)Towson, MD) The Baltimore Sun reported about an Ellicott City parent, Robert Small, who was escorted out of a public forum held last Thursday by the Maryland Department of Education held in Towson, MD and then arrested charged with second-degree assault of a police officer. This was a question and answer forum and Small interrupted Baltimore County School Superintendent Dallas Dance.
Small said “you are not preparing them for Harvard.” He explained that he believed the Common Core State Standards lowers the standards of education for children in his school district. He said that the Common Core will only prepare students for community college.
The format of the forum did not allow the public to stand and ask questions directly. Instead they had to written on a piece of paper and submitted.
After Small started speaking, an off-duty police officer who was performing security duties, came over to escort Small out saying “let’s go, let’s go.”
Someone in the audience yelled, “let him ask his question.”
The police officer who showed Small his badge pulled toward the exit. As Small was being escorted out he said, “Don’t stand for this. You are sitting here like cattle.”
He then asked, “Is this America?”
The Sun reports that the police report said that Small attempted to push the officer away when he first confronted him. A YouTube video which went viral over the weekend shows the scene does not validate that claim. Watch below.
The Sun also reports, “The officer pushed Small and then escorted him into the hall, handcuffed him and had him sit on the curb in front of the school. He was taken to the Towson precinct and detained. Small was charged with second-degree assault of a police officer, which carries a fine of $2,500 and up to 10 years in prison, and disturbing a school operation, which carries a fine of $2,500 and up to six months.”
Small told The Sun on Friday, Look, I am being manhandled and shut down because I asked inconvenient questions. Why won’t they allow an open forum where there can be a debate? We are told to sit there and be lectured to about how great common core is.”
Agreed. Unfortunately the panel that consisted of Dallas Dance, Maryland State Superintendent of Schools Lillian Lowry, and others who decided which questions would be asked. Ann Miller who attended the meeting reported that her questions were actually edited as well.
Dr. Dance chose which questions to read or omit, opting for teacher and school administrator or softball questions. But he also altered the wording of the questions themselves.
My submitted question:
“What is the process for parents to review what data has been or will be collected on our kids, where it is stored, how it will be used, and with whom it has or will be shared? What are parents options for opting out of data collection on our kids?”
What Dr. Dance read:
“As a parent, I’ve heard a lot of information around the state Longitudinal Data system. What is the process to review what data is being collected on students, where is it stored, how will it be used, with whom will it be shared?”
After the question was answered, I called out, “Can parents opt out?”, but was ignored.
My submitted question:
“Although Common Core was adopted by MDE three years ago, in exchange for a quarter Billion dollar federal incentive grant through Race To The Top which is conditioned upon adherence to Common Core, parents weren’t informed until after its implementation. The MDE has not valued nor requested parental input. Instead, there was no transparency or even the courtesy of notifying parents much less consulting them. No wonder parents are up in arms. You’ve awakened the Mama Bear. Why haven’t parents across the state heard of Common Core until the month of its implementation?”
What Dr. Dance read:
“As a parent, I was a little disappointed that I’m just starting to hear so much information around the Common Core state standard. I want to be informed as most parents across our state. As a parent, how can I learn more information around Common Core?”
They had no interest in hearing what the public had to say. They crafted the questions and their response to push toward the result they’re already planning for.
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