Local News

May 15, 2014

Candidate profile: Fields says Common Core is detrimental to education system

— Sarah Fields believes the educational standards set forth in Common Core are “substandard” and are making children “common.”

Fields is challenging incumbent state Rep. Tom Dickson in the Republican primary on Tuesday for District 6, which includes most of Whitfield County north of Dalton and northern Murray County.

“I was asked to run,” Fields said. “My thing is Common Core. ... I will be fighting to repeal it.”

Common Core is a set of standards developed by the National Governors Association and the Council of Chief State School Officers. States who have adopted it receive financial incentives from the federal government. Fields believes it is preventing parents from being able to help their children with their schoolwork.

“All education needs to be at the local level,” she said. “Common Core has taken creativity out of the schools. Everyone is on the same level. These children in Common Core are being taught to be common. They will grow up with someone telling them what to do. As adults, people will need to tell them what to do, including the government.”

Fields believes Common Core will produce a generation of individuals who do not think for themselves. She said it’s not that she disagrees with the standards themselves.

“We do not need the federal government controlling our children,” she said. “There are curriculums that are not as expensive. Who’s getting rich? David Coleman (the College Board president who helped develop Common Core) and corporations sponsoring this.”

Fields said Common Core was created in secret and referred to a documentary called “Building the Machine.”

“Students need to be reading the classics, Shakespeare, the ‘Iliad’ and the ‘Odyssey,’ not what’s on Oprah’s book club list,” Fields said.

Fields said she does not consider herself a politician.

“I will represent District 6,” she said. “I have lived there all but seven years. I know what that group needs. I have family in that group.”

Fields said she will discuss items that come up while in session with people in the district before making a decision. She said if a bill is introduced that would change a city’s policies or procedures, she will call officials to get feedback before making a decision.

Asked how to improve economic development in the state, Fields said she wants to make sure the port in Savannah is able to adequately handle traffic so this area can export floorcovering.

“The more the port is functioning, the more exporting there will be,” she said. “It helps Georgia as a whole.”

After taking care of her mother for the last few months of her life, Fields said she is concerned about the future of hospice care now that the Affordable Care Act, commonly referred to as Obamacare, is in place.

“Hospice was a great benefit for me,” she said. “I don’t know how we’re going to make it without it. I want to look at a statewide program for elderly care.”

For the last 30 years, Fields has sold promotional materials to businesses through her company, Classic Advertising.

“When the economy fell, my business fell,” she said.

When businesses are worried about keeping employees paid, they don’t purchase as many promotional items, Fields said. She still has a few clients and works as a distributor through Flash Graphics.

Fields also volunteers with her church, ChristChurch Presbyterian, especially helping care for families after a death of a loved one. She has lived in the Pleasant Grove community since she was 7 and graduated from North Whitfield High School.

She has two living children, Traci and Mark, and four grandchildren. Her son Kelly died in a sugar refinery explosion in Savannah in 2008.

Fields can be reached by email at sarah8622@yahoo.com.

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