Reporting Derek Valcourt
TOWSON, Md. (WJZ) — Prosecutors have decided to drop all charges against a Baltimore County father arrested after repeatedly questioning school administrators at a town hall meeting. The confrontation was all caught on camera.
Derek Valcourt has more on the controversy.
The blow-up was over a new standardized curriculum. It has some parents pretty concerned and others downright frustrated.
Parent Adam Small decided to speak up rather than write down his questions at a town hall-style meeting with Baltimore County school officials. That’s when a security officer stepped in, flashing his police badge.
“Listen, don’t stand for this. You’re sitting here like cattle. You have questions, confront them. They don’t want to do it in public,” Small said on the tape.
Small was literally pushed and pulled out of the meeting. He was handcuffed and charged with assaulting an officer.
“I was outraged when I saw the video of what happened to this father,” said Stephanie Morgan.
Morgan joins Small in raising concerns about what’s called the Common Core State Standards–new curricula implemented this year in math and English/language arts and eventually new standardized testing, all designed to make sure graduating seniors meet basic skills to prepare them for college or the workforce.
Maryland was among the first of 45 states the voluntarily signed on to Common Core.
State school officials insist teachers will still have lots of control over how they are able to instruct.
“But what will be different is the idea that students…again, there is going to be a focus on critical thinking, on applying what they learn to real life situations,” said Judy Jenkins, Maryland Department of Education.
“What’s wrong with that? Well, it doesn’t meet the specific needs of each child. Children learn differently; they don’t all learn the same,” said Stephanie Morgan, Stop Common Core in Maryland. “It will succeed better if you leave the decisions that are related to standards, curriculums [sic], teaching methods, if you leave that to teachers and parents and principals.”
As for that outspoken dad, late Monday, prosecutors decided that while Small did disrupt the meeting and the officer was within his rights, further prosecution will not accomplish anything.
Baltimore County Schools Superintendent did admit he learned a lesson from the town hall meeting and can do a better job explaining and communicating Common Core. Additional information will be posted on its website.