Group Forms After Man Arrested for Questioning Common Core: Blogger Spotlight

A new group that will advocate for “quality education in Baltimore County” is forming in the aftermath of an arrest at a public forum on education that went viral.

Charges against the Ellicott City man, Larry Small, who was arrested after speaking out at a meeting on new national education standards, known as Common Core school standards were dropped Monday by the Baltimore County State's Attorney.

Towson Patch Blogger Meg O’Hare writes that the name of the group is EXPECT. She urged concerned parents to contact Baltimore County Schools Superintendent Dallas Dance and ask him to share more information about curriculum and the Common Core standards.

“EXPECT is not a cute acronym, but rather connotes that members of the group EXPECT effective, equitable and quality public education for Baltimore County students Pre-K to 12,” she writes.

O’Hare said of Small’s arrest:

“I guess this is what America has degenerated into. It is the police state we thought was fantasy when Orwell wrote 1984 64 years ago.”

Small, of the 10200 block of Maxine Street in Ellicott City, was arrested Thursday night and charged with disturbing school operations and second-degree assault after he allegedly disrupted a public meeting with Maryland State Schools Superintendent Lillian Lowery.

Baltimore County Schools Superintendent Dallas Dance Monday afternoon released a statement saying the "meeting helped us realize that we must do a better job of communicating what the Common Core is and what it is not."

"We have to ensure that our parents and community members understand that the Common Core allows us to implement our own curriculum, written by us, for us," Dance said in his statement. "This gives us the flexibility to ensure that we are meeting the needs specific to our children in Baltimore County."

O’Hare urged anyone who wants to join EXPECT to email contact@expectall.org.

Have something to say about education in Baltimore County? Blog about it. Questions about getting started? Email Community Editor Lisa Rossi at lisa.rossi@patch.com

Tom Dee September 24, 2013 at 05:38 PM
Kudos to Mr. Small. He was the bigger man of the two. The police officer, I mean Security Guard obviously tried to provoke Mr. Small.
Southland Hills Mom September 24, 2013 at 06:50 PM
To Meg O'Hare. Why don't you post the Common Core curriculum instead of just stirring up the masses? Let people read it and then make specific comments on what they like and don't like. I am willing to bet that most of your rabble rousers have no idea what is even in the Common Core. Knee jerk politics are tiresome for everyone. And finally, tell us SPECIFCALLY what you don't like about the Common Core curriculum. Don't hide behind your anti big government speil (sp), I want details and intelligent discourse.
Fran Shaw September 24, 2013 at 07:54 PM
He was not arrested for disagreeing with the curriculum. He was arrested for creating a disturbance and pushing a police officer. He also insulted everyone there by calling them 'cattle' because they followed the rules set out by the program. Did he bother to submit questions himself? A 'police state'? Please. In a police state there would have been no meeting, and Mr. Smalls would have faced far more serious penalties. If you want to debate the quality of the curriculum, don't let the process degenerate into labeling and name-calling. The loudest mouth isn't always correct.
Sean Tully September 24, 2013 at 08:28 PM
The guy broke the rules of the meeting. He should have been kicked out and if he assaulted a police officer, he should have been arrested. He doesn't even live in Baltimore County and his kids go to Howard Co. schools. Why doesn't he disturb HoCo meetings? Nay, he's no folk hero. He's a anarchist.
Lily September 24, 2013 at 09:07 PM
If you want to discuss Common Core in an online forum with other BCPS parents you can do so here: http://www.BCPSparents.com
Southland Hills Mom September 24, 2013 at 09:33 PM
Thanks, Lily, I look forward to checking it out. Wish Meg O'Hare had not gone and formed yet another group, though based on her blogs, she has another agenda besides our kids education.
Buck Harmon September 25, 2013 at 08:43 AM
Great job Meg O'Hare, and thanks for using your real name as well. Those that hide behind fake names are likely related to the appointed school board members or the corrupt, bad cop. The video of this tragic incident CLEARLY shows that the meeting was fixed and the questions submitted by very real concerned parents were not being addressed or read as they were written. Lets face it, that's the reason that this type of forum was used in the first place...so that questions could be "pre approved" or softened to assist the Common Core agenda. Many very concerned parents expressed their dis-satisfaction with the way that the meeting was being conducted and Mr. Small, out of concern for his childrens education stood up and attempted to get some answers that were obviously being avoided for some reason. I would like to know the reason that they were avoiding truthful answers to some rather difficult questions. The behavior of the board was deplorable and the cop was a bully...he should be fired and prosecuted as well . Why hide behind a fake name Southland Hills Mom?, sounds like a school board tactic to me
Buck Harmon September 25, 2013 at 08:53 AM
Sean Tully, School Board meeting rules do not and never have trumped a citizens First Amendment Rights...especially when the rules have been created to achieve a specific desired outcome...that would be a socialist style tactic in my opinion. The fact the Mr. Small lives outside of Baltimore County has nothing at all to do with his attending the meeting..grasping at straws there Sean, the meeting was open to ALL Marylander's, as they all are. Here's a little video that will give you the basics of Common Core alond with the humour that it has earned..https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=lX7ddVUuf-E
Buck Harmon September 25, 2013 at 09:01 AM
Fran Shaw, The concerned parent did not create the disturbance that you speak of here, the BOE and the cop designed the disturbance by the creation of a fixed meeting style....these people that are appointed, not elected should have enough brain power to realize that you can not re-word the questions that were submitted by concerned parents, or in many cases completely ignore them....they expected a disturbance or they would not have had a bully off duty cop in attendance to strongarm those that don't accept bad behavior from the BOE in Baltimore Co., a politically motivated board rather than an educating board.
Southland Hills Mom September 25, 2013 at 09:38 AM
Buck, were you at the meeting? I was not. However, many who were there felt Mr. Small attempted to hijack the meeting for his own purposes, was rude and obnoxious, and tried to replace the rules of the meeting with anarchy. The 1st admendment does not give any person the right to disrupt a meeting such as this one. In the spirit of free speech though, Mr. Small should host his own meeting or hold a rally. I would like to hear more about his objections. In addition to working with the school Board when it came to overccrowded schools in Towson, parents held rallys and protests to bring the issue to the public. It worked, and we didn't even have to get arrested along the way. btw, my name is Jennifer Bolster. I agree with your "use your real name" demand. I just have been too lazy to change the original moniker. i will get a new one soon.
Buck Harmon September 25, 2013 at 10:00 AM
Jennifer, The Towson meetings that you refer to here were not of the same controlling design...they were open and perhaps honest...the Common Core meeting did not create open honest dialog and the failure falls to the appointed School Board with this one. I have heard of no one that felt that Mr. Small attempted to hijack the meeting, but rather have heard from a number of people that were in attendance that the meeting was designed and run poorly, and that the questions that were submitted by concerned parents were not being addressed as they were written. Various video's give a clear picture of how the meeting was being conducted and they don't indicate that Mr. Small broke any law or intentionally caused a disturbance...he was simply frustrated and disappointed with the fact that the school board created a meeting that allowed themselves to completely control it's content and outcome...hardly an open public forum in my opinion....Thanks for sharing your real name by the way, But for me, it doesn't Bolster your argument of approval for the behavior of this School Board or the bully cop.
Cal Oren September 25, 2013 at 10:07 AM
Without any knowledge of the meeting format and rules, here is what is evident from the video: those running this meeting wanted to stifle dissent, and were willing to use force to do so. Why not let the speaker talk until he was finished? Because he would break someone's rules? What is the worst thing that could have happened if they quit interrupting him and just let him talk? He may have gone on for three or four minutes, after which he would be out of things to say. Whose time is that valuable that we have to call in the dragoons and introduce violence into an otherwise non-violent presentation? AND - where were the rest of those in attendance who should have been on their feet, linking arms and putting a wall between the security guard and the speaker?
Buck Harmon September 25, 2013 at 10:07 AM
Also Jennifer, The obvious smiles on faces of the appointed School Board without showing concern for what was happening were the utmost form of silent rude and obnoxious behavior in my opinion...very telling of the true character of these cowardly individuals..
Bob Higginbotham September 25, 2013 at 10:34 AM
The attempt by the Baltimore county superintendent to "filter" inquiries may have completely backfired. It seems there may be a new group to look over his shoulder, which I suspect he is not happy with. I know nothing of "common core" and no longer have anyone in school but empathize with parents that are concerned over their children's education. In today's environment one must be more vigilant than even 20 or 30 years ago to insure education and not blatant brainwashing.
Sean Tully September 25, 2013 at 05:18 PM
Buck Harmon said: "...School Board meeting rules do not and never have trumped a citizens First Amendment Rights...especially when the rules have been created to achieve a specific desired outcome...that would be a socialist style tactic in my opinion." Buck, that sounds neat on Fox News and all but in reality the fact that the School Board is elected nullifies your First Amendment argument. People do have the freedom of speech and it comes in the form of a vote, in this case. If people want the school board to allow parents who don't have kids in that school system to interrupt the meeting (and, not to mention, butt in line, sort of speak), then the people in that county can elect a new school board who will agree to that. Anything else is anarchy.
Buck Harmon September 25, 2013 at 06:56 PM
That's top notch baloney Sean...a County elected School Board has NO authority over First Amendment rights of citizens that elected them. Just another clear example that you have no idea about what you attempt to say here. I have no idea what Fox says about anything...another false assumption. You really should make the effort to get your facts straight before making yourself look like a fool with these kind of statements....Come on Sean..
Buck Harmon September 25, 2013 at 07:04 PM
Sean Tully, In addition to not understanding the intent of the Constitution you have also demonstrated that you have no idea about what anarchy really is Sean. You simply throw the word around as though it's supposed to indicate that those in direct opposition to a bad change with the education process (Common Core) are somehow bad people or anarchists...? I guess when your arguement is lost you have no other option but to devolve to this type of statement...educate yourself Sean, you can certainly do better than this kind of crap..
Buck Harmon September 25, 2013 at 07:14 PM
Pretty sure that Dance and the school board are appointed and not elected as well Sean...kinda blows you theory ..
Jack Purdy September 25, 2013 at 09:08 PM
For God's sake people, understand the first amendment. It says "Congress shall make no law abridging freedom of speech." That does not mean an organization-whether the Elks or the US Senate-can't set ground rules for conducting meetings. Or did no one who thinks otherwise have to follow Roberts Rules of Order in a student council meeting?
Sean Tully September 25, 2013 at 11:05 PM
Buck - whether the School Board is elected or appointed, it is done through elections. Whoever appoints them is elected. If you don't like who that person appoints and how those appointed run the show, throw the bums out - on election day! Jack - right on! Without order there is chaos and, Buck, another name for chaos is anarchy.
Sean Tully September 25, 2013 at 11:12 PM
Buck, regarding the school board: "The governor now appoints the members with input from the county executive." (Baltimore Sun, April 10, 2012). So, as I said, if you don't like who O'Malley appoints, throw him out. Oh wait, Marylanders must have liked it because they reelected him to office. And, if the rowdy Republicans ("You lie!") don't like things, instead of disrupting official proceedings, why not go to jail the way MLK, Jr., et.al did?
mommaof sy September 26, 2013 at 04:30 AM
If you read the links below you will understand the frustrations of parents and teachers and Mr. Small. from: http://columbia.patch.com/groups/schools/p/common-core-in-maryland-struggles-successes-strong-emotions?a_dgi=aolshare_facebook Reinhard said Maryland is no longer in danger of losing approximately $40 million of the grant funding – a measure the U.S. Department of Education threatened earlier this year if the state did not meet certain conditions related to the teacher and principal evaluation system. (see http://www2.ed.gov/programs/racetothetop-assessment/applicant.html) (http://www2.ed.gov/programs/racetothetop/index.html) (http://www2.ed.gov/programs/racetothetop/funding.html) --------------- A recent survey from the Maryland State Education Association found that 72 percent of teachers in Maryland do not feel prepared for the new evaluation systems, and 64 percent do not feel adequately prepared to implement the Common Core - a set of academic standards that went into effect this fall across most of the nation. from: http://www.baltimoresun.com/news/maryland/education/blog/bs-md-co-common-core-20130918,0,7745868.story The Common Core standards, a collaborative effort of the National Governor's Association and the association of state school superintendents, have been adopted by 45 states and the District of Columbia. The effort has been encouraged by the U.S. Department of Education, and states that agreed to adopt the standards and make other changes received additional federal funding. In January, six months after Dance took over as superintendent in Baltimore County, the school board approved a $5.3 million contract with a company called edCount LLC to write the new curriculum in conjunction with school system staff and deliver it online by August. This was after previous, costly curriculum rewrites were shelved. Then Dance said he decided school personnel could do the job more efficiently and cheaply than edCount. So after the company had developed a framework for the curriculum, the school system decided to get out of the contract. The county has not provided information about how much it paid edCount. Baltimore County teachers had their first look at the curriculum only days before the beginning of school. Even now, Baltimore County elementary teachers say they only have a language arts curriculum for the first six weeks of school. By mid-October, White said, teachers will get the next set of lessons as well as the curriculum framework for the year.
Tom Kiefaber September 26, 2013 at 07:23 AM
Apparently some cattle can use a keyboard, although their spelling and grammar are somewhat lacking. Who knew? Now line up, pipe down, and do what your told little calves. Sit there silently, don't mooooove , and above all don't ever speak without permission from farmer Dance. ;-)
mommaof sy September 27, 2013 at 03:47 AM
you're or you are, not your
Southland Hills Mom September 27, 2013 at 09:31 AM
I think understanding the correct use of your/you're is in the new Common Core curriculum....


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