentation left too many questions unanswered.
In response to a question from Gatsas, Barry said local districts can put off implementation until 2015 and referred to "assessments" that would then be taken of local districts to determine if they are meeting student needs.
"The question is, what will we do after two years," Gatsas said. "If we're still waiting for (a) waiver not to have to test students that aren't even proficient in their own language, I hope we can step back and tell the federal government we don't want to play any more."
Many the audience came wearing red as a sign of opposition to the proposed overhaul of public education. Some objected to the general idea of the federal government seemingly imposing its will on local school districts, while others say they find fault with the specific curriculum structure and testing plans.
Gatsas said Manchester may follow the lead of Massachusetts, which developed its own curriculum frameworks and assessment tests.
A comment from Barry that the federal government is not leading the Common Core push was met by audible groans from the audience.
"I hear all too often that the students don't care," she said. "Yeah they do, but they have to be in an environment that makes sense to them and they want to be fully engaged."
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