Common Core critics targeting our County Schools administrators?

Nevada County Superintendent of Schools Holly Hermansen is responding to a letter being sent to school administrators and the media by two board members, Marianne Slade-Troutman and Jack Meeks, about disbursement of funds for the district, including Common Core Teacher Experts.

Common Core curriculum is an effort to create voluntary national standards and testing for Math and English. But some conservatives claim it’s being used to promote a “liberal agenda.” “The Tea Party’s Next Bogeyman: Obama’s Common Core Conspiracy” is here.

Hermansen’s response seeks to respond to concerns and clarify points raised by the two board members.

The letter from the two board members is here: letter from board members.

This is Hermansen’s response:

“Nevada County Administrators,

“I want to offer some clarification regarding a letter you may have or will receive from Marianne Slade-Troutman and Jack Meeks. They are two members of the Nevada County Board of Education who sit self-appointed on a budget committee. The letter you received has not been approved or discussed by the rest of the county board or my staff. The areas that were addressed in the letter have been created independently by Ms. Slade-Troutman and Mr. Meeks.

“Just to clarify a couple of points made in the letter. Our office is receiving additional funds from the new Local Control Funding Formula (LCFF). I have been working with my staff and the district superintendents to come up with thoughtful and meaningful ways to use the funds to support our districts and charter schools in Nevada County.

“At the October County Board Meeting the county board approved a plan submitted by me to hire a Director of Curriculum and Instruction, Common Core Teacher Experts, a School Safety Coordinator and a Behavior Specialist. These positions are all intended to provide a greater level of county office support to all of our schools in Nevada County. The board approved the positions with a 3-2 vote with Ms. Slade-Troutman and Mr. Meeks opposing

“I will continue to be thoughtful in our approach regarding providing effective and efficient county office programs and services to our local schools.

“Regarding the comments in the letter about a new facility for the county office, it is true that it is my opinion that the county office needs larger facilities. As all of you know, our staff development and training facilities are very limited. In addition, our staff are spread across three locations which makes for inefficient operations.

“I believe that we could find a facility to lease or purchase that would be at least cost neutral by consolidating our existing facilities. I have no intention of using the new LCFF funds for this purpose, as I have been discussing new facilities with the county board for over two years, long before we were even aware of LCFF. One of the benefits of doing this would be to be able to provide higher quality staff development opportunities for all educators in the county.

“If you have any questions about the letter you received or my response, please do not hesitate to contact me.


Author: jeffpelline

Jeff Pelline is a veteran editor and award-winning journalist - in print and online. He is publisher of Sierra FoodWineArt magazine and its website Jeff covered business and technology for The San Francisco Chronicle for 12 years, and he was a founding editor and Editor of CNET News for eight years, among other positions. Jeff has a bachelor's degree from UC Berkeley and a master's from Northwestern University. His hobbies include sailing, swimming, and trout fishing in the Sierra.

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