March 12, 2014

NY's Common Core corrections under scrutiny locally


“It’s killing us. We’re reducing staff — from 2008, when we had 91 teachers in the district, we have 72 now. Gov. Cuomo can’t think in a million years that that’s not going to affect our ability to implement Common Core. 

“We’re having an incredible difficulty in implementing APPR as well.”


The Saranac Lake Central School Board and district parents, teachers and students have raised similar concerns with Common Core and its corresponding assessment test, seeking a more localized education reform process.

Don Carlisto, a history teacher and co-president of the Saranac Lake Teachers Association, was relieved to see that student assessment scores would be stricken from permanent records.

“The governor’s panel clearly recognized the state’s abysmal implementation of the Common Core State Standards and is exactly right to recommend that students get protection from the consequences of the flawed (grades) 3-to-8 tests,” he said via email.

“This begs the question, if the tests are bad and students need protection from them, then why would the state ever insist on using the tests in the evaluation of teachers?”


As to improved communication with parents, data-reporting protocols remain as much a mystery now as they were before Common Core, Garcia-Notario said.

“And they sell (data portals) as ‘state-of-the-art online resources’... Most parents want to keep communication with their teachers in person. We do not have this much time to be trained through online workshops.”

Cuomo formed the special panel last month, aiming to smooth out implementation of Common Core reform.

The report sets no firm time frame for next steps that state education leaders will take, but it does recommend that “the state should ensure rapid completion of the unfinished Common Core curriculum modules and continuously improve all of the modules through the involvement of teachers and other educators.”

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