Press-Republican

Wednesday

March 12, 2014

NY's Common Core corrections under scrutiny locally

(Continued)

But the 17-page report, “Putting Students First,” says: “The debate about this one provider (inBloom) has become a distraction to the successful implementation of the Common Core. The state’s relationship with inBloom should be halted, and state leaders should consider alternative paths to accomplish the goals of increased data transparency and analytics.”

“I would be glad to see (the State Education Department) discontinue the relationship with inBloom,” Wachtmeister said. 

“New York state should have developed its own system for maintaining records to be used by people appointed to evaluate that data. 

“Records could also be made available to parents. That should have been handled in-house.”

OPT-OUT ISSUE

“And ending the relationship with inBloom doesn’t end parents’ concerns about data gathering, use or security (does anyone believe that appointing a special security czar will solve the problem),” Beatham said.

Dr. Margarita Garcia-Notario, a founding member of the Alliance for Public Education, also remained skeptical. 

She said the panel’s recommendations are vague and misleading.

“Until we see (State Education Department) actually canceling the (inBloom) contract, it will be just words. 

“It is very clear that our legislators are obsessed with the collection of data,” she added. “And it is unethical to not set a provision for parents to opt out of something that challenges our children’s safety and our democratic freedom.”

The state panel’s recommendations do not support any measure allowing parents to opt out of student data-reporting systems. 

In fact, the 11-member review panel said parental refusal to include their children’s test results “could place essential academic and operational functions in jeopardy.”

‘FUNDING NEEDED’

The other concern in many districts, including Tupper Lake, are costs associated with Common Core overhaul and the attendant Annual Professional Performance Review process.

“Gap Elimination Adjustment cuts (in state aid) over the past four years have totaled about $6 million, which has kept Tupper Lake from rolling out Common Core the way we want to do it,” McGowan said.

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