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Nov 27, 2013 8:33 AMPublication: The Southampton Press

State Education Commissioner Fields Questions On Common Core

Dec 3, 2013 4:57 PM

Angry parents berated the New York State Education Commissioner during a forum in Manorville last week, heckling him from the audience while he responded to concerns about the implementation of the Common Core learning standards, state assessments and teacher evaluations.

Parents and educators sharply criticized the new standards for taking the joy out of teaching and learning. They argued that the state assessments, which began testing students on the new standards this past spring—before teachers had time to learn the new curriculum—set children up for failure.

“Parents all over New York are asking you, begging you, why don’t you recall Common Core?” Julie Lofstad of Hampton Bays said while directly addressing Education Commissioner Dr. John B. King from the podium on November 26. “But you aren’t listening. Why aren’t you listening?”

Ms. Lofstad, who has a child attending the Hampton Bays School District, also described the Common Core curriculum as “flawed” and stated that, in her opinion, it needs to be replaced.

Chris Tice, the vice president of the Sag Harbor Board of Education, who also has children in that district, also described the implementation of the new standards as flawed during the forum. Students who once loved math now hate it, she added. “Why has this happened? The Common Core math curriculum simply has more required math material to cover than time available,” Ms. Tice said. “The pace at which teachers and students must cover the material is simply too fast for most students to successfully master.”

Mr. King, who has planned about a dozen such forums through the state, including last week’s event held at the Eastport South Manor Junior-Senior High School, appeared solemn, though calm, despite the commotion.

“I will say that these forums, although contentious, clearly have generated important conversation,” he said, after nearly three hours of questions and comments from the audience that included hundreds of parents, teachers and administrators. “And I want to make the distinction between disagreeing and not listening.”

Some parents held up signs brandishing a giant letter “F” while the commissioner spoke, and shouted such jeers as “Shame on you!” and “You’re not listening!” from their seats.

Dr. King said the New York State Education Department has made a number of adjustments to help resolve issues parents and educators have raised over the past year. For one, his department is working toward allowing children with disabilities to take assessments at their instructional levels, rather than the levels that correspond with their ages. Such a change would require permission from the U.S. Department of Education, he said.

The State Education Department has also reduced the length and number of questions on the state exams, and has allowed eighth-graders now taking algebra to take a Regents exam in lieu of the eighth grade assessment.

New York is one of 45 states that have adopted the Common Core learning standards, which were established by the National Governors Association and the Council of Chief State School Officers to better prepare children for college and careers, and to provide consistency among state education policies.

New York has received nearly $700 million from the federal “Race to the Top” program, in part because the state adopted the standards, but also as a result of its new teacher and principal evaluation system that factors in how well students perform on state assessments. That system is called the Annual Professional Performance Review, or APPR for short.

The New York State United Teachers union has called for a three-year moratorium on the use of student assessment results in teacher and principal evaluations, which would require an amendment to state law. During last week’s forum, Dr. King dismissed that suggestion as moving backward, and explained that the state should instead invest more in professional development for educators.

He also stressed that assessment scores account for 20 percent of teacher and principal evaluations, while the remainder is determined through collective bargaining between school districts and the employees. “It’s a local-control law,” he said.

New York began aligning the state assessments in English Language Arts (ELA) and math for grades three through eight with the new standards last spring. Parents and educators across the state have bitterly opposed that change and are alleging that the tests have been the source of anguish and anxiety for students. Only about 31 percent of students statewide in grades three through eight met or exceeded the new ELA and math proficiency standards, down from about 55 percent the previous year. In some districts on the South Fork, the passing rate dropped by nearly 50 percent in a single year.

“Any potential good in the Common Core is at risk of being lost because of the rush to implement these new assessments, and the rush to tie the results to APPR,” Westhampton Beach Schools Superintendent Michael Radday said while speaking at the forum. “I implore you and the Board of Regents to slow down the implementation of the Common Core ...

“Furthermore, I ask that you more seriously consider the input of those of us in the field, rather than relying so heavily on the input of your team of research fellows,” he continued. “My colleagues and I stand ready to engage in substantive conversation about the future of our schools and reforms that will best serve our students.”

Administrators from across the East End, as well as local legislators, including Assemblyman Fred W. Thiele Jr. and Senator Kenneth LaValle, also attended the forum. Dr. King appeared alongside Board of Regents Chancellor Merryl Tisch and Roger Tilles, a member of the Board of Regents who represents Suffolk and Nassau counties.

“Now is not the time for retreating from higher standards for college and career readiness,” Dr. King said.

The commissioner also assured parents that the local boards of education and school administrations maintain complete control over the curriculum that are taught in each district. He explained that students view the low numbers they receive on their assessments “as a function of how we, as adults, frame the assessment results.”

Responding to critics who questioned why the state began testing students on the new standards so quickly, Dr. King said it would be illogical to test them on outdated standards.

The crowd’s jeering grew so loud at one point that Eastport South Manor Superintendent Mark Nocero stood and pleaded with parents to respect the commissioner and others by letting them speak. “Please, we’ve got kids here,” he said.

Despite the criticism, the commissioner maintained that the new standards will improve the education of students.

“You’re going to have challenges and difficulties along the way, but ultimately I think everyone wants their children to be prepared for college and career success,” he said. “And the Common Core will help us get there.”

But most people in attendance still were not convinced.

Jan Achilich, the director of special education for the Remsenburg-Speonk School District, said she questioned the “developmental appropriateness” of the new standards both for advanced children and those with special needs, drawing applause from the audience.

“Would it not have been better practice to introduce new curricula at the primary level and then work forward up through the grades as the kids progress forward?” she asked. “Because what we are doing to our upper-grade children now by throwing them into an entirely new curriculum mid-stream is tantamount to physically throwing them into a rushing river without a life preserver.”

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I never thought I would hear parents heckling someone who wanted a better education for their children. So many students drop out of college in their first year because they are not prepared. Of course the teachers union doesn't like the new testing it makes them look bad. They are the same teachers union that wants more days off, higher pay,and the use of technology to make their job easier. If you cant pass a test in the real world you don't get the job. Berate the superintendent of schools not ...more
By chief1 (2800), southampton on Nov 27, 13 9:00 AM
He was heckled because he does not listen! Parents, teachers, administrators, mental health experts have all said the these new reforms are flawed, but he refuses to hear! The new standards are developmentally inappropriate at the lower levels and at the higher levels they are actually lower than what children on L.I. were already achieving. The only mathematician on the validation committee, Dr. Milgram wouldn't sign off on the standards because he said that they were too low and did not prepare ...more
By cmac (184), East Quogue on Nov 27, 13 1:48 PM
3 members liked this comment
Chief1, the reason so many kids drop out of college is because they are not college material. There is no shame in that. Our education system is failing our students by insisting that everyone is capable of it & must have a college education. The shame is that the real world strengths of children are not matched to their potential in the job market. Stop blaming schools & teachers. Blame educrats & business interests who have reduced everything to a one size fits all testing regime.
By East End 2 (151), Southampton on Nov 28, 13 8:18 AM
1 member liked this comment
Chief, you miss the point. The common core doesn't allow for any kind of individual thinking. It just produces robots. Is a kid really into science? Well too bad, he has to follow the same curriculum as the kid who is really into math. Their is no room for teaching to each individuals strengths and interests. It's like an assembly line rubber stamping out the same kids with the same thoughts drilled into their heads. And it's not that the teachers are worried about the test making them look ...more
By bubby (236), southampton on Nov 27, 13 9:49 AM
My guess is that the union has asked for a moratorium because teachers do not want to be held to standards which they have overlooked for so many years.
By SusieD (115), Southampton on Nov 27, 13 9:58 AM
2 members liked this comment
This has nothing to do with teachers unions. These standards are random and irresponsible. A one size fits all approach to education does not work. These standards handicap teachers from teaching critical thinking and leave a lot of kids behind. It is not that the kids are too dumb or the teachers too lazy, it is that the standards are unrealistic and do not take into account extremely important factors like poverty.
By dagdavid (646), southampton on Dec 2, 13 9:20 AM
I think the gentleman is a robot.. He has no feeling or heart for the INDIVIDUAL Child.. It is MY WAY OR THE HIGHWAY attitude that makes this whole meeting a jam it down your throat if you don't like it tough situation.. I think he should step down and re evaluate his post... Listen to the TEACHERS THE ADMINISTRATORS who are with the kids everyday...Let them decide not someone who doesn't even have a heart for education... While he sits on his "THRONE" and jams everything down our throats he has ...more
By wpoole (14), westhampton beach on Nov 27, 13 10:37 AM
One of the major issues with Common Core is APPR. What is wrong with accountability? Only 20% of Principal/Teacher evaluation is tied to assessment testing. We should be happy that education is becoming more rigorous and the adults in the system are held accountable for results. To have 0 quantifiable accountability is irresponsible in our education system.
By A_Concerned_Parent (37), manorville on Nov 27, 13 1:12 PM
2 members liked this comment
What's wrong with giving children a final exam the first week of school kniwing they will fail and MUST fail so that the teacher can show growth when it is given agsin at the end of the year. What's wrong with labeling a Special Ed teacher ineffective because their students can't pass the state assessments? What's wrong with making a special needs child sit through the same assessment as their peers knowing they will fail?
By cmac (184), East Quogue on Nov 27, 13 2:42 PM
3 members liked this comment
What is wrong with showing growth with a student? What is wrong with having accountability based on quantifiable metrics? Teachers are not labeled ineffective due to failing an assessment test, it is related to student growth.
By A_Concerned_Parent (37), manorville on Nov 27, 13 5:17 PM
1 member liked this comment
Chief, in my 20 years working as an engineer designing runway lighting systems at the three major New York airports, not once did I have to take a test. I had to get exact answers in a timely manner, apply them to the project and then get the project done. As for the heckling last night, parents and teachers are way past upset because Comm King has not heard one word we say. This is not about education, it's about corporate backed, for profit data sharing at the EXPENSE of our children. Not one ...more
By JulieRae (6), Hampton Bays on Nov 27, 13 3:29 PM
Really your an engineer, and never took a test? Your not a licensed engineer in the state of NY if you didn't take the engineering test. You also need many years of practical time to even take the tests. If you are designing something their is someone that is an engineering professional (who took the test) to approve your design. Doctors, lawyers, engineers, architects, real estate agents, certified welders, cops, civil servants, ect, ect all take tests. Most jobs even a cashier at a fast food ...more
By chief1 (2800), southampton on Nov 30, 13 11:42 AM
Teacher evaluation is tied to student growth, not just a pass/fail of an assessment test. Look at the SLO (Student Learning Objective) for your school. There is a pre-assessment test and post-assessment test to determine growth. The pre-assessment is for the beginning of the year and the post-assessment for the end. The post-assessment is either an assessment test if the grade/subject has one or usually the final. Showing growth should be one of the primary objectives even before Common Core. ...more
By A_Concerned_Parent (37), manorville on Nov 27, 13 5:43 PM
1 member liked this comment
I am adamantly opposed to SLO's. I can't imagine how ANYONE would be okay with having young children start the year as a failure. How is it okay to start the year saying here, take this test on material you have never seen, I can't help you with it just guess because it doesn't count towards your grade? My children aren't taking ANY test that isn't used to drive their instruction and that includes the state assessments. Teachers don't ever get to see them and we don't even get the results ...more
By cmac (184), East Quogue on Nov 27, 13 6:13 PM
3 members liked this comment
So is the answer to lower the bar to make everyone look great? The 40 k a student is a joke and the results are even more ridiculous. If the superintendent is powerless like some of you claim then maybe we should do away with the superintendent position. We are continually rated in the bottom 20 in math and science compared to other nations. Is the problem with our children not being able to learn? Or is the problem the teachers who wants more days off and less time in the classroom?
By chief1 (2800), southampton on Nov 27, 13 9:53 PM
2 members liked this comment
Again you miss the point. You aren't lowering the bar, or raising the bar. You are setting it exactly the same for every kid. So everyone becomes average. No promoting kids who want to reach higher. If you had a child who was very bright, would you want them stuck in the middle with everyone, or would you want them to be able to reach higher and express their individuality. And this hatred you have for teachers is astounding. Do you have any idea what the job entails? Do you just base your ...more
By bubby (236), southampton on Nov 28, 13 10:31 AM
1 member liked this comment
The problem is poverty. If you take that out of the equation, we are at the top of the pack in education achievement. And I don't think lowering the bar is the answer. The answer is to raise the bar for those who can achieve it and more. But to not put irrational goals on special needs kids. Every kid is different. To make then learn the same thing at the same time is just not possible! And you keep talking about teachers wanting more days off, more money, etc. These are the people who spend more ...more
By JulieRae (6), Hampton Bays on Nov 28, 13 10:29 AM
5 members liked this comment
The problem is poverty? Lol Then explain why most of the countries that out perform us have a lower standard of living? Sure it is the billionaires destroying education. Lol Education in most districts is exceeding 35k a year per stufent which is more than most Ivy league schools charge for tuition. Let people make a choice and put their kids in private school paid by the taxpayer. This will save money and improve education. We love to talk of freedom, but why do we deny and make children go to ...more
By chief1 (2800), southampton on Nov 28, 13 11:00 AM
Because "standard of living" and "poverty" really aren't synonymous.

Our poverty rate is pretty inexcusable considering our "standard of living". Haven't you ever watched COPS?

Read a little bit, annnnnd you MAY, just MAY, well find that poverty is directly tied to education. From here, to around the world and back.
By Mr. Z (11847), North Sea on Nov 30, 13 12:00 PM
2 members liked this comment
I think Common Core incorrectly works under the assumption that all kids learn in the same way. They don't. Common Core seems to take away the flexibility that teachers need to adjust to a diverse set of student needs. My kid used to love going to school. He was inquisitive, enthusiastic, and generally happier. Now he hates school and the battles start at 7am and end at 9pm. So the only thing common about Common Core seems to be student's distaste for it. This happens from time to time, some genius ...more
By double standard (1506), Remsenburg on Nov 28, 13 11:25 AM
4 members liked this comment
So lets lower the bar so everyone passes, everyone has a trophy, and all students can feel like they accomplished something they didn't. We are supposed to be setting kids up for adult life and achievements. If we continually lower the bar children will not work harder, and will not learn to work for their goals. Every child is different it would be nearly impossible to accommodate every one of them for their special needs.
By chief1 (2800), southampton on Nov 28, 13 12:03 PM
You miss the point entirely. It has nothing with "raising the bar" and everything to do with getting kids to learn. If your goal is creating an education system that works for 20% of the kids while leaving 80% in the dust, then CC is your plan. Personally, I'd prefer a system that offers flexibility and creativity. The super-smart kids will always excel. ie. honors and AP programs. Good for them. Adult life consists of finding the right person for the job, applying the correct skill set to a task. ...more
By double standard (1506), Remsenburg on Nov 28, 13 1:05 PM
2 members liked this comment
My guess is Chief doesn't have a school-aged son or daughter, or a has had a child with special needs. If I'm correct, then he has the benefit of judgement without burden of consequence. Go figure.
By double standard (1506), Remsenburg on Nov 28, 13 1:12 PM
1 member liked this comment
No you prefer a plan where everyone passes and everyone looks good. That doesn't work, and has been proven.
By chief1 (2800), southampton on Nov 29, 13 10:37 AM
Don't tell me what I prefer. That's a method used by people who have no argument. I'll put it simply for you so there isn't any grey area. (1) I know what's best for my kids. You, Mr. King, and any other genius with a theory can please get out of my life. (2) Flexible curriculum will properly educate more people than rigid ones. (3) If you don't have skin in the game, please shut up. (4) Broad comments from people like, "Teachers have become lazy" are not factual, helpful or smart. (5) Tie the hands ...more
By double standard (1506), Remsenburg on Nov 29, 13 11:09 AM
3 members liked this comment
First off your right not all children can be put on the same path for education. Parents want all children integrated together. Lets put the smart students with the learning disabled. Lets put the non English speaking students with the English speaking students. Lets make believe they are all on the same level when everyone isn't created equal. This testing should be used as a tool used for putting students where they need help. If by tenth grade students still can not perform academically we need ...more
By chief1 (2800), southampton on Nov 29, 13 2:22 PM
1 member liked this comment
Your resentment of teachers is telling. The perks of the job are what they are. I'm not jealous as I could have become a teacher if I chose to. Same with you. Whatever your beef is with the teaching profession is doesn't excuse your acceptance and defense of CC. My guess is that you accept it and defend it without even knowing what it is.
By double standard (1506), Remsenburg on Nov 29, 13 8:10 PM
1 member liked this comment
Your resentment of teachers is telling. The perks of the job are what they are. I'm not jealous as I could have become a teacher if I chose to. Same with you. Whatever your beef is with the teaching profession is doesn't excuse your acceptance and defense of CC. My guess is that you accept it and defend it without even knowing what it is.
By double standard (1506), Remsenburg on Nov 29, 13 8:10 PM
I resent teachers? The perks are what they are? Funny how you say you care about education. I think some teachers should make 150k a year if they put in extra hours, and their students perform. Other teachers should be fired or have their pay lowered until their performance improves. Why would you continually put in 100% as a teacher if you get paid the same as one that doesn't care?
For decades the state education dept. has always had standards for each grade level. They left the curriculum ...more
By chief1 (2800), southampton on Nov 30, 13 11:18 AM
Yes, your posts consistently attack teachers. You confuse apprehension about CC with an acceptance of mediocrity. To question CC is not the same as accepting the status quo. We can do better. We should do better.
This is the same thing that came up with The Affordable Care Act. I argued that it was garbage and not a fix. People mistook that for acceptance of the status quo. Not so. The point is I don't accept the shiny new thing as the default upgrade. Same thing here, people assume CC is better ...more
By double standard (1506), Remsenburg on Nov 30, 13 3:51 PM
1 member liked this comment
That same president who has been changing whatever laws he sees fit to whatever version of them helps him the most? Are you kidding? You call THAT being held accountable???
The teachers I know are not looking to have no accountability in their jobs! They are saying that they have to have more time to implement this curriculum before it would be appropriate to tie students test results to the teachers rating. They HAVE to teach directly to the test and if their class needs more time on a ...more
By eqmomof3 (22), EAST QUOGUE on Dec 6, 13 2:39 PM
I can tell you what we have now does not work. Teachers have become lazy and that makes lazy kids. And yes I DO have children in school. One just graduated, the other 5th grade. Teachers arent like when I was in school. I had some of the greatest teachers that really cared. They wanted to know you and each kid mattered. Just not that way anymore.
By squeaky (291), hampton bays on Nov 29, 13 10:16 AM
2 members liked this comment
Broad stroke generalizations don't normally hold up to scrutiny and yours is a positive reinforcement of that fact.
By KevinLuss (356), SH on Nov 29, 13 10:44 AM
Unreal, right?
By double standard (1506), Remsenburg on Nov 29, 13 11:10 AM
1 member liked this comment
I dont see it as a broad stroke. I have two kids that have been bullied and harrassed, with NO HELP from teachers or admin. That went on for YEARS. I have plenty of stories that would leave you shaking your heads. Teachers are not in it to teach anymore. Its a job that when they get tenure they are untouchable. I have been told that by a certain school superintendant after one bastard math teacher called my son a retard. So say what you will, I know what Im saying, I have lived it. The homework ...more
By squeaky (291), hampton bays on Nov 29, 13 2:25 PM
2 members liked this comment
The objections are all from the same parents, defenders of a horrific educational system that consistently finds their school districts near the bottom. They find the present hideously mediocre school districts just fine, where teachers give laughably easy homework when they even do, and never give their students anything challenging; until they take an objective state achievement test.

Then all Hell breaks loose because the huge majority fail. But we will always hear -the teachers and ...more
By Obbservant (449), southampton on Nov 30, 13 10:01 AM
1 member liked this comment
Or maybe we are just not accepting CC as the miracle cure for whatever ails the education system. You know? That whole blind faith thingy doesn't work so well. There's enough noise about CC to make people start asking questions. Observant, indeed.
By double standard (1506), Remsenburg on Nov 30, 13 4:02 PM
1 member liked this comment
CC is not about a miracle cure but a national effort to improve the competitiveness of the American educational system, which in ALL the international surveys have scored near the bottom for developed nations. We need to move the bar higher and it takes a collective effort. Yes I know, there is a little more work involved and that is not such a popular thing in our academic environment. Everything here is just peach fine.

Education in the last 340years or so have become so watered down ...more
By Obbservant (449), southampton on Nov 30, 13 7:43 PM
1 member liked this comment
Well if it's a national effort then it must be good. Sorry, my bad.
By double standard (1506), Remsenburg on Dec 1, 13 8:21 AM
Obbservant......you have no idea what you are talking about.
By SHNative (554), Southampton on Nov 30, 13 5:33 PM
Common core tests do NOT evaluate growth. This is corporatized education at its worst. Give tens of millions of dollars to private test developers, set completely unrealistic standards and then blame teachers for the failure. This is backwards and it benefits no one but those pushing for education privatization (a proven failure across the country), the private testing companies creating the tests, and union-busting corporatists.

People like Observant, with a clearly stated and almost ...more
By progressnow (556), sag harbor on Dec 2, 13 9:26 AM
Progressnow, very inaccurate statement, off the wall, and one which you can never prove or support. tConsidering the environment where they teach, I have always had a stated high regard for the educators at Westhampton Beach, Sag Harbor, Quogue, Raynor among others borne out by my previous posts.

YOU WILL NEVER, EVER FIND ANY CRITICISM FROM ME OF THOSE EDUCATORS IN ANY OF MY POSTS! THAT'S SIMPLY AN EGREGIOUS CHARGE WITHOUT ANY RATIONAL BASIS.

I'm critizing like so many in this ...more
By Obbservant (449), southampton on Dec 2, 13 10:22 PM
Hah! In your own words:

"You obviously are a teacher or former teacher with vested interests who has a knee jerk reaction to the slightest criticism of the teaching profession. You condone some of the highest teacher salaries in the nation and black shirted union teachers "

"the teachers work the fewest hours of any teachers on the East End while having enviable compensation packages and benefits/pensions compared to other school districts in NY State or the tri-state area for ...more
By progressnow (556), sag harbor on Dec 3, 13 8:08 AM
1 member liked this comment
I guess you have a tough time comprehending posts. All the quotes you mentioned are about the temples of doom especially Tuckahoe, and to a much less extent Southampton and Hampton Bays.

Context please. None of those quotes referred to the educators at the better schools whom I commend - Westhampton Beach, Sag Harbor, Quogue, and Raynor. Reread again please until you get it.
By Obbservant (449), southampton on Dec 3, 13 8:42 AM
And quite frankly, after having survived Hampton Bays school dist I really find none of those statements incorrect. If you knew half of what goes on there Peyton Place doesnt even start to describe it.
By squeaky (291), hampton bays on Dec 3, 13 9:00 AM
Oh, so you only hate Tuckahoe teachers? Sounds personal.

Your statements stand on their own, Observant. By the way, very easy to do, takes no time at all -just click on your profile, search for the word "teacher" and all of your hateful comments on educators pop up for easy reference! Takes less time than it took you to respond.

By progressnow (556), sag harbor on Dec 3, 13 10:58 AM
1 member liked this comment
Personal? There you are again with your emotional diatribes instead of just cold logic. I think ALL teachers deserve to be paid well as there is nothing more important than our kids' education and I believe the teachers at Westhampton Beach, Sag Harbor, Quogue, and Raynor deserve their compensation. They deliver a higher quality education and deserve what they get.

Tuckahoe, Southampton, and Hampton Bays don't, and through the Great Recession while residents experience substantially declining ...more
By Obbservant (449), southampton on Dec 3, 13 8:26 PM
Those advocating "proof of growth" are not thinking critically about the issue as a whole.

Imagine you are a salesman at a company that has a quota - you have to sell an unrealistic amount of widgets a month regardless of outside forces. Something happens to make your job impossible - a hurricane that causes massive power and phone outages - and you miss your sales quota as computers and phone lines are your main source of sales.

The company says, "too bad, you did not reach ...more
By progressnow (556), sag harbor on Dec 2, 13 9:38 AM
If a company was run like a school it wouldn't last a week. First off what business has employees work 180 days a year? What business has employees that can't be fired? What business has no accountability to it's owners or shareholders( taxpayers and parents)? What business closes down all summer? Schools aren't dooming teachers to failure they are dooming children. It is time for trade schools , and paying teachers on their merit.
By chief1 (2800), southampton on Dec 3, 13 8:54 AM
1 member liked this comment
Sure its the corporations that are ruining schools. Lol

Did you know that 60 percent of students that go to community colleges need remedial classes? The public schools have the nerve to say they are turning out great high school graduates.The people on this board are like sheep to the slaughter. If I was a student and needed remedial courses after I graduated I would ask for my money back. Wake up there is no excuse for what is going on in public schools. At $40,000 a year per student ...more
By chief1 (2800), southampton on Dec 2, 13 1:27 PM
Community College Research Center at Columbia University’s Teachers College who conducted the study that resulted in the 60% figure you quoted also concluded in a different study that the majority of those were probably misplaced into those classes and could have done just fine...in fact the study shows in most cases these students would have achieved at least a grade of B or higher without the remedial class. The students pay tuition for the classes and get no credit. See how that works?


"A ...more
By KevinLuss (356), SH on Dec 2, 13 7:10 PM
1 member liked this comment
The Huffington Post had the article so it must be true. So what's your answer Kevin should we leave the system in the peril its in? Should there be some accountability from someone that works in the school?
By chief1 (2800), southampton on Dec 2, 13 8:03 PM
Chief, just what one would expect. Attack the source, but provide no rational argument against the facts. Teaching to the test is destroying our education system. Accountability cannot be found in lines of test data and teachers cannot be blamed when you tie their hands and force them to teach what the State wants instead of what the children need.
By dagdavid (646), southampton on Dec 3, 13 7:58 AM
1 member liked this comment
The core test has only been around for two years. Please explain how our education has been plummeting for the last decade? We are paying 40k a student with results getting worse than ever. What's the answer? It's time to start real trade schools for students starting in the tenth grade. This nonsense of stopping testing, because everyone can't pass is a farce. Some kids are more skilled in trades than sitting and learning Reading, and writing. Other countries around the world have done this, and ...more
By chief1 (2800), southampton on Dec 3, 13 8:46 AM
Chief, Common Core is just a doubling down on decades of testing which have only grown less and less relevant recently leading to today's ludicrous standards which assume that all things are equal for every child - we know that is not true.

Here is a clip from a great article on the history of standardized testing from the Washington Post (so you cannot start your argument by discrediting the source)

"In ancient Greece, Socrates tested his students through conversations. Answers ...more
By dagdavid (646), southampton on Dec 3, 13 11:06 AM
Socrates? We are graduating kids that can't read or write, and your talking Greek intellectual elites?
By chief1 (2800), southampton on Dec 6, 13 11:47 AM
The irony here is that Common Core is supposed to teach critical thinking and real world application - the very qualities that were lacking in the rushed implementation of this flawed program. I highly recommend a Huffington Post article today where Alan Singer investigates the privately funded apparatus known as the Regents Research Fellows - subject to zero public oversite - and how they go about designing public education policy in NY State. Corporate reformers have a vested interest in the ...more
Dec 2, 13 6:54 PM appended by KevinLuss
that s/b ''educate''
By KevinLuss (356), SH on Dec 2, 13 6:54 PM
1 member liked this comment
It is shocking that supposedly educated and "progressive" parents vigorously attempt to raise standards to uplift the very low performance of many school districts, engaging in breathtaking prevarications about CC, and especially without presenting alternatives to fix the obviously broken educational system. They paint the state and the Department of Education as dictatorial tools of Corporatism that doesn't have the welfare of the students and the community in mind. They view it as an attack on ...more
By Obbservant (449), southampton on Dec 5, 13 11:19 PM
First sentence - I meant oppose attempts.......

And rather than dictating to school districts, Common Core Standards don't prescribe a particular Curriculum to achieve results giving districts flexibility and allowing creativity to achieve desired results. THE BOTTOM LINE IS RESULTS, AS IN REAL LIFE! IT IS NOT A BUBBLE LIKE SOME TEACHERS AND ADMINISTRATORS THINK EDUCATION IS.
By Obbservant (449), southampton on Dec 5, 13 11:28 PM
To your comment "the NY State Dept warned that initially, results would be bad (knowing full well the poor quality of so many locally controlled school districts), but that the higher standards are designed to spur change to better performance". The NY State Ed Dept set the scores for pass/fail AFTER the tests were graded! Of course they were able to "warn" that results would be bad!! They guaranteed it themselves!!
By eqmomof3 (22), EAST QUOGUE on Dec 6, 13 2:59 PM
There's something I'm not totally clear on, so here goes.

Just how much of this curriculum is focused on critical thought and problem solving?

Cramming facts and passing exams doesn't teach practical application in the "real world".
By Mr. Z (11847), North Sea on Dec 6, 13 12:11 AM
The standards state which math skills should be learned at each grade level, right? So, what happens to the kids who were supposed to learn multiplication this year, but the "new" standards say they should have mastered it last year? They are using multiplication tables and subtracting to divide because they "need to move on." Teachers now need to cram 2-3 years worth of material into 1 to catch up. Critical thought? Deeper learning? Those concepts are a joke! If the standards were said to ...more
By cmac (184), East Quogue on Dec 6, 13 12:15 PM
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By Obbservant (449), southampton on Dec 6, 13 6:47 PM
I am not a union teacher. I am a white rural mom whose children ARE as bright as I thought they were and whose school IS as good as I thought it was. My kids actually attend one of "the good schools" in your opinion. I attended the above mentioned forum and there were parents, teachers and administrators from the districts you tout as "great". Guess what? They see first hand that the new way isn't working, but NYSED doesn't want to listen. Massachusetts recently halted the implementation of ...more
By cmac (184), East Quogue on Dec 7, 13 9:16 AM
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cmac, you are unintentionally misleading because all your comments have no context of the facts behind what you have described - in a vacuum!

The reason we have CC nationwide is that tremendous amounts of states fail to achieve the minimum required for their various grade levels as is evident with NY State, incl. the East End, horrific results of many school districta, including Springs, East Hampton, Montauk, Speonk, Manorville, so many that I couldn't mention all! This is why the National ...more
By Obbservant (449), southampton on Dec 7, 13 11:27 PM
"cmac, you are unintentionally misleading because all your comments have no context of the facts behind what you have described" Oh, I have plenty of facts, but people such as yourself don't want facts and will manipulate the truth to force your ideas on people. The fact is that cash strapped states adopted the CCSS in exchange for Race to the Top funds sight unseen because the standards weren't even written! The factual amount of High School graduates in China who go on to college? 24%. Last ...more
By cmac (184), East Quogue on Dec 8, 13 8:59 AM
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China is a bonafide third world country with 1.3 Billion mostly underdeveloped people with per capita income of $6,500 per year charging peanuts to publicly educate their students. So what are your contradictory facts about Singapore, Taiwan, Hongkong, Japan, or Korea, the developed Asian states like the US that are constantly humiliating the US educational system?.

Why did you pick that overachieving third world country to make your point. The fact that China can produce schools that ...more
By Obbservant (449), southampton on Dec 8, 13 9:27 AM
In China kindergarten begins at 2 or 3 years old. The school year in China is 230 days a year 8 hrs a day. Students must arrive a half hour early to prepare for class in a study hall. Chinese kids are not more intelligent there culture is ready to do the work, and their culture holds teachers accountable. The parents at the core meeting sound so ignorant blaming the chancellor. They should be aking how can we work harder, and smarter.
By chief1 (2800), southampton on Dec 8, 13 3:27 PM
Welcome to the new America. If your child doesn't match up to new testing the parents will fight to have the testing changed. When I was a student if there was a core testing and students didn't pass the exam parents would have their kids work harder. Unfortunately it doesn't work that way anymore parents just want accolades for their kids without hard work. Instead of teachers and administrators wasting time fighting common core. Why don't the faculty put the energy into teaching kids and giving ...more
By chief1 (2800), southampton on Dec 7, 13 5:37 PM
In my opinion, deep thinking is something learned at home, not at school. It's intelligent conversation at the dinner table that creates inquisitive children. This will never happen across the board with NYS students today, as many parents prefer their kids at the computer so they can get some free time themselves in their busy schedules. Life is getting in the way for everyone. In my day, schools taught reading, writing and arithmetic and the US fared well in the international standings. ...more
By lamm (304), Southampton on Dec 7, 13 11:13 PM
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In the Asian culture they say there are only bad teachers not bad students. The student follows the teacher. In this country the teacher is infallible and can do no wrong. What a scary way to teach your children.
By chief1 (2800), southampton on Dec 8, 13 11:55 AM
the world needs brick layers too. trade schools are the way for many of these kids to get out from under being failures and I believe that many can do the work if put into the proper perspective and it is embraced by the student. we should encourage the kids to not be pressured into "going on to college" and prepare them for the real life.
By xtiego (698), bridgehampton on Dec 8, 13 5:33 PM