Barrington will host forum on Common Core


The Barrington Education Foundation and Barrington Public Schools are sponsoring an information session on the new Common Core State Standards on Tuesday, Jan. 28 at 7 p.m. The forum will be held in the Barrington High School auditorium.

The Common Core State Standards, which were adopted by Rhode Island in 2010, have been discussed and debated across the country and locally as well. Just last Thursday night, the Barrington School Committee listened to testimony from a half-dozen local parents who criticized the new state standards.

Some parents, such as Tad Segal, said he held Barrington educators in the highest regard. He said local teachers and administrators do a great job educating local students, but felt the Common Core State Standards would "handcuff" them. He said the standards were untested and appeared to be a "gamble."

"I don't think we're gambling people," Mr. Segal added.

Other parents, including Laura Larrivee, told school committee members that many states that had initially agreed to implement the new state standards were now reconsidering. Ms. Larrivee listed off some of the states and also told the local school board that the costs associated with implementing the Common Core were unknown.

Barrington School Committee members Patrick Guida, Paula Dominguez, Bob Shea and Kate Brody voiced strong support for the Common Core and how the standards would "raise the bar" for academic achievements here in Barrington and across the country. School committee student representative Timothy Connor agreed and said American students were being out-paced by their peers from other countries.

School committee member Scott Fuller offered lengthy testimony about the problems with the Common Core and quoted numerous education officials who were critical about the standards. Mr. Fuller was the lone member of the school committee who voted against a resolution to reaffirm support for the Common Core.

At the Jan. 28 forum, Mary Ann Snider and Phyllis Lynch from the Rhode Island Department of Education, and "education ambassadors" Pam O'Day and Kristen Sparfven and some Barrington teachers will try to shed  light on the Common Core and show people how the standards are being incorporated into local curriculum.

The presentation will start at 7 and be followed by a question-and-answer session.

The event is free and open to the public.


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Jim McGaw

A lifelong Portsmouth resident, Jim graduated from Portsmouth High School in 1982 and earned a journalism degree from the University of Rhode Island in 1986. He's worked two different stints at East Bay Newspapers, for a total of 18 years with the company so far. When not running all over town bringing you the news from Portsmouth, Jim listens to lots and lots and lots of music, watches obscure silent films from the '20s and usually has three books going at once. He also loves to cook crazy New Orleans dishes for his wife of 25 years, Michelle, and their two sons, Jake and Max.