Dr. Greg Murry, superintendent of Conway Public Schools, outlined to the Conway Noon Lions Club on Tuesday where he thought the district is headed and said the district has no need for a second high school for years to come.
Murry answered a few frequently asked questions he receives. He explained that there are currently 9,732 students, which is projected to increase in the next 10 years. Despite this increase, he said a second high school will not be a main concern for the district for many years to come.
Murry then addressed one of the most frequently asked questions, how well will the Wampus Cat football team do this coming year. He spotlighted two students who have been offered scholarships already on two Arkansas teams. Quarterback Breylin Smith has been offered by UCA and Colton Jackson, an offensive tackle, is an early commitment to the University of Arkansas.
After lighthearted chatter and jokes, Murry switched tones in his presentation. Murry discussed the current state of the Conway school district focusing mostly on the misconception and need for the adoption of Common Core in Arkansas. Quoting statistics from a conference he attended a few years ago, Murry explained that 75 percent of teachers support Common Core Nationwide.
In essence, Common Core brings students in states who have adopted these set of standards to a new level while maintaining a consistent curriculum.
“Common Core allows a student who perhaps is in a military family and moves a lot to move from one school to another and not miss any information. Some states may teach one subject in third grade while another teaches the same concept in second grade,” said Daniel Moix, high school teacher.
This inconsistency can lead students to either being in too advanced classes or course work that has already been learned in a previous state.
There has been much controversy throughout several forums. Murry’s response to the controversy was, “Things are never as good as they seem and things are never as bad as they seem, people need to look at any situation with a filter. Understand the facts first, then discuss.”
Murry explained that although tests were standardized and would reflect the models of the Common Core and their successes, it would not be used to also assess teacher performance.
“I don’t believe (test scores) should be the only thing used to assess teacher performance, there are too many factors involved,” said Murry.