Arkansas Education Commissioner Dr. Tom Kimbrell testified before lawmakers Tuesday in the House and Senate Education Committee.
Kimbrell said he believed that new Common Core standards will not only mean that every Arkansas classroom will be held to the same standards, but that the children will achieve the same level of education. That's not to say the education will be the same in every classroom. Kimbrell told lawmakers that teachers will be allowed to instruct however they best can, but at the end of the year, the core standards must be achieved.
"We're not dictating this method, this model or anything of that nature. We just want kids to be able to, if you look at this common core standard, by the end of the year read and comprehend informational text including history, social studies, science and informational tech. That doesn't say here's how you do it," said Kimbrell.
The concern about a teacher's freedom was just one of many expressed during the hearing. Another serious concern brought up by lawmakers is the federal government's involvement in Common Core. The government funds the program in part, and some lawmakers worried that eventually the federal government would infiltrate Arkansas education.
Kimbrell said if Arkansas chose to adapt or change the program tomorrow, it could. It is not under federal control and would never be under his watch.