School Committee member Scott Fuller continued his attack on the implementation of the Common Core State Standards in Barrington at its meeting Thursday night, Jan. 23.
It led to what Fuller saw as an attempt to silence his dissent on the Common Core.
Fuller asked that continued discussion of the Common Core be placed on Thursday’s agenda. He used that discussion to cite, in particular, the legislation filed in the State House last week to form a task force to study the Common Core for a year and delay its implementation statewide “until the task force gets the public to understand what is happening” and the costs of the implementation.
Fuller, in fact, read the entire legislation into the record. It was filed by Rep. Gregg Amore, a fellow teacher in East Providence, with four co-sponsors. Fuller is a math teacher in Cumberland.
It was after Fuller read the legislation into the record that several of his colleagues on the committee seemed to support a suggestion made by School Committee member Robert Shea that future discussions of the Common Core be at the discretion of the chairperson, Kate Brody.
Shea said he would like any future discussion to focus only on the implementation given the School Committee’s 4-1 vote last week in favor of a resolution that strongly supports the implementation of Common Core in the Barrington schools.
Student Representative Tim Connor, a non-voting member, agreed. He said the School Committee “needs to move forward with what we have.”
Brody said she would consider limiting future discussion of the Common Core to when Superintendent Mike Messore sees the need to bring it up as the implementation in Barrington continues.
Fuller immediately interpreted the suggestion to limit his ability to get Common Core on the agenda as an effort to limit his criticism.
“We’ve never been restricted before on any item we want to put on the agenda,” said Fuller. “I object in most strenuous terms. I would like the opportunity to have it on the agenda.”
Brody said she respected Fuller’s position on the Common Core and the democratic process. But she did not want it to become a permanent agenda item.
“I will ask from time to time to put it on here,” said Fuller, who does not feel it should show up only when the superintendent wants it there.
“I’m just happy we’re having a conversation,” he said. “So much is just coming out now.”
“It has gotten the attention it deserves over the past few weeks,” said School Committee Vice Chairperson Paula Dominguez. “The attention already devoted to it has been good.”
That led to a separate discussion of the protocol surrounding the creation of an agenda for each School Committee meeting. It will be the lead item at a governance workshop being planned by the School Committee, said Brody.