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Common Core the wrong choice

The adoption of the Common Core learning standards in New York State has created a lucrative opportunity for educational publishers like Pearson Education, while leaving our children behind.

As states and schools rush to buy products aligned to the new standards, our children suffer because of a callous disregard for their educational needs.

Core-aligned tests are diminishing our children’s creativity and enthusiasm to learn while handcuffing our teachers to specific, developmentally inappropriate standards and curricular materials. Our kids don’t all develop according to a specific map; they learn by interaction through experiences that are unique to each child. They can’t be force-fed.

Our teachers are seeing a notable shift in math instruction. For example, asking an 8-year-old a math related multiple-choice question like “Which is a related subtraction sentence?” hardly seems like something a third grade student would understand.

English instructors have noticed a more heavy emphasis on non-fiction texts with new standards. A “Lexile” score is one of the methods used to gauge reading difficulty within the common core standards. These scores are based on how difficult texts are to read; actual content and in-depth meaning play second fiddle. The complexity of meaning in both classic literature and high-interest young adult novels has been disregarded.

Educators and parents in New York State are taking a stand against the common core and New York State Education Commissioner John King for good reason. NYSUT (New York State United Teachers) union, with 600,000 members, recently passed a resolution to remove King and withdraw support for the Common Core State Standardized testing. At the same time, our governor’s silence on this issue is beyond disappointing.

So far, the testing has proved to be nothing but offensive and ineffective to parents, students and educators alike throughout the state. In recent months, the NYS common core website linked children to a sex quiz site, while Mr. King brushed off accusations from concerned parents and judged the common core’s popularity on the number of “hits” on the NY webpage.

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