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OC Parents, Community Members Debate Common Core Curriculum

YORBA LINDA ( — Parents and community members gathered in Yorba Linda Friday night to debate the Common Core curriculum.

KCAL9's Dave Bryan reports that supporters of the curriculum, which has been implemented at schools throughout the Golden State and much of the nation, said it encourages students to solve problems and address issues in a more thoughtful and creative way.

Bryan, however, said there were no visible supporters of that train of thought at the meeting, including Republican Assemblyman Tim Donnelly.

"The method of teaching they're trying to employ has never been tested anywhere. We're the guinea pigs," he said. "I have never seen anything energize people the way that this is."

Laura O'Neal and her son Riley, a 12-year-old middle school student, said Common Core has been a step backwards for him since he attends a school that has one of the highest academic achievement ratings in California.

"So they already had a great curriculum. To take on this curriculum, I didn't understand. When you're already doing so well, I didn't understand why're they're reinventing the wheel," O'Neal said.

"I wanna be an engineer. I want to know formulas to know this stuff and we're learning how to add and subtract again. I didn't feel comfortable with it. My teacher asked me how I was feeling about it. I told her it was too easy," Riley said.

Parents who feel Common Core is more big government intrusion in their children's schools will have the backing of the Pacific Justice Institute, a conservative legal organization.

"On our website, we have an opt out form, and we're willing to back that up and defend the rights of parents who choose to opt their children out of Common Core-related testing and specific curriculum materials that violate their beliefs and convictions for what's right for their children," Brad Dacus, the president of the Pacific Justice Institute, said.

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