PBC parents lash out about new school curriculum - Fox29 WFLX TV, West Palm Beach, FL-news & weather

PBC parents lash out about new school curriculum

By John Bachman - bio | email
Posted by Rachel Leigh - email

BOCA RATON, FL (WFLX) - The seat gets hotter for Palm Beach County's chief academic officer Jeffrey Hernandez with opposition to the new curriculum he's heading up growing. Parents are frustrated and say students and teachers are suffering at the expense of rigid standards and too many tests.

Parents said again Tuesday night after leaving a PTSA meeting at Spanish River High School they don't feel like their concerns and questions are being answered. Parents and teachers say, as we get deeper into the school year, this new curriculum doing more harm than good.

Palm Beach County Chief Academic officer Jeffrey Hernandez faced another angry group of parents and teachers at Spanish River High school Tuesday.

Parents from across the county made signs and dressed in orange to protest these new educational standards.

"My husband and I have already talked about, you know, private schools, and what we need to do to afford that because this is absolutely devastating," said parent Jennifer Munsterteiger.

"We are all different," said parent Kira Bossis. "We all learn differently. It doesn't make sense."

Hernandez spent almost an hour trying to calm parents down and address their questions about new exams called embedded assessments, and other changes teachers say have been forced on them this school year.

But his explanations did little to relax the crowd. Some people even walked out. At one point School Board Member Frank Barbieri took the mic... and the side of parents.

"I can give you the names of 20 principals, who asked me not to give you their names for fear of retribution, that say that it's not working in their schools." Barbiera told Hernandez in front of the crowded school media center.

Barbieri told Hernandez that it's time to sit down with Principals and teachers to find out what changes need to be made to make this work. And when the meeting was over, we asked parents if they felt like their concerns and questions were answered.

"I would like to know how they are going to change what's wrong with this and we never get that answer. It's just thanks for the feedback," Karen Samuel, a parent, said on her way out.

"Their questions and concerns are being addressed. Now it might not be the answers that they want hear are being addressed with what we have to do as a district," said Hernandez.

Hernandez also said after the meeting that they are making some "modifications" to the Advanced Placement classes and more could be on the way. Parents say they won't stop with the orange and the protests until they see the changes they want. Fewer tests and more control for teachers and administrators at the school level.

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