ANNAPOLIS, Md. (AP) — The Maryland State Department of Education plans to host four regional forums over the next month to help explain the Common Core State Standards for schools.

State Superintendent Lillian Lowery and Maryland PTA President Ray Leone will attend the forums. The first will be held Sept. 10 at Easton High School in Talbot County.

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Forums are also scheduled for Sept. 16 at South Hagerstown High School in Washington County, Sept. 19 at Ridge Ruxton School in Baltimore County and Oct. 1 at Charles H. Flowers High School in Prince George’s County. The forums will run from 7 p.m. to 8:30 p.m.

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National polls show most people have never heard of the new standards that are changing classroom instruction. Maryland is one of 45 states and the District of Columbia that adopted the benchmarks.

William Reinhard, a spokesman for the state department of education, said the agency has fielded a number of questions about the Common Core standards. The forums, he said, are “an opportunity for parents and teachers, for that matter, to talk to the state superintendent directly.”

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